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CASLL-L  May 1999

CASLL-L May 1999

Subject:

ocufa: Article on an interactive system for scholarly publishing

From:

c schryer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CASLL/Inkshed <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 25 May 1999 16:44:48 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (132 lines)

I am forwarding this message to everyone because the information in it looks
so cool.  I haven't checked out the system described in it yet.  but it
might prove really useful for on-line discussion of papers particularly in a
de context.



>The following is a Chronicle of Higher Education article about on-
>line, interactive system for scholarly publishing.
>---------------------------------------
>Chronicle of Higher Education
>Tuesday, May 25, 1999
>
>                    An On-Line Format for Scholarly Papers Lets Critics
>                    Aim Their Barbs Precisely
>
>                    By KELLY McCOLLUM
>
>An interactive system for publishing scholarly papers, created by a 
>professor and a graduate student at the University of Illinois at 
>Urbana-Champaign, offers instant gratification for critics and 
>precise feedback for authors.  
>
>The system, called the Interactive Paper Project, 
>(http://lrsdb2.ed.uiuc.edu:591/ipp/) is an electronic format that lets 
>readers insert comments within scholarly papers as they read. 
>Forms at the end of every paragraph encourage readers to 
>comment on specific ideas or points, rather than to give a broad 
>critique at the end of the paper, although they can do that as well. 
>The project was created by James Levin, a professor of educational 
>psychology, and James Buell, a graduate student.  
>
>Mr. Levin likens the format to a printed draft that a scholar might 
>photocopy and pass around to a few colleagues for comments or 
>suggestions. While photocopies might come back with notes 
>scribbled in the margins, the scholar would look at Mr. Levin's 
>version in a Web browser, where comments would appear following 
>each paragraph of the text. Readers can comment on the 
>comments of others, too.  
>
>Mr. Levin says the format allows readers to participate in a 
>discussion that is structured by the ideas in a paper, but not 
>constrained by it. He also says the format could be useful in the 
>peer-review process for scholarly journals.  
>
>"You would have a more-collaborative review process," he says. 
>"Right now the review process is pretty much individual -- you send 
>out end copies to end reviewers, and each one reviews it in 
>isolation." He adds, "You may still want to do that, but this gives 
>you the opportunity to make it a collaborative thing."  
>
>The project's Web site has a handful of papers, mostly articles on 
>issues in education and technology by professors at the university. 
>The site is open to anyone who wishes to read and respond to the 
>papers. If a journal were to use the format, Mr. Levin says, 
>password protection could be added to limit who had access to the 
>papers.  
>
>Mr. Levin says the technology behind the archive is relatively 
>simple and could be duplicated by anyone who wanted to set up a 
>similar system. The texts of the papers and the comments are 
>stored on a server using Filemaker Pro, a common data-base 
>program.  
>
>Readers can choose either to see other readers' comments 
>inserted directly into the text of papers or to have the comments 
>appear in a separate file linked to the text. Authors can easily drop 
>the comments if they choose to submit their articles for print 
>without making changes to their work.  
>
>But choosing to leave comments in could also be useful, says 
>Nicholas C. Burbules, a professor of educational policy at the 
>university who has posted papers to the archive. Comments added 
>to the papers "become not only communications from the reader to 
>the author, but part of the archive of the text itself," he says. 
>"Subsequent readers may react more to that material than to the 
>manuscript itself."  
>
>In an electronic-only publication, there's no reason why readers 
>couldn't continue to add comments to papers indefinitely, he says. 
>Authors could then revise their work, and readers could continue to 
>comment. Then, says Mr. Burbules, "the distinction between a 
>draft and a final version is no longer a sharp distinction." He adds, 
>"The idea that something is only a draft until it is published -- that's 
>an artifact of a particular kind of technology of producing papers."  
>
>That distinction has already been tested by "e-print" servers and e-
>mail lists in which scholars have distributed their work on the 
>Internet to seek comment from colleagues. In some cases, 
>however, such electronic distribution has disqualified papers from 
>print publication.  
>
>"How is that different from the person who made 10 or 20 
>photocopies of a paper in draft form and sent it to people for 
>feedback?" asks Mr. Burbules. "Is it just a question of numbers?"  
>
>"We're using some outmoded categories that really don't help us 
>come to grips with what's different about this particular medium," 
>he adds.  
>
>Mr. Levin also sees uses for the interactive-paper format outside of 
>scholarly publishing. "Everyone we show this to comes up with a 
>new idea for using it," he says. Among the works already on the 
>university's server are a proposal for a new instructional program 
>and notes from a faculty meeting.  
>
>"You could put a paper up in this format for a class and have 
>students respond to a paper," he says. "You could encourage a 
>class discussion structured by a particular reading."  
>
>Copyright  1999 by The Chronicle of Higher Education  
>
>
>
>
>Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
>Community and Government Relations Officer
>Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
>27 Carlton St., Suite 400
>Toronto, Ontario M5B 1L2
>e-mail: [log in to unmask]
>tel: (416) 979-2117, ext. 34
>fax: (416) 593-5607
>URL:http://www.ocufa.on.ca
>
>
Catherine F. Schryer
Dept. of English
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
N2L 3G1
(519) 885-1211 (ext 3318) 

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