Signs Of Epistemic Disruption: Transformations In The Knowledge System Of The Academic Journal

USA“Abstract: This article is an overview of the current state of scholarly journals, not (just) as an activity to be described in terms of its changing processes, but more fundamentally as a pivotal point in a broader knowledge system. After locating journals in what we term the process of knowledge design, the article goes on to discuss some of the deeply disruptive aspects of the contemporary moment, which not only portend potential transformations in the form of the journal, but possibly also the knowledge systems that the journal in its heritage forms has supported. These disruptive forces are represented by changing technological, economic, distributional, geographic, interdisciplinary and social relations to knowledge. The article goes on to examine three specific breaking points. The first breaking point is in business models—the unsustainable costs and inefficiencies of traditional commercial publishing, the rise of open access and the challenge of developing sustainable publishing models. The second potential breaking point is the credibility of the peer review system: its accountability, its textual practices, the validity of its measures and its exclusionary network effects. The third breaking point is post-publication evaluation, centred primarily around citation or impact analysis …” (more)

[Scholarship 2.0, 11 April]


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