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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Scholarly publishers should start expert Web 2.0 projects"

Larry Sanger, What Strong Collaboration Means for Scholarly Publishing, Citizendium Blog, June 12, 2007.  Excerpt:

I gave the keynote last Thursday at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, ďImagining the Future: Scholarly Communication 2.0,Ē in San Francisco.  The speech was called ďWhat Strong Collaboration Means for Scholarly Publishing.Ē ...Here are the opening paragraphs:

When I was asked to speak to you, the Society for Scholarly Publishing, I have to admit that I found this puzzling, because I donít know anything about scholarly publishing. Why should someone who knows so little about scholarly publishing be asked to give a speech to the Society for Scholarly Publishing? Thatís a paradox.

I found a similar paradox in an article by John Thompson in the Chronicle of Higher Education from 2005. Thompson wrote: ďacademic publishers can survive today only if they become something other than academic publishersĒ (June 17, 2005).

The quote actually explains why Iím here. Iím here because I can tell you about a way to become something other than academic publishers. I suppose this is a little absurd, but as a philosopher, I am trained to take joy in lifeís little absurdities.

So Iím going to try to make the case that scholarly publishers should start expert Web 2.0 projects. Hereís my plan for the talk.

  •  Iím going to begin by painting a picture, a vision of what information online could look like in ten or twenty years. In short, Iím going to build a castle in the air. But then I will try to put a foundation underneath it.
  • Iíll go over a number of examples of free encyclopedia projects from which we can learn.
  • Then Iíll draw out some general principles.
  • Iíll consider various business models for projects started by scholarly publishers.
  • Finally, Iíll give you some ideas for projects you might start.

More here.