OII - SDP - 2004 - Blog

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Publishing in Academic Journals [Jankowski]

The first session of the Oxford Internet Institute's Summer Doctoral Programme (OII SDP) was presented by Nick Jankowski, initiator and co-editor of the journal New Media & Society. His presentation, Publishing in Academic Journals: Procedures and Practices, outlined many items for consideration when preparing articles for submission, and dealing with the (possibly negative) result from the editors. One slide presented a bevy of articles that can stem from a PhD thesis: conference papers, journal articles, and book chapters. Additionally, other items could be prepared from such a manuscript: essays, book reviews, review essays, or even research-in-brief articles.

Although much of the session was more information confirmation than learning for me, one item of discussion that peaked my interest was the apparent difference in 'scholarly-ness' of paper-based versus online journals. That is, scholarly journals in terms of their academic, double blind, peer-reviewed process. This never entered into my consideration of journal selection. Are paper-based journals considered more scholarly? It seems they are, for reasons, perhaps, of tradition and publication process, though I am not convinced this is necessarily the case for my discipline.

Equally, I mentioned First Monday as an example of an online journal, though it was immediately removed from consideration. In fact, Nick mentioned that it would be 'crossed-out' by any committee reviewing publications for tenure. I am amazed: First Monday is an international, peer-reviewed online journal, consisting of a 16 strong Editorial Board from varying international academic institutions. So why doesn't Nick consider First Monday as scholarly? I suspect, in taking into consideration Nick's discipline of communications studies, and mine of Internet Studies, the issue is inter-disciplinary. That is, just as a journal is considered scholarly in one discipline, it might not necessarily be so in other.

Moving on to the publication process, Nick offered that it was ok to publish working papers on personal websites before or concurrent to journal submissions, as in his opinion, they cannot be managed and therefore cannot be considered 'pre-publication'. On the aforementioned topic of the blind-review process, it is important for authors to not only remove identifying information from their submission, though to also either:

(a) reword references to their own work e.g. changing "and in my previous study (Veale, 2003)" to "and in a previous study (Veale, 2003)" or

(b) remove identifying details from the citation AND the bibliography e.g. "and in my previous study (Details Removed for Review, 2003)".

Finally, The Iowa Guide, a website presenting scholarly journals of mass communication and related fields was given as a resource for examining the field of possible journals in the field.


  • I think the animus against First Monday comes from, perhaps, some lack of recognition of the fact that scholarly, peer-reviewed work doesn't just exist within the traditional journal forms. It also matters, significantly, what country you are in - the comment about committees reviewing for tenure suggests the USA - I'd reckon that other countries might be less worried? (and remember, Jankowski set up NM&S)

    Anyways, what matters is the quality of the article and who it reaches - the value of publishing in the 'established' scholarly journals is that they probably reach more of the right people.


    By Blogger matt_netstudies, at 17 July 2004 at 3:59 am  

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