Posted by: bluesyemre | January 21, 2014

Pixel Dust: Illusions of Innovation in Scholarly Publishing by Johanna Drucker

Pixel Dust: Illusions of Innovation in Scholarly Publishing

  • PRONOUNCEMENTS ABOUT THE CRISES in academic publishing have been with us for decades, and the underlying culprits have remained basically unchanged: shrinking library budgets, more supply (books) than demand (buyers), increased production costs, continued pressure on university presses to play an unpaid but crucial role in the tenure process, diminished subventions from sponsoring institutions — and more recently, the exorbitant and skyrocketing subscription costs for scientific journals.[1] The proposed cure for this crisis is innovation in the form of digital platforms and novelties. Why should this crisis matter to a nonacademic? Because academe provides a gold standard of scholarship. Because its ideas filter down, sometimes through unsuspecting channels, and stimulate thought in virtually every field of human endeavor. Because the fate of the humanities is being influenced by a campaign of misinformation (numbers of students enrolled in humanities courses are actually up, for instance, not down). Because the hyped myths about digital publishing are far from reality. Because much of the knowledge currently being produced is at risk of being locked into silos and kept behind firewalls. Because large publicly supported projects (e.g., the Digital Public Library of America) need to succeed to keep intellectual life and public discourse vital.

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