Re: status of electronic journals

Nick Carbone (nickc@MARLBORO.EDU)
Tue, 25 Jun 1996 14:22:49 -0400

A recent PBS special on computers and the nerds who are now millionaires
(or billionaires if you consider billy gate gruff) closed with the
observation that it takes 30 years for a new technology to really take
hold. That means another ten before we really know what effect all this
computerization will have on society. Academics, being slower than most
institutions to change, is in many disciplines 15 years behind the twenty
years others have progressed. It'll take a while before e-journals are
easily read, easily understoon as a concept, easily accessed, easily
interfaced with so that writing on the margins has a comparable mode in
electronic realms. Though one of the ironies of that is the goal of not
pushing readers to the margins inherent in so many of the projects--and
some of the software (StorySpace comes to mind)--emerging in these forums.

Then too there's the observation made by the Four Historians of the
Apocalypse (to take a hard-Boyled view) of Selfe, Moran, LeBlanc, and
Hawisher that recently members of the C&W community have gotten far
enough along in the field of composition to have some influence--most
recently Faigley's and Selfe's high-honchoing of CCCC. If more Lunsford
don't publish online, so be it. In time many of you reading this will be
of Lunsfordian stature--and by virture of that, time and continued
scholarship and teaching, people will come to online journals.

As we work in both print and pixels, if we cite the pixels in the print,
then attention will be paid. When someof us are up for tenure, if that
still exists down the line, and we point to how often our e-journal work
has been cited, that'll build validity.

Cite it and they will come. And if they don't, they'll retire and
graduate students we have taught will come instead.

Nick Carbone, Writing Instructor
Marlboro College
Marlboro, VT 05344