Journals are in the Conversation

I spoke this morning (14 March 2012) at the OUP’s Journals Day conference, giving a talk entitled ‘Digital Academe: A Perspective from Digital Social Research‘.  My colleague, Eric Meyer at the OII followed me with a report on his research on digital research in the humanities and physical sciences, which featured a great set of case studies from diverse fields that illustrate the diversity across disciplines. I was pleasantly surprised to see:

First, the entire conference was very much dealing with online media, social media, and getting editors and authors into the conversation in cyberspace. For example, the conference ended with a panel discussing initiatives in the use of social media to complement particular refereed journals.

Secondly, I heard many discussions and questions that take for granted the complementarity of online and social media with refereed journal publication. There were very few concerns raised about reputation, or competition between these media, but some very reasonable questions about the return on investment — what are the costs in time and effort to take part in the competition for attention in the online world, and does this have an impact on readership, subscriptions, and other goals of the journals?

Oxford University Press publishes a large number of academic journals – at least 238, as that is what they offer in a single package to libraries, so seeing this progressive thinking about the online media as complements to refereed journals, rather than threats, is heartening.I felt like I was preaching to the converted.




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