Literature Review

Purpose: This assignment is meant to provide you with an overview of the big-picture issues in editing and publishing academic journals (and sometimes books) across disciplinary fields. It is intended to expand your breadth of the discussion towards editorial concerns in a way that will further inform the questions we ask of editors for the Cairn research survey.


(1) Go to the Gdoc labeled Scholarly Comm Journals and each of you choose ONE entry to review. (There is one extra entry. I will do whatever is left.)

(2) Briefly read through all of the content in those issues of the journal. (All are available as open-access journals or through WVU Libraries.) Make a note of the following items:

  • what are the key issues that authors write about?
  • what are the authors’ feelings/beliefs (e.g., the disciplinary values, as you can suss out) about those issues?
  • what are emerging or dying trends (can a trend die??) over your issues?
  • how do the issues raised in your reading of these journals affect editors’ and publishers’ professional lives of interacting with their publications (in all possible realms, re authors, technological infrastructures, whatever…)?
  • what seems to be unspoken — either assumed or ignored — in these issues?
  • what further questions would you add to the set of IRB questions (for either editors or authors) based on this assignment?
  • how do you think a system like Cairn might ameliorate or assist with any of the issues raised in these journal articles?

(3) Based on your reading of these issues, prepare a document (slide, Gdoc, spreadsheet, something QUICK to read) that answers these bullet point, and put it in the 602>LitReviewResults folder, filenamed with an abbreviated version of your journal name and vol/issue number.

We will not have time to review everyone’s document in full in class next week — the point is to further research what this audience to Cairn might be worried about that we haven’t already discovered from an author’s perspective, and to inform each other of these issues.

 PS: I am sorry this is kind of like a reading response 😉 In this case, we shall call it “collaborative research.”

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