Looking for pseudo-books

1 minute read

Jason Baird Jackson posts some insights on how traditional journals can turn to open access tools (if not become open access), and how a startup online journal can strategize archiving for permanence: “Genres Leak, Being a Reflection on Michael E. Smiths Essay on Semi-, Quasi- and Psuedo- Journals”.

Jackson’s post attracted an insightful reply by commenter Barbara, that I want to post in part:

There are many pseudo-journals and pseudo-books being published in an attempt to mimic the old formats rather than experiment, hoping to pass as scholarship by virtue of looking scholarly. And so long as we weigh scholarship by the pound, so to speak, there will be incentives to populate these fake journals and books rather than create something new and insightful.

And in so doing, I emphasize that one of the historical aspects of form that online communication makes obsolete is names. How we attribute ideas must change if labels and signifiers are changed. Here I don’t have commenters, and that does reduce some confusion that attends authorship.

Personally I was looking around for how to integrate digital object identifiers (DOI) into online content. Seems to me that integrating online discussion into the academic literature would be done most simply by exploiting the system most widely used for citation tracking in the literature itself – and that many blogs (including mine) already track. However, adding DOI to content turns out to involve an expensive membership to a cartel run by publishers.