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Bonnie Sutton

The New Academic Publishing: Digital First - 2 views

Publishing digital content academic journals. white papers reports Scholarly blogs and projects.

started by Bonnie Sutton on 16 Jul 11
  • Bonnie Sutton
    The New Academic Publishing: Digital First
    Filed in: Schools
    Filed by Sarah J.

    7.11.11 | A growing group of academics are wondering whether the web can offer a better model for academic publishing than the traditional peer review. PressForward, created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, will use technology to highlight underappreciated work that doesn't make it into academic journals: conference papers, white papers, reports, scholarly blogs, and digital projects.
    Alternatives to Peer Review: How the Web is Changing Age-Old Scholarly Practices
    With their long publishing deadlines and limited room for multimedia or comments after publication, some scholars argue that peer review articles are outdated in today's fast-paced communications environment.
    "Serious scholars are asking whether the institutions of the academy - as they have existed for decades, even centuries - aren't becoming obsolete," Dan Cohen, the center's director, told The New York Times last year.
    With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, PressForward will create a review process that publishes work digitally first and takes advantage of open web filters as well as the best scholarly review processes. From the "about" page:
    The web beyond academia has had to develop mechanisms for filtering for quantity, on sites such as Techmeme and The Browser; the academy has honed a set of methods of filtering for quality, through peer review. PressForward aims to marry these old and new methods to expose and disseminate the very best in online scholarship.
    The site plans to launch with five publications covering a variety of fields, with more to come: American History Now, Data Curation Now, Global Perspectives on Digital History, Digital Humanities Now and Proceedings of THATCamp-unconferences held worldwide. The only one currently live is Digital Humanities Now, which works by searching scholarly Twitter feeds for relevant articles, blogs, projects and announcements.
    "What's key is, it's digital first," Cohen told The Chronicle of Higher Education. "It's not something that is print first and then we put a facsimile of it online. It starts out on your Web site. It gets aggregated into a site that is run by the community. It might make it to some featured status for a day. And then, if you're doing really good work, it will make it into a quarterly, best-of compilation that will act like a journal."
    Cohen says that in addition to the automatic aggregation, there is also room for community members to curate and make revisions to the content on the sites. He plans to release the open-source code so scholarly organizations can create their own relevant content streams.

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