Name Print Book or Article

Need to Act?

The legacy of print books and articles (for instance in scientific journals) is undisputed. Their contributions to progress in all aspects of society cannot be overestimated.

However, their production in contemporary society suffers from systemic flaws and is unsustainable, an issue that is raised in Failing Knowledge Markets (Tab 7).

Although a growing number of works that have long been printed are now becoming available in electronic formats, there is an entrenched authors' attitude1 of producing works that must be acquired, accessed and read, as a whole.

The author (group) is the knowledgeable master, and the reader is assumed to be mute and knowledge impaired. Each author (group) is imposing a long road of reading to a tiny piece of enlightment: linear from page one to the last page of the book or article, or until the reader gives up searching for answers to his or her questions.

This includes situations where readers are the authors' peers, and where content becomes quickly outdated. As explained at MECE Violation Print Books & Articles this actant is increasingly used in situations where we should comply with the MECE principle, as is done for instance in Wikipedia, yet this kind of content is under provided for many of the major languages of the world.


A durable content work that is authored by one or more authors and is produced to be consumed as a whole, for a considerable period of time (to justify its production in high volume, on paper).


Available from bookshops, libraries, and the internet (often in pdf format), print books and articles cover everything we know.


Print books and articles are durable content actants, par excellence. This durability aspect implies that they must not be a priority actant in situations that need a more interactive way of knowledge sharing and growth.

In the Actant Dictionary, this actant is included to contrast bad practices using it, with more lean, productive and dynamic (social publishing) practices using other durable content actants, enabled by web technologies.

The actant is included as an international actant that can be used more locally and in specific sectors, everywhere.

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