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Taking on Peer-reviewed Journals

July 19, 2011

InsideHigherEd.com posted an article calling for a peer-reviewed journal App-Killer.  Here is my reply.

Tenure. Because of tenure, professors need easily recognizable (by the committee) “achievements” in order to check the proper box on the tenure review form. Peer-reviewed journals, along with monographs, are the easiest and most widely used.

Tenure, for academics, equals money/security/prestige. So, until another method of securing food and ego comes about, Peer-reviewed Journals are here to stay.

(I will save the discussion of whose opinion matters to another post–not everyone’s opinion should matter equally vs. there needs to be room to upset the paradigm)

What is needed is NOT a peer-review killing app, but an app that allows access through the pay-walls. Google Scholar, a nice tool, only provides a list of sources…the bulk of which rest comfortably behind the pay-wall. This is not a big deal for those with university pass-throughs, but if a mass-user revolution is to occur (like the example in astronomy above), then I say to you, “tear down those walls.”

(My god, I quoted Reagan…)

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5 Comments
  1. July 20, 2011 5:05 pm

    “an app that allows access through the pay-walls” — how about your library? If you’re affiliated (even temporarily!) with any institution you should have access to many if not all subscription journals you need online through your library’s subscriptions.

    It’s even possible to inform Google Scholar (when Google Scholar doesn’t automatically do this) of your affiliation, so that it links to subscription access directly.

  2. July 30, 2011 10:02 pm

    Yes, but what of those with no University affiliation? And, as adjunct, I don’t have offsite library privileges. I also teach online, so I am pretty much screwed.

  3. July 31, 2011 9:56 pm

    That is pretty weird for you not to have offsite library privileges…and it would be due to a policy of the institution’s library or IT department that you don’t have them, not the fault of the vendors of the content that the library subscribes to.

    As for the teaching online…more and more of library content an subscriptions are online too, so I’m not sure why that would be a problem unless there’s really no way for you to get offsite privileges. Which, again, would be weird. I would go so far as to say cruel and unusual, in fact.

    Or maybe you’re asking for everything to be free and public and online all the time? A lot of librarians are on your side, but realistically I’m not seeing it happen fwiw…

  4. August 11, 2011 3:23 am

    I like the idea of an app that allows access through the pay-walls!! Yes!! I’m not affiliated with anyone at the moment and so I don’t have any libary priviledges at all. It sucks!

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