Library Issues

Scholarly publication, take 7847

This is a response that I sent out on LITA-l, but felt needed archiving here on the blog.

Originally written by Anita S. Coleman on Wed, 30 Nov 2005 on Lita-l:

The point is that blogs simply and plainly ARE NOT scholarly communications. They may be communication pieces, tools, etc. written or produced by scholars, but they are not scholarly communications. Just as non-peer-reviewed articles in trade magazines, newsletters, popular and general interest periodicals are not part of the body of literature regarded as scholarly articles, and are not weighted for tenure and promotion as do the “traditional” scholarly peer-reviewed literature.

“Simply and plainly”? They may not be of a form traditionally considered scholarly…does this mean they are intrinsically not so? Or that they could not become such?

Sitting aside the traditional view of scholarly information sources (see my views on that here), is there a better method of review than open publication and comment? Can anyone intelligently argue that allowing anyone to comment on your paper is worse than the current “insider only” method of scholarly publication?

There’s a lot of baggage tied up in academia’s love affair with the vetting of information sources…issues of authority, issues of access, issues of relevance…but with the current moving us towards individual or university self-archiving and the web taking publishing out of the hands of the few and into the hands of the many, we’re overdue for a shift in the academic publishing paradigm. So yes, I have to say…I think that blogging SHOULD be taken into account for issues of tenure and promotion. I think that any production of knowledge is a valuable one.

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