User Tools

Site Tools


Notes on 'Beyond Open Access'

date: 2013-07-03 18:07

This is a very nice piece on the theory of open access, and in relation to scholarly communication, in particular:

Tatum, C., & Jankowski, N. W. (2013). Beyond open access: A framework for openness in scholarly communication. In P. Wouters, A. Beaulieu, A. Scharnhorst, & S. Wyatt (Eds.), Virtual Knowledge: Experimenting in the Humanities and the Social Sciences (pp. 183–218). Cambridge: MIT Press.

Some notes:

On the three elements used to analyze scholarly openness, but also on any aspect of the interaction of these (important theoretical point):

As such, analytical focus is aimed at interaction among human agency, social structure in the form of situated practices, and material structure in the form of digital media. Following Orlikowski, we view technology as “both an enabler of, and a constraint on, human action” (Orlikowski 1992, 25) (p. 194).

At the end of the chapter, the authors write:

The openness framework developed in this chapter provides an analytical lens for developing a better understanding of informal communication practice. Introduction of this framework is intended to facilitate future development of a theory of openness in scholarly communication, one that will address new questions informed by emerging scholarly practices (p. 214).

This chapter fulfills its promise, as stated in the above passage. I will be able to use the framework by integrating it within the research I started in my dissertation.

Something I've never fully considered as a problem with openness. In some open access journals, hyperlinking is employed within the text (i.e., for within text navigation) and is not often used to link to other documents on the web (e.g., those journals that do not employ the use of DOI linking). The problem, as Tatum and Jankowski note, is that,

This example shows how publishers selectively employ technological affordances in ways that limit the degree of openness (p. 202).

On within article prioritization — this has important implications for reading (here I'm thinking of Walter Ong 1), and also will impact perceptions of information — as atomic rather than interrelated.

The new format directs reader attention to specific components of an article rather than an all-encompassing presentation or argument […. and] away from the traditional linear structure of the scholarly journal article to an almost postmodern conception of the article emphasizing visual, multiple modes of presentation and online dynamic updating (p. 203).

An important note on the role of blogs (and other genres) as informal uses of scholarly communication:

Being the first person to present findings or to make particular claims on a blog does not formally register intellectual priority, as would be the case in a journal publication, but it does provide a sounding board among peers (p. 208).

This has ramifications for various metrics and for those who are interested in using blogs for more mainstream scholarly communication. However, if a scholarly community decided that blogs could be used to formally register intellectual priority, then blogs can be used in such a way. But a blog operated by a person, without *checks and balances* so to speak, is problematic. Previous entries can be edited so that intellectual priority can be claimed. This could be problematic. Surely, sites such as the Wayback Machine 2) might help, but I still think it could be a substantial issue, even if rare.

In regards to books and open peer review — this certainly has implications for authorship as well:

If the open peer review process is used exclusively in preparation of the final version, it isn't clear what sort of academic certification and recognition the primary author and the publisher can grant (p. 213).

So far, based on the references used in this chapter, I should read the following works:

Orlikowski, Wanda. 1992. The duality of technology: Rethinking the concept of technology in organizations. Organization Science 3(3): 398–427. URL:

Whitley, Richard. 2000. The Intellectual and Social Organization of the Sciences, second edition. Oxford University Press.

Other news: I'm happy to announce that the program committee of the Association for Information Science & Technology 3) accepted our panel presentation for the upcoming 2013 conference in Montreal. The title of the panel is *High-Stakes Information: Deciding What Constitutes Quality in Our Products of Communication*. My role in the panel will be to present some on-going research on peer review, with respect to PeerJ 4), and to raise questions about peer review in general.

The other two panelists and their parts include: Dr. John Budd will talk about what scholars take to be criteria for quality of information within scholarly literature. Dr. Heather Moulaison 5) will speak to issues with metadata standards and describing information.

This is my first panel and I'm looking forward to the discussion it generates. I have quite a few questions to raise.

  • categories:
    • open access
    • scholarly communication
    • lit review
blog/notes-on-beyond-open-access.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/06 17:10 by seanburns