Re: from EduPage...

Timothy Mayers (tmay9225@URIACC.URI.EDU)
Wed, 26 Jun 1996 08:50:13 -0400

I've been following this debate--with interest--about the status of
electronic publication in regard to (or as opposed to) print publication.
It's my sense, though, that only in a few postings have the real issues
driving this debate come anywhere near the surface. Those issues are
economic; that is, they are issues of employment, tenure, and promotion
for those who do scholarly work in various electronic media. Many (if not
most) hiring and tenure committees do not (yet?) value electronic
"publication" (in its many forms) very highly. This discrimination against
certain varieties of publication is nothing new, of course. At most
colleges and universities, a published poem or short story means next to
nothing on somebody's CV, not to mention an op-ed piece in a local

I think I detect a subtext in some of this discussion (and I noticed this
also at C&W 12 in Logan) that goes something like this: "We are the true
visionaries, those who recognize the imminent demise of print and the
advent of the chaotic and wonderful age of on-line
reading/writing/scholarship. Anyone who does not recognize this is evil,
reactionary, or foolish (or all three). But since the
evil/reactionary/foolish ones hold most of the power, they will actively
suppress our knowledge." maybe that's a *little* overstated, but
maybe you (understood inclusively here) see what I'm getting at.

Anyway, I get the sense sometimes that a few people in this incredibly
diverse intellectual community get too hung up on the "computers" and lose
sight of the "writing." What interests me most is the fascinating,
frustrating, and slippery connections between the two.

If hiring and tenure committees would recognize E-scholarship on an equal
fotting with (some) print scholarship, many would stand to gain much, in
terms of personal and professional rewards. But nobody, right now, can
*wish* such conditions into existence. So, as many others have suggested,
I say keep working on-line, but keep at least one eye on the print
(classic) universe as well.

Sorry for the disjointed nature of this post. Is it the medium or is it
me? Or both?

Tim Mayers