Re: from EduPage...

Mark Gellis (mgellis@SILVER.SDSMT.EDU)
Mon, 24 Jun 1996 09:38:49 -0600

Very interesting points.

In theory, of course, is the threat of dishonesty any different with
print journals? I mean, how can we be sure that Dr. Jones really wrote
what he claims he wrote? Is there a printed copy? A handwritten version?
Notes? All this "proof" could be faked if someone was determined enough
to try to take credit for someone else's work. And as for brilliant
points posted in e-mail or listservs that one takes credit for? How is
this different than claiming what someone else said in a conversation?

I recall a story about Oscar Wilde. He had just heard some witty remark
and said to a friend, "I wish I had said that." His friend replied, "You
will, Oscar, you will." At least, I think it's about Oscar Wilde. :)

I mention this to provide ammunition for those dealing with more
conversative colleagues who bring up the electronic honesty point.
Ultimately, no communication technology can be more or less "honest" than
any other's the people who are or are not honest. ;)

As for the power issue, this is certainly a possibility. I would
recommend the following...

1) Get our more conservative colleagues to see the advantages, possibly by
inviting them to get involved, offered by electronic publishing that lets
them control so much more of what they say and how it is read (via the
miracle of electronic desktop publishing). In fact, if it is a peer-
reviewed electronic journal, invite them to do the peer reviewing! How
could they possibly complain about honesty or integrity if they are
themselves some of the judges. ;)

2) We can also use a little "blackmail." If any of them would be willing,
why not get some of the really big names in one of the more conservative
areas of English studies, to publish "e-version only" articles...for
anyone in that field, an article by such a big name is a must, and it
would force them to use the technology to get a copy. It would also be a
strong argument in forcing them to accept e-publishing (via the
credibility of the big name...if they accept it, it must be okay).

3) We could always compromise. For subscribers and for libraries, a
printed archive edition of an e-journal, would be available. Perhaps it
is the power (and finality) of a physical printed text that is making the
difference. Fine. It would be the same texts, although people would miss
out on any hyperlinks (marked on the printed copy as such, of course, to
rub it in) and would get it months later than anyone reading the
e-version. My guess is that it can't cost more than $10.00/year per copy
of the journal if we just print it up on a nice high quality laser printer
and have it bound at the local copy shop. Charge $50.00/year (to cover
postage, etc.) and make a little profit. You can use it buy a bigger hard
drive or a better video card. ;)

On Mon, 24 Jun 1996, Suzanne Cherry wrote: