2013 Modern Language Association Convention

Session 165

Beyond the PDF: Experiments in Open-Access Scholarly Publishing
Thursday, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Hampton, Sheraton
A special session

As open-access scholarly publishing matures and movements such as the Elsevier boycott continue to grow, open-access texts have begun to move beyond the simple (but crucial) principle of openness towards an ideal of interactivity. This special session will explore innovative examples of open-access scholarly publishing that showcase new types of social, interactive, mixed-media texts. Speakers will discuss examples of open-access texts that incorporate new strategies of open peer review, community-based publication, socially networked reading/writing strategies, altmetrical analytics, and open-source publishing platforms, particularly as they inform or relate to print-bound editions of the same texts.

Utilizing a format of short presentations of 5-7 minutes to ensure adequate time for discussion and
audience participation, this panel will include discussion of the following projects:

Speaker 1 (Monica McCormick, NYU) will discuss the open-access projects sponsored by MediaCommons, including In Media Res, The New Everyday, MediaCommons Press, and #Alt-Academy. Each of these projects involve explorations of “middle-state publishing” and new models of open peer-to-peer review.

Speaker 2 (Jennifer Laherty, Indiana University) will discuss The IUScholarWorks Journals Services program at Indiana University, which supports the open access archive of two review publications, The Medieval Review (TMR) and the Journal of Folklore Research Reviews (JFRR). Each of these journals mixes the use of a listserv with a repository in ways that make their archives a viable place of reader activity.

Speakers 3 (Doug Armato, University of Minnesota Press) and 4 (Matthew K. Gold, NYC College of Technology/CUNY Graduate Center) will discuss Debates in the Digital Humanities, which was published in January 2012 as a printed book and will be published in an expanded open-access edition in late 2012. The printed book incorporated web-based content and carried out a peer-to-peer review process before undergoing a more formal blind review process administered by the Press. The open-access webtext is conceived of as an ongoing project that aims to track emerging debates in the digital humanities, thus moving from a conception of open-access publication as static representation of printed work to an ongoing publishing project that moves fluidly between print and web.

Speaker 5 (Jamie Skye Bianco, University of Pittsburgh) will discuss Lateral, the new publishing platform for the Cultural Studies Association (CSA). Lateral aims are to support, leverage, and organize the capacities of those affiliated with CSA to develop critical forms of publishing that are commensurate with innovative approaches to knowledge making, political intervention, and material forms of cultural expression. Lateral takes the form of a cluster of four research threads. The initial threads converge around a consideration of knowledge formations, institutional and material location, and political intervention and implication. Rather than being organized topically or thematically, the threads provide various problematics, temperaments, tones, or dispositions toward developing work.

Speaker 6 (Katie Rawson, Emory University) will discuss Southern Spaces, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes multimedia work on space and place in the U.S. South. Southern Spaces embeds audio and video, displays photography and print material, has static and interactive maps, and works to showcase more technically sophisticated digital scholarship. The journal publishes scholars who work in media with fewer peer-reviewed publishing outlets and encourages others to expand their scholarly presentation beyond print. In addition to providing platforms for multimedia scholarship, the journal helps authors who have only worked with traditional print journals navigate new media forms.