Friday, November 5

Storming Publishing and Peer Review
Activity Leaders: Ken Wissoker (Duke University Press) and Whitney Trettien (Duke University).

In this session we will pool intellectual and technological resources to build a toolkit of readymade plug-ins to help scholars begin creating their own webtexts, and we'll brainstorm tools to move the field forward. We’ll collaboratively write and peer review a creative webtext; share exciting new digital scholarship that utilizes the expressive power of the web; discuss possible models for CC licensed and open access academic publishing; brainstorm the future of peer preview in the wake of the Shakespeare Quarterly/Media Commons experiment; and explore how crowd sourcing and social media could shape academic publishing in ways beyond peer review.


Duke University Press
Two Bits, by Chris Kelty; published by Duke University Press (2008) both in print and as a remixable e-text.

//Shakespeare Quarterly,// "Shakespeare and New Media" open review website
"Scholars Test Web Alternative to Peer Review," New York Times article on Shakespeare Quarterly's web-based peer review process (23 Aug 2010).

Gutenberg-e, e-books in history from Columbia University Press

Expressive Processing, by Noah Wardrip-Fruin; an experiment in blog-based peer review

Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy
Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular
Digital Defoe

"Googling Peer Review," by Mike O'Malley (19 October 2010)

"Assessing the Future of Peer Review," AHA Today (7 June 2010)

"Open Access Publishing and Scholarly Values," by Dan Cohen (27 May 2010)
"Open Access Publishing and Scholarly Values (Part 2)," by Stephen Ramsay (28 May 2010)
"Open Access Publishing and Scholarly Values (Part 3)," by Kathleen Fitzpatrick (28 May 2010)

Live notes from event leaders/participants:

Pros of peer review/publishing
  • Forced you to focus/elaborate your idea

  • Catch all system, you work once and it serves many purposes

  • Gift economy

  • Distributed process, requires faculty/reviewers throughout field/world

  • Portability

  • Pushes the field beyond the bounds of the discipline

  • More avante-garde/cutting edge than those that are colocated at the same insitution (external and credentialized knowledge that is not produced internally)

  • Production of actual physical objects

  • Conceptual qualities

  • Comes to people in more popular form like magazines, etc. translation of work into world at large

  • Permanency

  • Ideal of meritocracy

  • open to submissions

Negatives of peer review/publishing
  • Very inflexible and slow, ages to publish

  • Easy to be corrupted--you don't know who is behind it

  • Limited snapshot- it only governs one part of the process--things are excluded from the final product (i.e. the failures)

  • Limited review audience, perhaps with biases

  • Gigantic profit management machine for Elsevier

  • So much of apparatus of publishing is centralized

  • Hate Digital Rights Management (DRM)

  • Can be conservative

  • Can be hard to find scholarly publishing (decline of bookstores, not enough networking, not enough cross press communication structures)

  • The form itself--books and articles (that's all we've got?)

  • Time to go through the crisis

  • Volunteer labor required to produce

  • Lack of value/justification

  • increased centralization and what that means with regards to access--the titles that a library can afford to subscribe to and what that means for the voices that are represented in the scholarly discussion--less marginalized/fringe voices

  • blackhole

  • funneling

  • walmartification

  • form

Shakespeare Quarterly experiment:Added labor, problematic tradeoffs, it had a big problem of the amount of labor that was involved. Used CommentPress to allow paragraph by paragraph commenting. Did not get as many comments as they wanted. Biggest problem was not having the right tool. That might be where we want to go.

Giving people points for the qualities of their reviews would be a really good thing. But if you're good and people like the owrk you do, you'll get asked more and more and not be able to do it.

What do people thing about the curate first, then have asystem for peer review? A more open system where a community of people have more input on reviews etc.?

THe borader input could be at the curatorial level--should this get sent out to be reviewed?Could that be semi-open: I put up s/g to be reviewed by my FB friends, but not to the whole world. Curatorial communities--places for thigs to go.

Do journal boards work like this? Reviewer communities? Or are all the reviews done by anyone in the world?

The notion of recognition: If you're from a good publisher like Duke, you kind of can ask anyone. But if I want to get something reviewed for the Caadian Joural sf X, not so much.

Reviewers will come back and say, this looks like a good project, but not one for Duke. So they're projecting both about the work itself and about the community/publisher that they think it's important for.

In terms of the actual practie of who does the reivewing, the smaller the journal, the more the reviewing is done by friends of the journal.

There's a different process--who identitfies innovation--ina smaller area.

Media Ecology--a very small communitiy, not looking outside of their community. That's an emerging discipline, so it's a weird place in time bec. they're defining their field.

You oculd do more, as say, Duke, if you rolled out more books than you already do Just to roll out hugher numbers, print on demand, and suddenly little simple pamphlets become s.g more bec. people look at them bec. they're from a good publisher, even tho not a great publishing rubric. They're very well edited, have review boards, so only saving $$ on design and a little administrative. Also a question of speed--it can be really fast. Fromsubmittla to publishig in this way, 5 months. More presses shoud ldo that.

Print On Demand: Libraries perspective: UMich hasa machine that can print a perfect bound book in minutes--costs $4 and resells for $7-10. They use it largely for reprints of books in the public domain. Also galley copies for their Press. So it's not just on demand, it's also at the point of need.

Once there's more of an ability to buy pdfs, more readily, it can change the international cost for books.

Printing isn't radically transforming the way or what people write. Do other technologies change those things more? CommentPress, web sites, mixed media, Word Press, Sophie (concensus is that Sophie is not more). What makes it so hard for these tools to make it? THere's post-Vectors tool, Scalar. It's not a particular field, and it's not just linear writing, but also can edit story lines, etc.

Each unit has a text componenet, a visual component, and it's done so you can either choose a view that's mostly text with some visual, or mostly visual with text. The person who designs it designs a path through it, but the reader can define their path too. Need s/g more like WordPress that has media and text together, and wouldn't need a programmer to make it work.

What it takes to make Vectors is really resource and time and labor intensive. A non-saleable project that takes way more $$ to create it.

Vectors is also hiring developers to work and collaborate on the projects.

ALso brings up tenure, promotion, etc. Probably don't want to go down this rabbt hole today. Another challenge that we need to address if we want to change the whole system.

It's laso important to recognize that the way things are now is the waty they've been done for a long time. But things have already changed--email not putting article in an envelope and sending it--so we need to figure out how to putll a thread across the process and see that trajectory,

THere are more and more journals accepting digital essays, but they're not getting that many submissions bec. people don't know what they need to know submit.

Non-North American Examples?

There were many....but I missed them.

kd publishing pro