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January 30, 2007


I read somewhere, maybe it was at http://artichoke.typepad.com/artichoke that the average readership of a peer reviewed journal article was one or five or something.


I hear your point and agree partially. As much as I love blogging as an instant publishing mechanism, the academic in me knows that there is value, real value in the measured, thorough consideration of topics. That includes things that may seem quaint like footnotes and annotated bibliographies. So I can only agree with you to a point and the point is this...you are dead on correct in the first part of your sentence..no one will read this..well actually only a small handful of people will read it and yes the debate will move on. BUT the debate will be all the poorer for not having read these articles. These are smart people writing these things and we should all be reading more deep research and long-term considerations of these topics and what really PISSES ME OFF is that the mainstream academic establishment still pushes this BS mode of 'publish or perish' (what they really mean is publish in a way that I find acceptable and can understand) that locks these younger academics into modes of publishing that will suffice to meet the requirements of their rank&tenure committees. So these brilliant minds are forced to send their best work down this gaping maw of academic publishing which locks it up behind these bullshit subscriptions...want to really find out about this? Go to your local college and ask the librarian there about the choices they have to make in terms of journal subscriptions. They have little money and these publishers are so backasswards in terms of their biz models that they charge these ridiculous sums because gee whiz Bobby...if it costs $10K annually to produce this journal and only 2 schools subscribe, then we have to charge then $5K each...nowhere in their little bird brains (apologies to the birds) to these dumbass publishers realize that if they lowered the subscriptions to $100 their subscribing members would explode. I am pessimistic at best that this model will ever change so I wish that the busninesses behind it would just go ahead and die and then the Academy would be forced to consider and embrace new models. Meh.

The real problem is not the cost, it that nobody is going to read it and that the debate will have moved on before the publishing cycle is completed.

Smart authors are publishing on webpages, wikis and blogs, those choosing to use peer reviewed journals will be quickly forgotten.

At least you haven't lost your sense of humour!


I see what you're saying...I'm a little to subtle and I run the risk of my message being lost or obscured right? ;-)

But how do you REALLY feel, Mark? Don't pull your punches next time !-))))

Take that, SAGE!

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Quoth she/he...

  • "The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of the revolutionaries cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the society they live in. As a result, either the revolutionaries are put down, or some of those institutions are transmogrified, replaced, or simply destroyed. We are plainly witnessing a restructuring of the music and newspaper businesses, but their suffering isn’t unique, it’s prophetic." --Clay Shirky

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