From conference to newsletter to journal: a challenge to the emphasis on peer review

The reason for posting the following excerpt from one of the resource requirements interviews is intended to raise the question: is the current focus on the technical aspects of peer review out of touch with the communication / community aspects of scholarly communication of which formal publishing is arguably just one part?

This journal is one among the many thousands of small, scholar-led fully open access journals that would clearly meet all of the requirements for inclusion in DOAJ, including the peer review process. However, the peer-reviewed journal is just one portion of the rich history of the communication of this scholarly community, which flows from the conference(s) and early newsletter. Does it really make sense to separate the peer-reviewed bits from the larger history of communication among this scholarly community? I argue that it does not, that to fully understand the peer-reviewed literature it is important to know the historical context.

What about today’s emerging scholarly communities? I think I am seeing a narrow emphasis on the technical aspects of peer review, understandable in the context of open access debates but probably not optimal for scholarly communication and communities. This would be a good topic for further research, one that might appeal to historical researchers. There is probably a good deal of material within scholarly journals (there are often editorials about recent developments) and on the websites of scholarly societies. Current scholarly societies could be interesting to explore for researchers in anthropology or other social sciences.

In the words of the anonymized interviewee:

“we had a conference on this in [years several decades ago], at [our university], on the topic of we called it [our topic] and it was sort of a new field in [our discipline] and by the way we’re all [members of our discipline] it’s a multidisciplinary field now and I guess it always has been, but anyway we had this conference and people discovered that they’re breaking away from previously standard arguments / approaches [in our discipline] independently and in much the same direction and so it’s quite exciting to find that among the [less than 100] people that came to this conference that there was this commonality, and somebody said that we should keep in touch, and so we offered to set up this newsletter, and so we had a newsletter from [period of 5 years] but people began to send us manuscripts and people who didn’t need to publish in a refereed journal to get tenure sent us manuscripts and we began to get more and more articles and by [the end of the 5-year period] we said clearly there is a demand for the journal so we turned ourselves into a journal by getting ourselves an editorial board and establishing some procedures”.

This was a rich interview and content will be included in other posts. The purpose of this narrow excerpt is to focus on this challenge to the narrow focus on peer review.

This post is part of the resource requirements for small scholar-led open access publishing project.

Morrison, H. (2015). From conference to newsletter to journal: A challenge to the emphasis on peer review. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/12/from-conference-to-newsletter-to-journal-a-challenge-to-the-emphasis-on-peer-review/

Wanting to be open does not mean we want to be open about everything

In planning interviews with editors of small scholar-led journals that either are, or would like to be, open access journals, I started off with the assumption that interviewees might want their interviews to be open, too, either as audio online or as transcripts. This would have been a deviation from the custom of confidential or anonymous interviews. Therefore, my approach was to offer the customary confidentiality / anonymity with the invitation to share the interview openly if desired by participants. None of the 8 interviewees to date has taken me up on the offer to make their interviews open. This makes sense. A journal might want to be open access, but some of the behind-the-scenes discussions around this decision might need to be kept private. There may be justifiable concerns about a revenue stream or supporting resource for the journal in the context of universities in tight financial situations looking for areas to cut. I’ll keep the invitation open, but for now will consider this a learning experience. In retrospect, this just makes sense. We can be advocates for both strong open access and strong privacy rights at the same time (I am very much for both); consider the intertwining of freedom of information and privacy.

This post is part of the Resource Requirements for Small Scholar-Led Open Access Publishing project.

If you are doing or thinking about doing research in this area, please let us know in the comments section.

Cite as:

Morrison, H. (2015). Wanting to be open does not mean we want to be open about everything. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2015/05/12/wanting-to-be-open-does-not-mean-we-want-to-be-open-about-everything/

Closing Open Medicine: why we need to work at Sustaining the Knowledge Commons

A sad moment for open access: the closing of Open Medicine. Kendall, Maskalyk & Papelu’s final editorial provides a good explanation of the resources that we need to support scholar-led open access publishing: active participation in the form of academic editing, and financial support for the work involved in running a journal. This illustrates why we need to work towards sustaining the knowledge commons.

Morrison, H. (2014). Closing Open Medicine: Why we need to work at Sustaining the Knowledge Commons. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2014/11/18/closing-open-medicine-why-we-need-to-work-at-sustaining-the-knowledge-commons/

Resource requirements call for participation

Following is the call for participation for Resource Requirements interviews (e-mail and social media).

Appel de participation : exigences de ressource pour libre accès pour les revues savantes à but non lucratif / Call for participation: resource requirements for small scholar-led not-for-profit open access scholarly publishing

L’anglais suit

Êtes-vous un(e) lettré(e) impliqué dans la publication libre accès à but non lucratif (d’une à trois revue(s) savante(s), des actes de conférence occasionnels, ou la publication à petite échelle de monographie)? Ou, voudrait votre maison d’édition à petite échelle changer à libre accès, si on peut changer le soutien pour les opérations? Si la réponse est oui, je vous invite à participer à un entretien (à peu pres la moitié de l’heure ou une heure) conçu pour déterminer plus des ressources nécessaires pour soutenir ce type de publication libre accès.

Les résultats des entrevues faire une base pour plus de recherche, incluant étude de cas et focus groupes, comme preparation pour un projet plus grand sur les économies d’une transition global ver libre accès. Il est probable que les résultats de cette recherche seront utile pour le développement des affaires pour publication libre accès, est que les résultats vont informer le bon politique libre accès. Les participants peuvent choisir si leurs contributions seront anonymes et confidentiels ou libre accès et reconnues.

Se porter volontaire ou pour des informations complémentaires contactent, s’il vous plaît Heather Morrison re: Titre du project: exigences de ressource pour libre accès pour les revues savantes à but non lucratif

Au plaisir,
Dr. Heather Morrison
Professeure Adjointe
École des sciences de l’information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
http://www.sis.uottawa.ca/faculty/hmorrison.html
Heather.Morrison@uottawa.ca

Call for participation: resource requirements for small scholar-led not-for-profit open access scholarly publishing

Are you a scholar involved in small not-for-profit open access publishing (from one to three journals, occasional conference proceedings, or small-scale monograph publishing)? Or, would your small not-for-profit publishing operation  like to switch to open access if the economic logistics can be worked out? If so, you are invited to participate in an interview (half hour to an hour) designed to further flesh out the resource requirements needed to sustain this kind of open access publishing.

Results of these interviews will form the basis for further research, including case studies and focus groups, in preparation for a larger project on the economics of global transition to open access. It is anticipated that results of this study will be useful in the development of business practices for open access publishing, and inform open access policy. Participants can choose whether their contributions will be anonymous and confidential or open and acknowledged.

To volunteer or for further information, please contact Heather Morrison re: study title: resource requirements for small scholar-led not-for-profit open access

Best,

Dr. Heather Morrison
Assistant Professor
École des sciences de l’information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
http://www.sis.uottawa.ca/faculty/hmorrison.html
Heather.Morrison@uottawa.ca

Cite as:Morrison, H. (2014). Resource requirements call for participation. Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir Les Savoirs Communs. Retrieved from https://sustainingknowledgecommons.org/2014/07/04/resource-requirements-call-for-participation/