I must confess. I did that lazy thing by asking on Twitter for something perhaps I could’ve found out with a little more effort (I have also been relatively lax at actually writing this blogpost about it!). However, it actually resulted in something interesting.
I had just completed a (peer) review for a journal published by Sage and was asked if I wanted to sign up for “Publons” a system that supposedly let you gain ‘recognition’ for your peer reviewing. So, I did sign up but then thought: “hang on…” and this prompted by question on Twitter:
Click through to read the replies. It’s a great sharing of knowledge and expertise around the process of peer review, with plenty of contributions from colleagues with positions as editor in various journals. For example, this from Martin Coward begins to get at some of the issues.
I won’t try to summarise, or indeed embed, all of the things that were said, please do click through for the whole exchange. I do want to, very briefly, reflect upon this longstanding concern with making peer review ‘work’. The concerns that “Publons” purports to address are real. Peer review is the life-blood of academic publishing but is assumed, rather under-valued (by publishers, some colleagues and institutions) and, it seems, the constant frustration of editorial board members. As my former colleague Prof. Martin Weller has observed this labour represents rather a lot of unrecognised and under-appreciated investment.
An attempted ‘technological fix’ is, of course, not new. There have been various attempts to think about this over the years. When I was working with Martin on ‘digital scholarship’ (see his excellent open access book) the trial of an ‘open’ peer review system for Nature was a relatively recent talking point.
It is not a novel argument but it seems to me that unless and until academics, publishers and institutions stop thinking about lots of forms of labour as a part of a perceived ‘exceptionalism’ and ‘privilege’ of academic life (which I think, if it did ever exist for a few people, is long gone) we are more-or-less doomed to rehearse this debate ad infinitum.
Via Stuart Elden.
Mapping Cyberspace was a formative introduction to ‘geography’ for me as an undergraduate digital arts student. It certainly influenced my (all-too-naive) BSc dissertation ideas… It’s great this is available, it documents so many things that seemed so vital at the time and that now appear almost like peculiar mirages.
Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin’s 2001 book Mapping Cyberspace is now available as a free download. There is also a website about the book here.
Mapping Cyberspace is a ground-breaking geographic exploration and critical reading of cyberspace, and information and communication technologies. The book:
- * provides an understanding of what cyberspace looks like and the social interactions that occur there
- * explores the impacts of cyberspace, and information and communication technologies, on cultural, political and economic relations
- * charts the spatial forms of virtual spaces
- * details empirical research and examines a wide variety of maps and spatialisations of cyberspace and the information society
has a related website at http://www.MappingCyberspace.com.
This book will be a valuable addition to the growing body of literature on cyberspace and what it means for the future.
Via Gary Hall. All of the books are available for free download. Follow links below.
We are pleased to announce the release this month of two new titles in Open Humanities Press’ Immediations series:***
Brian Massumi’s The Principle of Unrest explores the contemporary implications of an activist philosophy, pivoting on the issue of movement. Movement is understood not simply in spatial terms but as qualitative transformation: becoming, emergence, event.
Available for free download at:
Nocturnal Fabulations/Fabulations nocturnes by Érik Bordeleau, Toni Pape, Ronald Rose-Antoinette and Adam Szymanski with an Introduction by Erin Manning.
This collective, bi-lingual project is animated by a shared curiosity in the pragmatics of fabulation and its speculative gesture of bringing forth a people to come. In an encounter with Apichatpong’s cinematic dreamscape, the concepts of ecology, vitality and opacity emerge to articulate an ethos of fabulation that deframes experience, recomposes subjectivity and unfixes time.Available for free download at:
We are also pleased to announce the latest book in the Technographies series:
Steven Connor’s Dream Machines
Dream Machines is a history of imaginary machines and the ways in which machines come to be imagined. It considers seven different kinds of speculative, projected or impossible machines: machines for teleportation, dream-production, sexual pleasure and medical treatment and cure, along with ‘influencing machines’, invisibility machines and perpetual motion machines.
“This is an engaging and imaginative exploration of various forms of writing, thinking, and fantasizing about dream machines, an endlessly fertile topic probed here from just about every possible angle “¦ a major intervention into current understandings of technology, literature, and identity.”
Matthew Rubery – Queen Mary University of London
“”¦ a deeply original contribution to the history and philosophy of technology and the cultural history of the imagination “¦”Laura Salisbury – University of Exeter
Available for free download at:
With our best wishes,
Sigi, David, Gary
via Stuart Elden.
An encouraging announcement on the Radical Philosophy website that the journal will return. I’ve copied a bit below but read the whole statement here.
With its 2017 re-launch, Radical Philosophy will remain, as it has always been, a collectively edited, self-published and self-produced journal – but one with, we hope, a renewed editorial energy and a more radical, collaborative openness (if with no less philosophical rigour or critical bite). Among the things that our readers can look forward to, starting with issue 2.01, is a redesigned website, built by our new in-house engineering collective, through which we will be publishing all our content in a freely available form, as well as a redesigned print version of the journal. At the same time, from January 2018 the archive of the last forty-five years of Radical Philosophy will be made fully open with downloadable pdfs of everything that we have published since 1972.
is an online, open access journal of peer-reviewed, theoretical interventions into all aspects of media and communications. Resolutely international and interdisciplinary in scope, the editors encourage submissions that critically engage with the theoretical frameworks and concepts that tend to be taken for granted in national or disciplinary perspectives.Although the journal privileges an emphasis on theory, the editors are not only concerned with theory for theory’s sake. Rather, we are interested in how theoretically-informed and -engaged interventions can contribute to the interpretation of empirical research and critique, as well as to the deprovincialization of theoretical debate – helping us understand, rather than dismiss or describe, objects of critique, and making us reconsider the validity, efficacy and legitimacy of our own particular methodological approaches.
With that in mind, we are keen to stretch the definition of ‘media’, and to receive articles that critically debate the necessity of an emphasis on ‘theory’, or which prefer to emphasise ‘theories’ or ‘philosophy’ instead. As an open access journal, we would also like to provide a forum for debates on open access, peer-review and the future of academic publishing.
The journal is online only and open access. No fees are charged to either readers or authors. All articles are published under a Creative Commons (CC-BY) licence.