giovedì 3 ottobre 2013



Scott Pound

Welcome to the first issue of Amodern
This project enters the world at a timely moment in the history of the scholarly journal, and an important first task for us is to assess the opportunities and challenges ahead. For that reason, we are devoting the first issue of Amodern to a critical conversation about the future of the scholarly journal.
The emergence of online scholarship is a momentous development and an occasion for some serious rethinking of the scholarly knowledge system. This serious rethinking has been happening in earnest for some time, but it isn’t just about technology. It extends deep into our conceptions of the historical, social, and institutional dimensions of scholarly practice.
The scholarly knowledge system we have today originated in the seventeenth century. It sanctifies the individuality, originality, objectivity, and intellectual property of scholars working alone (or in small groups) within a knowledge system defined by the fixity, uniformity, and proprietary status of print. Now, networked IT proffers an apparatus in which information and knowledge no longer tend to be fixed and proprietary; where cultural breakthroughs occur as the result of exercises in collective intelligence, large-scale collaboration, assemblage, and continuous revision; and where authorship and authority are increasingly established communally and anonymously rather than individually.
By extending the locus of cultural production from the individual to the network, digital media challenge the existing scholarly knowledge system’s epistemic foundations: its basis in individual scholars seeking knowledge and authority pegged to qualitative assessments of originality and authorship, its dependence on an understanding of knowledge as proprietary, and its alignment of knowledge with anti-rhetorical, anti-literary discourse. Understanding the impact of these changes requires scholars to rethink their most basic assumptions. At hand are new possibilities for producing, structuring, and mobilizing knowledge via digital tools and networks. At stake are some of the core principles and practices that define scholarly practice.
What constitutes knowledge, publication, research, peer review, authorship, and authority is quickly changing. Each of these sites of epistemic disruption raises stubborn questions. How will scholars harness the capabilities of networked media and still maintain rigorous standards of scholarly literacy and authority? How will institutions of higher learning integrate new forms of scholarly productivity into their review and reward structures? What will it take for peer-reviewed online scholarship to achieve a comparable status to print forms? ( ... ) Read more

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