Monday, May 22, 2006

Are the lackademics starting to get it

Right when I was poised to unsubscribe from that at times annoying EdNA feed, I was reminded of how valuable it has been for me. Today it pointed me to:

Scholarly Journals at the Crossroads: A Subversive Proposal for Electronic Publishing. An Internet Discussion about Scientific and Scholarly Journals and Their Future

The publication discusses the future of scholarship and science, back in 1995.

We have heard many sanguine predictions about the demise of paper publishing, but life is short and the inevitable day still seems a long way off. This is a subversive proposal that could radically hasten that day. It is applicable only to ESOTERIC (non-trade, no-market) scientific and scholarly publication (but that is the lion's share of the academic corpus anyway), namely, that body of work for which the author does not and never has expected to SELL the words. The scholarly author wants only to PUBLISH them, that is, to reach the eyes and minds of peers, fellow esoteric scientists and scholars the world over, so that they can build on one another's contributions in that cumulative. collaborative enterprise called learned inquiry. For centuries, it was only out of reluctant necessity that authors of esoteric publications entered into the Faustian bargain of allowing a price-tag to be erected as a barrier between their work and its (tiny) intended readership, for that was the only way they could make their work public at all during the age when paper publication (and its substantial real expenses) was their only option.
Given that this was aparently published way back in 1995 and was last updated in 2002, that must mean academics would be starting to read this one...

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Doug Johnson said...

Hi Leigh,

For some reason, academicians don't feel electronic publishing has the same cachet as print publishing. And logic has little to do with it. I would think a peer-reviewed article is a peer-reviewed article. Perhaps a limited number of physical pages implies an exclusivity?

I don't get it.


Anonymous said...

It's the LEVEL of peer review that counts. There are many extremly important journals which are online. If you can't get published in them don't bitch about them being a closed shop - how about improving the quality of your publication. ACM, IEEE, Science, Nature - they are all there. Sure you have to pay a subscription to view. But then that's how they can afford to be choosy (as opposed to self-published blogs)

Leigh Blackall said...

I'm starting to get mildly hostile comments from an any-mouse... I'm no more opinionated than I've always been in this blog, must have something to do with the new audiences happening lately...

Anonymous said...

or perhaps some lackademics are pointing out to other lackademics how much you respect them and word is getting out. Respect (and lack) is usually reciprical.