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Monday, December 12, 2011

Annotum

Annotum My two friends called Martin have been playing with WordPress. Specifically, they've been experimenting with the Annotum WordPress theme, a.k.a. Journal-In-A-Box. Martin Fenner wrote a nice explanatory post, and hours later, Martin Weller launched his edtech metajournal.

My thoughts have been on the published evidence base recently. As MartinW points out the easy way to collate this information is to use an existing aggregator. I'd probably use a CiteULike tag, such as, for example, my Journal of Experimental Lols, but Scoop.it, Storify, or any of the other burgeoning curation services could do the job. But (subject matter aside), none of these look much like a traditional journal. Wrap Annotum in a custom URL ("Leicester Bioscience Education") and you've got something that walks like a journal and quacks like a journal.

But do I really want another editorial role? I'm currently on the editorial boards of two journals, and to be honest, I don't really get any institutional credit for that (intellectual rewards are another thing). Any idiot can be a journal editor (remember Medical Hypotheses?), but being a good journal editor is a lot of work. That wouldn't be a problem if I thought that such a metajournal would serve the purpose (custom evidence base) that I need. But if it's not published in Nature, does anyone care, and is it worth the extra work over a simple aggregator?



10 comments:

  1. Ah, but it takes a special idiot to be a meta journal editor.
    I don't know if it adds anything, but I like the possibilities, eg special editions around whatever we like.

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  2. But aren't you just making the problems of abundance worse?

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  3. No, I don't think so - I think this is part of filtering. Here is my collection of interesting papers. If you trust me (and who wouldn't?) then it means you have another trusted filter.
    And we all contribute to abundance - this blog post, this comment, that blip - it's all abundance. My abundance is nice abundance though.
    The key thing for me is that it highlights the benefits of openness again - you can do generative things with research that you can't do with closed systems.

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  4. Fair enough, so persuade me that lot-of-work Anotum is better than less-work-aggregators, e.g. Scoop.it. I can see that branding the output is one potential "benefit" - anything else?

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  5. I think "branding" (ugh!! when I hear that word, I generally reach for my Browning) the product is VERY important, sadly. Being a recognised idiot is more important than information being free, out there in Academicspace.

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  7. So is the logical extension of that that we all have our own personal journals? Isn't that what we used to do in the 18th Century?

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  8. Well - yes! We are here at the dawn of the New Academic Publishing revolution, and a thousand flowers are blooming.

    To be mostly mown flat eventually, or die of neglect - but if we don't do it, then we only have ourselves to blame.

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  9. Are you calling David Horrobin an idiot?

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