Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 254.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2002 06:43:07 +0100
From: Steve Krause <skrause@ONLINE.EMICH.EDU>
Subject: Re: 16.249 styles of publication
>A more interesting question, I think, is whether the e-medium has intrinsic
>qualities that push us in the humanities, quietly but relentlessly, toward
>faster turnaround of shorter papers, i.e. toward a more conversational
>style? Or might we better say, as some have argued, that the e-medium
>represents an opportunity, currently being realized, for a long-suppressed
>or at least unexpressed style to emerge -- in addition, not instead of?
My sense is that the "intrinsic quality" that will eventually push all
academic journals into electronic publishing, many of them kicking and
screaming, is money. I have a colleague here who is the editor of the
*Journal of Narrative Theory* who claims that this isn't true, that most of
the money spent on academic publishing is labor. And yet, no one "pays"
him (at least with real money) to edit the journal; rather, he teaches one
less course. This strikes me as the sort of book-keeping fiction of
"costs" that I think most academic institutions are perfectly willing to
continue. On the other hand, institutions tend to get a bit more tight
with their money when they actually have to write a "real" check, like the
ones that editors have to write to printers to produce their journals. And
when we English folk talk to our friends in the library about how they see
the costs of anything they buy differently (in terms of storage, in terms
of cataloging it, maintaining it, etc.), it just surprises me how slow the
change to electronic publishing for academic journals in things like
English has been.
As for a different style emerging: That's there in some journals now,
things like *kairos* (which is a composition and rhetoric journal,
especially interested in writing-- the URL is
http://english.ttu.edu/kairos/) that seem to be very interested in
publishing hypertextualized texts. But so far, it seems a lot more common
for web-based publications to merely replicate print and put up documents
that are either straight text or pdfs. I suppose this will change, but I
think the rate of change will have less in common from the move from
writing to print (as happened with books way back when) and more to do with
the even more glacial movement of academia...
-- Steven D. Krause Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature Eastern Michigan University * 614G Pray-Harrold Hall Ypsilanti, MI 48197 * 734-487-1363 * http://krause.emich.edu
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