Tuesday 27 May 2008

Joe Esposito on 'Provostial Publishing'

I am grateful to Joe Esposito for alerting me to his recent post on the Publishing Frontier blog titled Provostial Publishing.

Joe's interesting post speaks to a topic that's a hobby-horse subject for me; that of provenance and authority of academic content on the Internet. Joe contrasts the [quite literally] free-for-all that is User Generated Content with "editorial publishing" based on the role of publishers and editors in selection. Then he articulates - in a way I had not personally seen before - the argument that university provosts are acting as gatekeepers to content in Institutional Repositories by selecting faculty and thus fulfilling a selection function for the institution's repository.

I can't improve on the words that Joe uses to explain the differences between these three types of publishing:

"[the provost] chooses the authors but does not choose the works. Traditional editorial publishing is where an editor chooses the work. In UGC the choice of the author is made by the author him or herself–but this is not much of a choice, as we all believe our own thoughts are worth something."

It really is worth a read...

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