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18 April 2013 at 1.09 am
[...] was interesting going back to Fitzpatrick’s piece on MediaCommons this week—something I had read before—to see how her 2007 argument still very much resonates [...]
See in context
18 April 2013 at 12.52 am
7 August 2007 at 8.57 pm
I am wondering about the analogy between science publishing and humanities publishing. Is it useful to hold out the sciences as some sort of evolutionary model to which the humanities need aspire? Scientists long ago stopped writing books in favor of articles (and textbooks for students), but that has not happened in the humanities. Should we forego books, too, because the sciences have? There are real differences between the sciences and humanities, and I worry that something fundamental about the sort of knowledge produced by the human sciences is lost when we assume that it must “catch up” to the sciences.
27 July 2007 at 9.09 am
The University of Alabama does not offer memorandums of understanding (What a terrific phrase! I only wish these were available in all areas of one’s life!), but tenure-track individuals are reviewed annually and officially advised as to their progress toward tenure.
3 July 2007 at 4.02 am
This is an extremely interesting point, Dave; I’ve written about this kind of technical illiteracy elsewhere as being akin to the days when profs all either had secretaries or had their wives type their manuscripts for them (or both). Some of that technical illiteracy was then, and is now, a matter of social privilege — those of us who get to do the “higher” thinking are forgiven our inability to operate the machinery. But I suspect there’s a day coming, and soon, when asking someone to do your digital production for you will be looked at much like asking someone to type up your documents would be today…
15 June 2007 at 7.04 pm
At SSP, Christopher Surridge from the Public Library of Science made a convincing argument that since peer review serves multiple purposes, those purposes should be broken apart and focused on by discrete groups of people with the right skills for addressing that particular task. For instance, one group of people may be able to select among submitted articles to find the exciting and important research that should be published regardless of venue. Another set of people (and skills) would then be required for reviewing such a vetted set of articles for various publications. The ETAI hybrid approach seems like an effort in that direction, but the reviewing process is still tied to a specific journal. Decoupling that first group of people from a given journal or publishing site seems compelling but difficult to accomplish.
15 June 2007 at 6.55 pm
Versioning is so important, but raises other issues when implemented in the scholarly communication flow, specifically the problem of citations. This is something that we are grappling with at the CDL–generating sufficiently granular digital citations that are persistent (UIDs are generated and maintained), meaningful enough to a human being (one citation can be easily and usefully distinguished from another), and flexible (identifiers used in citations are not ordered with each other).
15 June 2007 at 6.51 pm
What you’re describing sounds very similar to a traditional discipline within library science called bibliometrics, which continues on but got somewhat ignored due to the efficiency and glamour of information retrieval activities. Highlighting it and refurbishing it in the online venues that you’re describing is interesting.
7 June 2007 at 4.06 pm
The issue of identity is very sticky. As a technologist, I can say that I don’t know of any technological solution; it has to be combined with a social solution.
For example, suppose I tell you that I am actually Noam Chomsky writing under a pseudonym. Do you believe me? Probably not, but only because the claim is so outrageous. If I claimed to be someone less well known, how could you really tell I was lying?
I found myself reading the comments to this excellent article and wondering who “james” and “francois” are. They’re registered users, but who *are* they? Have they written elsewhere on this topic? Should I value their opinions or not? These are not easy questions to answer in the current framework.
21 May 2007 at 10.04 am
Just a comment on the relationship between the sciences and the humanities — projects like arXiv and ETAI’s two-stage review process certainly illustrate that some academic publishing in the sciences can teach the humanities how to reform its academic publishing. However, I think it’s also important to underscore that the most exciting innovations in reading/writing & digital media often happen at the intersections of the humanities and the sciences (MediaCommons is an example); I’m thinking of XEROX PARC’s XFR: Experiments in the Future of Reading (http://www.onomy.com/redweb/index.html), for instance, and projects at MIT Multimedia Lab — where cultural theorists, linguists, and literary critics (among others) shape the technology and its use just as much as the programmers. MediaCommons seems singularly poised to promote these kinds of cross-disciplinary revisions, collaborations, and critiques.