Talk back on schol comm issues

Two interesting scholars have recently undertaken to write major pieces of scholarship about scholarly communications issues in blog form. This means that all of us have the opportunity to comment on these works in progress, a rare opportunity to participate in cutting edge research and to make our voices heard before a work of scholarship is published. Not only are these two projects interesting because of their topics, they also represent important experiments in the kind of collaborative scholarship that the digital environment makes possible.

Georgia Harper, well-known in copyright circles for her years of work in the Counsel’s Office at the University of Texas and her educational outreach to the whole academic community, is now a Ph.D. student in Library and Information Science. She is working on a major paper on the impact of mass digitization projects on copyright law and policy. Her work should be fascinating, and we are invited to participate as she develops the paper and solicits feedback at this blog site using CommentPress software and in collaboration with the Institute for the Future of the Book.

The growing influence of the Institute for the Future of the Book in these new experiments in collaborative scholarship is evident from the fact that the other project, Siva Vaidhyanathan’s growing book on “The Googlization of Everything,” is also a project of if:book. Vaidhyanathan’s project promises to be the more synoptic and polemic of the two as he tells us why we should worry that “one company is disrupting culture, commerce and community.” Combined with Georgia’s deep knowledge and experience in law and policy, these two projects offer a rich set of opportunities to imagine the future of publishing and scholarship.