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I was recently invited by Springer to publish a book: I proposed a table of contents, it was internally (in Springer) reviewed and accepted to be published as a monograph. I am at the stage of finalizing a first draft.

The content is mostly based on previous peer-reviewed publications (around 15 journal and conference papers in the computer science domain) along with more introductory material, state-of-the-art survey, and use-cases.

Is there any academic value in publishing a book that is based (approx. three quarters of it) on existing (peer-reviewed) material?

Also, as I am considering applying for assistant professor positions (I am currently working on contract basis), I would like to ask how is this book monograph viewed at by hiring committees? Is it considered vanity or a plus?

  • The title of this question doesn't match the question in the text. The part about hiring connittees' views on books is answered elsewhere on this site, iirc. – Jessica B Feb 4 '15 at 8:20
  • @JessicaB: the third paragraph matches the title. – Stephan Kolassa Feb 4 '15 at 8:25
  • @StephanKolassa No it doesn't. The title asks about Springer and comp sci. The third paragraph asks about existing material. – Jessica B Feb 4 '15 at 8:40
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    @JessicaB I am not sure what you mean. – xLeitix Feb 4 '15 at 8:55
  • @xLeitix My interpretation of JessicaB's comment is that the question title is about publishing Springer and comp sci book (un-peer-reviewed) while the third paragraph is about publishing a book (3/4 based on peer-reviewed) materials. – scaaahu Feb 4 '15 at 9:53
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Is there any academic value in publishing a book that is based (approx. three quarters of it) on existing (peer-reviewed) material?

If well done, this seems like a useful book to me. Bringing together various related papers, adding some expository material for readers not yet intimately aware of the field, providing some perspective through use cases ... why not? Remember that in CS, the point of books is almost never to have original material. Books in CS are meant as a collection / introduction to a topic, not as a venue for new research contributions (that's what we have conferences for).

Also, as I am considering applying for assistant professor positions (I am currently working on contract basis), I would like to ask how is this book monograph viewed at by hiring committees? Is it considered vanity or a plus?

Springer isn't a typical vanity press outlet, so I can't see a hiring committee outright discarding your publication there. I guess it will be a small plus (or a bigger plus, if the book turns out really good and becomes better-known in the field). However, your actual original research will probably be much more significant.

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    +1. However: "Springer isn't a typical vanity press outlet" - I am currently reviewing a Springer book that is atrocious, having evidently neither had any peer review nor a competent editor or typesetter. I'll agree that not everything that Springer publishes is vanity, but the Springer label alone does not guarantee quality (maybe it did in earlier times). The book would need to stand or fall on its own merits. – Stephan Kolassa Feb 4 '15 at 9:07
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    @StephanKolassa Certainly. But nobody will look at a Springer book in the CV and assume by default that it will be a terrible vanity book (unlike some other publishers). – xLeitix Feb 4 '15 at 9:09
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    @StephanKolassa, I guess if you suggest strong rejection of the book, but it will be published, then your point about Springer quality is correct. It might be that the atrociousness of the book was not evident to non-experts? – al_b Feb 5 '15 at 8:39
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    @al_b: it's already published, and I am reviewing it for the book review section of a journal. It's quite possible that non-experts are fine with the book, but that's the point: I once thought that a Springer book would be vetted by experts and I could trust its contents. In this case, my review will essentially attempt to warn people away from it. – Stephan Kolassa Feb 5 '15 at 8:45
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When it comes to the "value" of a book for a hiring committee, the value does not have to be soley academic. A significant part of the job of an (assistant) professor is usually teaching. If your book can be used in an (advanced) course, then that could be an advantage.

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