Blogs and Journals

Eoin Purcell

What’s the line: Brevity is Clarity?
Whatever it is, The Girl Who’s Afraid of Foxes has a wonderfully brief and pointed post about scholarly journals. It prompted me to have a look around and see what people were thinking in this field which I think will move that direction very soon anyway purely because it can and still profit.

Obviously places like Peter Suber Open Access blog and Nature’s blog network are places to keep your eyes open for more news on this type of development, but I liked this too:

PDQ is a journal designed to provide a bridge between blogging and academia. It will provide stable citeable references for selected weblog posts focussed upon or of interest to the pre-Renaissance past. It is compiled from articles submitted by bloggers on a quarterly basis.

The Past Discussed Quarterly is here and some more rationale here:

Weblogs are transitory and may disappear at short notice. The same can be said of print publications, it can be difficult to secure a copy of a publication if its gone out of print -especially if the print run was only a couple of hundred copies. Weblogs can also be edited which means that two people citing the same URL might not be citing the same text. PDQ aims to provide a canonical version of the article in a citation-friendly format. It also aims to preserve included entries for a long period of time.

Sounds sensible I think you’ll agree!

Fulfills my history urge quite nicely, sometimes I almost forget how much I enjoyed studying it.
Eoin

PS Don’t forget Lapham’s Quarterly either!

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for the post Eoin. I see more and more interesting thinking, and practice, coming out of the scholarly publishing field. Just wanted to point you to what the University of Michigan Library is doing if you haven’t already seen it. Among other things, they’re publishing their own scholarly e-journals, and have made thousands of out of print and out of copyright books available through Amazon via print on demand, right off their own shelves. They presented at the Tools of Change conference last week, you can read the description of their presentation here:

    http://en.oreilly.com/toc2008/public/schedule/detail/233

    And their main site is here:

    http://www.lib.umich.edu/spo

  2. It’s great to see PDQ attempting to overcome one of the biggest potential drawbacks – the problem of entries being edited or even removed subsequent to citation. Most people still view a ‘hard copy’ (in this case, published print journals) as being a necessary permanent record, but I think this is changing.

  3. Econgirl,
    There was a wonderful piece about how the web requires a change in mindset and consciousness a little while ago (I’ll dig it out later) and when I read it I didn’t agree.

    Now I’m beginning to think that perhaps there is not a change of consciousness but at least a change of mindset regarding the permanency of information.

    It’s almost as if we accept the closest guess/version that facts on hand now allow and are happy to see updates come as information builds. The problem with that is that sometimes that best guess can be completely wrong.

    You only have to look at the papers the morning after new Hampshire to see the results of that. Funnily enough I think that maybe incidents like that make the gradual shift towards online being the prime edition more likely!

    Its a fascinating topic though!

    Greg,

    Thanks for the comment! I’ve been planning an extended post on libraries and it’ll be happening (always takes longer than you think to do big pieces!).

    Tools of Change seems to have been great and I have a couple of things to blog about from that! I’m definitely going to the next one!

    Eoin

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