jump to navigation

What can be considered scholarship? November 7, 2006

Posted by McStorian in ClioWired.

On my resume, I have 2 text-based yet online projects listed.  Both projects are the culmination of a decent amount of research and a fair amount of web and graphic design.  It’s nothing that’s going to earn me a tenure-track position, but in my mind they’re publications . . . I think.  To me it doesn’t matter what the medium is, publications should be judged by who endorses them and their content.  If the AHA and Columbia University endorse a book/dissertation and post it online instead of in print, then it’s still a publication.  On the other hand, what if the same author went to a vanity press like iUniverse and published the book/dissertation – would it still be a publication?  Well, probably not.  Would Columbia publish the same e-book from their university press – probably not.  But regardless, having that endorsement brings a great deal of credibility.  The problem is deciphering whether an online publication is posted online because it’s not good enough to be in print, or if it’s purpose doesn’t lend as easily to print.  My “publications” are both.  The Founders Project, financed and endorsed by George Mason University, features an online database of those who helped found the university.  The purpose of the project was basically to enable the president of the university and others to quickly search and find out what key figures (especially those still living and still involved with the school) contributed.  The other project, Hurricane Resources, is endorsed by the Army Corps of Engineers.  It consists mainly of images and documents about Gulf coast hurricanes before Katrina and Rita.  It offers very little analysis, so it’s more like a mini-archive.  Because both of these projects have been posted and endorsed by legitimate organizations, then one could theoretically cite them without questioning the publishers ethos.  However, neither of these projects are worthy of being published in print – they are thoroughly “just ok,” but apparently good enough for the web.  So, does that mean that the web is the receptacle for everything deemed “just ok” but not good enough for print?  Obviously, some things on the web are great, but what about Columbia’s leftovers?  Because it’s not good enough for print, does that mean it’s scholarship?  Does print still hold the ultimate credibility because it must be endorsed by an organization with enough money to be choosy – whereas just about anyone can post something on the web? 



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: