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Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s Lecture

I also enjoyed Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s lecture on the future of scholarship and the challenges ahead.  Not only is she a very passionate lecturer, she offered varying perceptions and trials ahead.  Traditional peer review is an archaic model, that being said, most of academia remains fundamentally in that realm.  The adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, comes to mind, but this system is broken.  There are gatekeepers in editorial staff and I would assume lots of who knows who in different areas of knowledge.  Although, I think there will still be gatekeepers and a leaning towards an elitist group when (if ever) scholarship shifts over to digital world.  If I could image digital scholarship “reviews” I would assume that it would draw on a larger population than that of the closed doors of established journals and other publications.  We all are under the assumption that if if gets past the gatekeepers, the work is solid and sound, supported and valid.  Post Peer review is just if not more important than the initial screening review.  I found this article, regarding letters to the Editor, an important part of the post peer review, discusses misleading information. 

When input emanates from all sides, not just the top, I would assume one would yield more well-rounded results and more transparency.  Overall this shift needs a revolution to occur, if there are going to be comprehensive changes in this type of review that produces tenure or establishes experts in fields.  In this article from 2012, discusses the hopeful future of online scholarship, with the established journal which has the following tenets in the “How it works section.” 

Authors submit manuscript to Peerage of Science, before submitting to any journal. Submitting Author decides the deadlines for the four stages [timed stages of review] of the process, which are thereafter automatically enforced.  Once submitted, any qualified* non-affiliated** Peer can engage to review the manuscript. (Peerage of Science, Online Journal  http://www.peerageofscience.org)

That model seems like a promising start.

I think the first steps of establishing scholarship that will force the change the academia mindset, is digital tools in the curriculums of schools at all levels.  This background will be the scaffolding that the digital scholars and traditional scholars will lean on for support and continue to build upon.  If digital scholarship only establishes itself in higher education as it seems to be doing at the moment, this shift needs to proselytize by the next generation of scholars not yet in higher education, the ones who are in grade school now.