Tag: publishing

  • What would a ‘social crash’ within higher education mean for the discovery function within the knowledge system

    I’ve written recently about the possibility that we may be in the early stages of seeing a ‘social crash’ within higher education, in which the social capital lodged within Twitter dissipates because the service dies (or dwindles into Myspace-esque triviality) without those networks being reproduced in another forum. This might be because they get reproduced […]

  • The tremendously efficient writing of Slavoj Žižek

    While I’m on the subject of Slavoj Žižek, I thought it was worth recording how sections of his Pandemic! 2 reproduce his Hegel in a Wired Brain (oddly combining acknowledgments he is ‘drawing’ on that book while straight forwardly copying & pasting at least one paragraph). But most of the book is seemingly reproducing posts […]

  • The first and second wave of viral publishers

    From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 281 While the new-media pioneers at BuzzFeed and Upworthy produced LOLs and cultivated trumped-up umbrage over the killing of poor Cecil, a second guard of new-media publishers set out to capture the loyalty of another psychographic swath of America whose disaffection far surpassed mere boredom. The new wave […]

  • Vice’s ‘non-traditional’ working environment

    From Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth pg 348: One abiding feature was the draconian nondisclosure and nontraditional workplace agreements staffers were required to sign before joining the company, 7 which demanded, “Individuals employed by Vice must be conscious of Vice’s non-traditional environment and comfortable with exposure to and participating in situations that may present themselves […]

  • Staying small in order to grow

    Staying small in order to grow

    I thought this was an interesting extract from Jill Abramson’s Merchants of Truth about the rise of Vice. Limiting their circulation was a deliberate strategy to facilitate its expansion in the longer term, enabling them to side step some of the pressures they would have been subject to if they had dived headfirst into growth. […]

  • A manifesto for writing and publishing differently

    My notes on Kember, S. (2016). Why publish?. Learned Publishing, 29, 348-353. This short piece is based on Sarah Kember’s inaugrial professorial lecture at Goldsmiths, its writing timed to coincide with the launch of Goldsmith’s new press. Its establishment was explicitly motivated by a sense of “the opportunities afforded by digital technologies and the new […]

  • An accessible introduction to the (post-capitalist) future of scholarly publishing – Thursday afternoon in Cambridge

    An accessible introduction to the (post-capitalist) future of scholarly publishing – Thursday afternoon in Cambridge

    If you’re anywhere near Cambridge this week, consider coming to this masterclass I’m organising: register here. What I find so inspiring about Gary Hall is the relationship between his theoretical work and his institutional interventions. He’s been a key figure in an enormous range of projects which have pushed the boundaries of scholarly publishing and helped […]

  • What are ‘recognition triggers’ in scholarly publishing?

    An interesting concept from John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture which I think has important implications for scholarly publishing. From pg 276-277: Oprah and Richard and Judy are prime examples of what I shall call ‘recognition triggers’. I use the term ‘recognition trigger’ to refer to those drivers of sales that have three characteristics. First, they […]

  • The proliferation of books

    From Merchants of Culture, by John Thompson, pg 238. In the United States: The number of new books published in the US each year prior to 1980 was probably under 50,000. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the number of new books published greatly increased, reaching nearly 200,000 by 1998. By 2004 the number had risen […]

  • Academic Celebrities and the Transformation of Publishing

    In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, he makes a number of observations about the importance of brand-name writers which could easily be applied to the growth of academic celebrities within scholarly publishing. From pg 212-214 Brand-name authors are important for two reasons: first, their sales are predictable, and second, they are repeaters. Their sales are […]

  • Bounded autonomy in the workplace

    In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, he describes what might be termed the bounded autonomy enjoyed by some editorial teams within publishing houses. From pg 128: the devolution of editorial decision-making to small editorial teams operating with a high degree of autonomy within certain financial parameters is the best way to maximize your chances of […]

  • What is ‘the literature’?

    My experience of watching the literature on asexuality spiral from a handful of papers ever through to new ones each month has left me fascinated by how quickly ‘the literature’ can become unmanageable. Within a relatively small and nascent field, it’s possible to grasp ‘the literature’ as a totality. But past a certain point, circumscribing […]

  • Call for Blog Posts: the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Sociologist

    The notion of ‘publish or perish’ has become something of a cliché. But its reality is starkly confirmed by the sheer quantity of scholarly literature produced each year, with an estimated 28,100 active scholarly peer-reviewed journals publishing around 1.8-1.9 million articles in 2012. How much of this literature is written as a contribution to knowledge and […]

  • The Vertigo of the Accelerated Academy

    From Sustainable Knowledge by Robert Frodeman, loc 1257: I feel like I am drowning in knowledge, and the idea of further production is daunting. Libraries and bookstores produce a sense of anxiety: the number of books and journals to read is overwhelming, with tens of thousands more issuing from the presses each day. Moreover, there […]

  • why are we not boycotting academia.edu?

    Via Nick Mahoney. How good does this event look? Why Are We Not Boycotting Academia.edu? Coventry University Tuesday 8th December 2015 3:00-6:00pm Ellen Terry Building room ET130  With: Janneke Adema – Chair (Coventry University, UK) Pascal Aventurier (INRA, France) Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University, US) Gary Hall (Coventry University, UK) David Parry (Saint Joseph’s University, US)  […]