All academics should stop by The Institute for the Future of the Book and read the proposal for MediaCommons written by Kathleen Fitzpatrick.
We believe, however, that the goals of scholarship, teaching, and service are deeply intertwined, and that a reimagining of the scholarly press through the affordances of contemporary network technologies will enable us not simply to build a better publishing process but also to forge better relationships among colleagues, and between the academy and the public. The move from the discrete, proprietary, market-driven press to an open access scholarly network became in our conversations both a logical way of meeting the multiple mandates that academics operate within and a necessary intervention for the academy, allowing it to forge a more inclusive community of scholars who challenge opaque forms of traditional scholarship by foregrounding process and emphasizing critical dialogue. Such dialogue will foster new scholarship that operates in modes that are collaborative, interactive, multimediated, networked, nonlinear, and multi-accented. In the process, an open access scholarly network will also build bridges with diverse non-academic communities, allowing the academy to regain its credibility with these constituencies who have come to equate scholarly critical discourse with ivory tower elitism.
With that praiseworthy goal, MediaCommons will be a collaborative community where monographs, casebooks, journals and references will be created, commented and housed.
I cannot, of course, hide my enthusiasm for such a project but I would really urge those who care about academic futures to stop by if:book, read the post, the comments and share your thoughts. Don't be alarmed by the media studies label - it will work just as well for historians. Taken along with Scott McLemee's recent post at Inside Higher Ed, Aggregate This, I'd say something new is on its way.
update: Also see: Academics Start Their Own Wikipedia For Media Studies. Thanks to Ralph Luker for the tip.
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