Reinventing Scholarly Publishing

I’ll have more to say about the changes that are taking place over at MediaCommons over the next few days, but for now, I just wanted to post a couple of pointers to some of the more important discussions that are taking place. During our editorial board meeting earlier this week, we generated a number of principles that will guide the new model of “open peer-to-peer review” that we hope MediaCommons will foster. Kathleen Fitzpatrick has posted an overview of these principles on the MediaCommons (MC) blog, and we’d all appreciate your feedback on them. I’m especially excited about the discussions of how MC can foster academic community and collegial support through digital networking technologies.

Kathleen has also posted the text of a talk she recently gave at the University of Buffalo, “Scholarly Publishing in the Age of the Internet.” The talk addresses some of the problems with blind peer review and how some of those problems might be addressed by what she has been calling “open peer-to-peer review,” as well as the challenges presented by the economics of academic publishing. Kathleen’s paper models this new mode of review in that it is published in Commentpress , a publishing tool built on WordPress blogging software that allows readers to comment on individual paragraphs or pages in addition to an entire document. Obviously such a tool could be valuable for fostering conversations about academic texts (see, for example, this page from Kathleen’s paper or this version of the Iraq Study Group Report). No matter what, there are some great conversations taking place about academic publishing, and I’d like to see as much participation as possible.

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