Thursday, April 20, 2006

Call for Papers: On the Horizon Issue: THE FATE OF THE ACADEMIC JOURNAL

Call for Papers: On the Horizon Issue: THE FATE OF THE ACADEMIC JOURNAL


Dr. Tom P. Abeles, editor

The Royal Society of London launched "Philosophical Transactions" in 1665 to get ideas out of closeted correspondence and into wider circulation. Today there are estimated to be 24,000 academic journals. The March issue of University Affairs (, suggested that many of these provide more of a "publishing" venue rather than for the larger goal of getting ideas into circulation. This has become a stumbling block for the "open access" movement designed to use the Internet as a way to make knowledge open and accessible. The open access movement has also brought into focus the industry which has come to be dependent on the income from these journals, including large publishing houses and small academic societies where revenues subsidies other activities.

The increasing availability of scholarly articles through the Internet seems to reflect other issues which were once not visible. This includes plagiarism, poor editorial control over writing quality and thin articles which probably should be notes or a chart in a more substantive piece. Thus the potential of Open Access could raise the bar for authors and editorial boards of journals while challenging the purpose and substance of the scholarly journal. Simultaneously, some scholars have chosen to take their ideas to the larger, public, venue through the popular press and alternatives offered by the advent of electronic deliveries and just-in-time publishing.
What is to be the fate of the scholarly publication in the near and long term? What does this import for the current list of scholarly journals, the publishing houses and societies that distribute ideas via the journal, whether in print or electronic, subscription or open access? What does this mean for The Academy and the academic, given the shifting roles within the University? In an Internet world, where does respected knowledge originate and does this depend on the disciplines as defined by The Academy?

The Call
On the Horizon seeks ideas in the form of prospectus not to exceed one page in length. These will be due by 1 June 2006 with notification by 1 July and full papers due by 1 October, 2006. Ideas accepted will be published in essay format of up to 5000 words, but may be shorter. Footnotes and references are to inform as well as validate. Authors retain the copyrights beyond the publication in OTH. Final paper will include an abstract and key words.
The editor is interested in thoughtful ideas on format or collaborative/complementary articles. Questions can be addressed to the editor, above.

Kind Regards,
Dr. Tom P. Abeles, editor

(Thanks to Beyond the Job Blog)