The whole essay or series of essays, if it's not too old-school a term to refer to them that way, is exciting; you can feel the energy that went into this project. It's also exciting to see put together in one place ideas that have been out on the blogosphere for some time. Here are some excerpts, with comments and questions:
- "Say no, when asked to undertake peer-review work on a book or article manuscript that has been submitted for publication by a for-profit publisher or a journal under the control of a commercial publisher." (Jason Baird Jackson)
- "The idea that knowledge is a product, which can be delivered in an analog vehicle needs to be questioned. What the network shows us, is that many of our views of information were/are based on librocentric biases." (David Parry)
- "In a world where the primary tools for finding new scholarship are tagged, social databases like Delicious and LibraryThing, the most efficient form of journal interface with the world might be a for journals to scrap their websites and become collective, tagging entities." (Jo Guldi) Guldi goes on to suggest a "wikification" that would allow a journal article to be crowdsource-reviewed for a year and to disappear if the author didn't make it a stronger article as a result.
Meanwhile, the article dangles in the wind for a year, and if it is deemed insufficiently improved (by whom?) it disappears and the now publicly humiliated author . . . does what? Takes it off his or her cv, if it was on there to begin with? At what point does it count as "published," if we will still even have that category of evaluation?
- "But the key point is that we need to take back our publications from the market-based economy, and to reorient scholarly communication within the gift economy that best enables our work to thrive. We are, after all, already doing the labor for free—the labor of research, the labor of writing, the labor of editing—as a means of contributing to the advancement of the collective knowledge in our fields." (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
- "But, as Cathy Davidson has noted, 'the database is not the scholarship. The book or the article that results from it is the scholarship.'” (Mills Kelly)
More to the point: Kelly never says this and never puts it in this way, but I'm uncomfortable with what could be seen as a distinction between worker bees who create the database and the "real scholars" who use it. Don't we value editions? Why should a database be less valued? Tom Scheinfeldt provides an answer for this:
Anyway, even if you don't agree with all of it, it's an exciting way to think about the possibilities of scholarship, so go read it.