4.0904 On Humanist, Academic Review, and Publishing (1/31)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 17 Jan 91 11:22:05 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0904. Thursday, 17 Jan 1991.

Date: Wed, 16 Jan 91 12:54:43 -0500
From: andrew@brownvm.brown.edu
Subject: Academic review and publishing?

Germaine Warkentin, <WARKENT@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>, writes in "The War in
the Gulf"

>I did not send to the Listserver for the long article which was posted
>because it has always seemed to me that networks like Humanist are for
>conversation, not for formal articles.

I do not want to cut short the discussion of the Gulf war but I am very
interested in Warkentin's comment. Humanist is a conversational forum
but I think it should also act as form for the review of academic works.

A member of the NetNews news group "comp.groupware" suggested that
electronic conferences be an intermediary step between authorship and
publication. An author would submit her work (article, book,
bibliography, etc) to a conference for informal review. Review's
responses would help the author to strengthen arguments and scholarship
before publishing. Professional societies would also benefit in that
they can draw upon the responses to determine what is worthy of

The act of publication would also change as content of the work would be
freely available. Publication is the imprimatur that work is now part of
the cannon. The publisher would gain revenue from adding value to the
work, such as cataloging, indexing, formatting, and even paper

The discussion on the NetNews group died quickly. I think this was due
to a poor understanding of what academic publishing is. I doubt that
this is the case with Humanist's members.

-- Andrew Gilmartin, Brown University