Tuesday, August 14, 2007
  Reviews of Amos: Hypertext Bible Commentary
At last there are a number of reviews available of my Amos: Hypertext Bible Commentary, so I have begun collecting extracts and (where permission is given) the whole of short reviews on a reviews page on the project site. Naturally the extracts are chosen to represent the favourable bits ;-) though since usually this is either the introduction or conclusion this does not seem unfair!

I intend when I have time to reflect (some months away probably - maybe at the start of my sabbatical :) to respond to some of the negative comments and the suggestions reviewers have made. Some of these should lead to significant improvements in the conception of future volumes. That was one reason for sending out review copies of a work that was already available online, to get the academic "system" involved in improving the concept.

So, if you are a reviewer and I have not yet emailed you, expect some contact after the end of this year.

By the way the reviews I am currently aware of are:
  • R.E. Clements in John Day (ed.), Society for Old Testament Study Book List 2007, London: Sage, 2007, 70.
  • Joan Ferrer, Butlletí de l’Associació Bíblica de Catalunya 93: Sept 2006, 56.
  • Knut Holter, BOTSA Electronic Forum [] (2006).
  • James R. Linville, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 69, 2007, 316-318.
  • Ehud Ben Zvi, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2007).
  • International Review of Biblical Studies 52, 2005-2006, 162.
If you know of reviews that I have not listed please let me know!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007
  Now, why is this NEWS?
Academic publishing is in crisis. In particular the monograph is problematic. The "publish or perish" system combined with an increase in the numbers of students and therefore teachers means that there are an explosion of monographs "wanting" to see the light of day. Costs have gone up. Library budgets cannot keep pace. Yada, yada, yada....

AKMA's post "Rice Univ. Press Has A Clue" points to an Inside Higher Ed article "New Model for University Presses". That succinctly outlines the problem from an academic's perspective: editors freely admit that they routinely review submissions that deserve to be books, but that can’t be, for financial reasons.
The article refers to the Ithaca report “University Publishing in a Digital Age,” which has been sitting on my desktop for a few days gathering till I can find time to read it and review it here.

Basically Rice University Press is trying a "new model" Long Tail Press which will publish (electronically with print on demand for tyhose who demand it!) works that have passed the required peer review processes but cannot be "published" for economic reasons.

Now, why is this NEWS? I suppose because no one else had the courage to try it.

And, how will a Long Tail book, once PODed, be different from a "proper" monograph? Ah, yes money, real scholarship makes a profit, only second rate scholarship is true, clever, accurate, new but fails to make a profit!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007
  CommentPress targeted commenting for longer online documents

Ever since I saw the The Holy of Holies: On the Constituents of Emptiness experimental e-text I have wanted to get the chance to play with the commenting system that if:book used for that. I can see loads of possibilities for a longer more reflective type of blog post that allows readers to comment on particular steps in the argument. Which in turn could allow the author to adapt the text in a second iteration...

Today (well the 25th, but they are based in the USA which is nearly a day "behind" the real world ;-) if:book released CommentPress as a Wordpress plugin.

So... Maybe we could even use this to allow more public interaction and commenting on (at least some of) the papers for the "Media and Religious Authority" colloquium... all I need is someone to help me set up a Wordpress site with CommentPress installed and a nice theme...

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