Scholars are knowledge producers. Traditionally, that knowledge has appeared in bound volumes, printed by for-profit, third party publishers, for a very narrow audience of other academics with access to those volumes. Within this system of knowledge production, peer-review was a closed, and often very slow, process. The method for measuring the influence of scholars through “impact factor” (i.e., by counting the number of times their articles are cited by other articles) has hardly changed since it was created in the mid-20th century.
That is changing now.
Scholars completing their PhD’s today have likely never known a world without the web. At the same time, more senior academics are experimenting with crowd-sourcing, steaming video, and blogging in ways that supplement older forms of publishing research and create new kinds of peer-review.
A key component of JustPublics@365 is creating new kinds of scholarship. What might have been called “knowledge products,” we are reconceptualizing as “knowledge streams.” These knowledge streams, whether podcasts, infographics, blog posts or digital videos, are openly accessible to a broader audience, and are often designed to reach beyond the walls of the academy to wider publics. Knowledge streams available through open access on the web also offer the potential for new kinds of measurement, what some are calling “altmetrics.”
Throughout 2013, JustPublics@365 will be doing a great deal with knowledge streams, from training hybrid skilled academics to create their own podcasts, data visualizations, and videos in our Mediacamp at the CUNY J-School, to creating some of these on our own through the GC Digital Scholarship Lab, hosting a series of panel discussions with experts in the emergent discussions of open access publishing and altmetrics.