Harley: The Journal of Electronic Publishing

The Journal of Electronic Publishing has an artile, The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices, which nicely summarizes the state of perceptions about electronic publishing. The article doesn’t talk much about how they arrived at their conclusions, but the conclusions strike me as likely. Some of the conclusions worth noting for digital humanists:

  • Peer review is still important for tenure and promotion, which makes it difficult for un-reviewable works to be treated as scholarly contributions.
  • Academics are worried there is too much stuff on the web and that lower costs of publication lead to lower standards. Therefore print peer reviewed publications are still taken more seriously and online peer reviewed publications are still viewed as less important.
  • Online publication is seen as a way to make a name, while print publication is seen as how you get tenure.
  • Print is seen as more archival and therefore the best place for finished work while online publication is seen as less likely to survive and therefore better suited to scholarly communication. This, by the way, accords with The Credibility of Electronic Publishing report that I contributed to. Print does seem to last longer and therefore is better suited to final archival publication.