• Campers

    Rebecca Welzenbach

    • MPublishing, University of Michigan
    • Twitter: @rwelzenb

    I oversee the ongoing publication of nearly 30 electronic serials and other projects hosted and published by the University of Michigan library.

    My Posts

    fluctuating collections, repositories, context, sharing, interoperability

    Saturday, April 30th, 2011 | Rebecca Welzenbach

    ….these are a few of my favorite things

    Hey repository, infrastructure, and archives people…..is anyone interested in the creation and desstruction and recreation and reconstruction of collections?

    I’m curious about things like working across repositories. Addressing the angst and fear that archivists sometimes have when their stuff is up online and so easily pulled out of contex (and maybe dropped into new collections). Virtual repositories (which I don’t really know about). Implications of representing (or claiming to represent) a physical collection in its entirety online (ala the Parker on the Web) vs. digitization projects that represent a single object/document or a few selected items.

    Anyone else?

    Reviewing the review

    Thursday, April 28th, 2011 | Rebecca Welzenbach

    There is already a great deal of discussion about how to revamp pre-publication peer review in scholarly communication. However, lately I’ve been thinking about the other side of this coin: the post-publication (book) review, which (unlike blind reviewer comments) is a genre of publishable scholarly writing in its own right.

    I am the reviews editor for Digital Medievalist (http://www.digitalmedievalist.org/journal/). This is an open access online journal focused specifically on digital humanities research–and yet our reviews are almost exclusively of fixed products like books or electronic editions on disc.  I am often frustrated with this whole model (from the logistical–why, in 2011, am I shipping a year-old hardcover book from Michigan to Germany?–to the philosophical) Last year, we tried to make a shift to reviewing more open, web-based scholarly projects in addition to books, without much success. Many people nominated projects for review, but few stepped up to review.

    I imagine one factor is that publishing a fixed review, passing one-time judgment on a living, dynamic project, just doesn’t make much sense. (Another, I suspect, might be that DH folk prefer to help each other out than pen scathing indictments.)

    I’d like to chat with others about the function of the traditional book review, and in what ways it is still a useful genre (or not). I’d also like to strategize about how journals like Digital Medievalist can do a better job of engaging in the productive evaluation of published scholarship.