Re: Scholar's Forum: A New Model For Scholarly Communication

From: Professor L.W. Hurtado <hurtadol_at_DIV.ED.AC.UK>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 12:29:11 +000

Thanks to Dr. Ramsdell for his comments. I agree that a "top-
down" approach is unrealistic. I agree that scholars themselves
must make the move for reasons they find cogent. I agree that it
will likely have to be done area/subject by area/subject.
All this is why I have suggested that scholars *through their
professional associations and scholarly societies* have a key
possible role in this. Pioneers such as Harnad have demonstrated
the usefulness of on-line refereed publication. I am confident that
eventually on-line publication will become fully as part of our
scholarly processes as faxing and the telephone. But I am worried
that (a) it will take inordinately longer than it need to, (b) that it will
be controlled by traditional publishers and for commercial purposes
too much (so we'll have some of the present paper-publishing
problems carried over into the net), and that (c) younger scholars
will avoid on-line publishing (because insufficient numbers of senior
colleagues recognize its worth) and established scholars will also
(because the lack of perceived worth means that one's work won't
get noticed in the right circles.
How to cope with these things? Harnad has a cogent, fiercely
argued proposal, and he is very confident that it would work. He
may well be right. But that provokes the prior question: How to
make his proposal operative? The answer may be simply to allow
for a rather lengthy straggling of individual bold souls into his
"subversive proposal" as co-conspirators. I've simply wondered if
by putting our heads together we could help make the academic
embracing of on-line publishing happen a bit less disorderly and a
bit more efficiently.
But that's enough on the subject from me.
Larry Hurtado

L. W. Hurtado
University of Edinburgh,
New College
Mound Place
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LX
Phone: 0131-650-8920
Fax: 0131-650-6579
Received on Wed Feb 10 1999 - 19:17:43 GMT

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