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Friday, March 30, 2007

More on the vision of MediaCommons

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Scholarly Publishing in the Age of the Internet, MediaCommons, undated but approximately March 29, 2007.  On the MediaCommons vision of a born-digital, peer-reviewed, OA monographs in the humanities.  Excerpt:

Our shift from thinking about an "electronic press" to thinking about a "scholarly network" came about gradually; the more we thought about the purposes behind electronic scholarly publishing, the more we became focused on the need not simply to provide better access to discrete scholarly texts but rather to reinvigorate intellectual discourse, and thus connections, amongst peers and, not incidentally, discourse between the academy and the wider intellectual public. The financial crisis in scholarly publishing is, after all, not unrelated to the failure of most academic writing to find any audience outside the academy. While we wouldn't want to suggest that all scholarly production ought to be accessible to non-specialists there's certainly a need for the kinds of communication amongst peers that wouldn't be of interest to most mainstream readers we do nonetheless believe that the lack of communication between the academy and the wider reading public points to a need to rethink the role of the academic in public intellectual life.

The online text is accompanied by many user comments.  At the same time, Fitzpatrick is continuing to elaborate the vision in the MediaCommons blog.