In the past, the public debate about the situation of the academic profession has been shaped by strong convictions of prominent observers, often with a shallow foundation of empirical evidence. In recent years, however, the knowledge base has improved greatly. A major comparative study – “The Changing Academic Profession” – was undertaken recently that compiled information from select countries in all of the continents (see the key results in Teichler U, Arimoto A, Cummings WK, The changing academic profession: major findings of a comparative survey. Springer, Dordrecht, 2013; cf. also Kogan M, Teichler U, Key challenges of the academic profession (Werkstattberichte, vol 65), International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel, Kassel, 2007; Locke W, Teichler U (eds), The changing conditions for academic work and careers in select countries (Werkstattberichte, vol 66). International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel, Kassel, 2007); thereafter a similar study – “The Academic Profession in Europe” – provided respective information on several additional European countries (see Teichler U, Höhle EA (eds), The work situation of the academic profession: findings of a survey in twelve european countries. Springer, Dordrecht, 2013). In addition, we note quite a substantial number of recent studies on the views and activities of the academic profession focusing on specific countries, specific career stages, or specific areas of context and activities. In order to synthesize the state of knowledge as regards the academic profession and to identify key issues that deserve more attention in future analysis, an international conference “Changing Conditions and Changing Approaches of Academic Work” was held on 4–6 June 2012 in Berlin. The conference brought together more than 200 experts on higher education from more than 40 countries–among them many have been active in research on the Academic Profession. The conference was arranged by the Centre for Higher Education Research of the University of Kassel (INCHER-Kassel). The coordinators of the conference came to the conclusion that a few themes were frequently touched upon by the various contributions to the conference. These themes are reflected in the titles of the two books that aspire to highlight the major findings of this conference, i.e. “Relevance of Academic Work in Comparative Perspective” (Cummings WK, Teichler U (eds), Relevance of academic work in comparative perspective. Springer, Dordrecht, 2015) and “Forming, Recruiting and Managing the Academic Profession” (Teichler U, Cummings WK, Forming, recruiting and managing the academic profession. The changing academy: the changing academic profession in international comparative perspective, vol 14. Springer, Cham).