"What do I mean by open source scholarship? [...] It is scholarship that is not formally peer reviewed, it is not copyrighted, it is open to changes and debate. It is dynamic not static, and it is in this open, changing state that it finds academic integrity."The quibble I have with this is that though the phrase "it is not formally peer reviewed", is fine in itself - what really matters is quality assurance rather than a particular system of QA, however I am not convinced that any other system has yet been demonstrated that works better than peer review for the sort of processes/projects we have been diswcussing. Paul himself seems somewhat to share my problem, for he writes of "three issues":
(1) the desire and need for professional recognition,
(2) the integrity of scholarship, and
(3) the necessity of a formal peer-review process.
The Wikipedia has a peer-review process that works by a simple majority (it also employs moderators to cull abusive spam), likewise the Urban Dictionary. The ease of editing together with mass combined knowledge produces an acceptable result.My reaction to the maturing Wikipedia is much the same as what it was a few years back when I first saw it. "C'est magnifique mais ce n'est pas la science!" For obvious reasons I check out such a work by searching for "Amos". Wikipedia's short article includes several errors or dubious statements. It states that Amos was:
'There are many degrees and kinds of wider and easier access to this literature. By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.'
Paul (see below) also has an interesting short piece asking "Why is open source scholarship so threatening?" It's a good question - after all, scholars are surely in the business of developing new ideas. And all of us like Newton, surely recognise that :
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.Isaac Newton, Letter to Robert Hooke, February 5, 1675
Anyone who wishes to help, either with a little or a lot, needs simply to have some working knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.
I think a form of this is essential to making use of the myriad of published biblical works on the net. Link pages are fine but they are time consuming and difficult to sort through for a specific topic. Also, of course this has an advantage to something like Google search as it is 'peer-reviewed', the pages have to meet at least some requirements to be included in the search, further Google does not index everything on the web.
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