What is Open Biblical Studies?
Ed @ Ralph the Sacred River asks the thoroughly non-rhetorical question "What is open-source biblical studies
?" and as the discussion already, in his comments, shows it is a good question. Personally I'd like to reword it, I've begun to want to avoid (or at least soften) the implied analogy with Open Source Software, and talk about "Open Biblical Studies" and more generally "Open Scholarship".
Here's what I
- open to as many readers as possible - by implied contrast to scholarship which is more concerned with communicating only with professionals, based in the Western world, with access to good library resources, Open Biblical Studies would publish in ways that use digital media to make the publications available to anyone who wants to access them (cheaply or ideally freely)
- open to collaboration - traditional Biblical Scholarship has largely been conducted by individuals in their studies, and only communicated to others when (nearly) polished and the ideas (more or less) firmed - Open Biblical Studies would prefer work by teams, communicating and discussing using digital media and together sharpening and polishing, while not losing individual difference
- open in its creation - traditional BS has been the preserve of "professional" scholars (and a few talented, trained and usually relatively wealthy) amateurs - Open Biblical Studies would welcome any and all (who demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills, or the ability and desire to develop them)
- scholarly, unless Open Biblical Studies submits itself to peer review (or some process that ensures similar rigorous standards) it would not be scholarship!
OK, that's briefly what I mean what do others think?