will academic journals still be called journals?

'Storytelling @ Thurdays' photo (c) 2009, Zhao ! - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s recent blog post on the soon-to-be publishing platform Anvil has me wondering about the future of digital publishing, and it had me asking some questions in the comments section, as well. The article’s description of the “post-monograph” sounds an awful lot like digital storytelling to me, which as most definitions will tell you, is the use of digital tools to tell a story.

We want to move beyond ‘mono’ and begin exploring what the ‘multi-graph’—composite texts using various interactive media—would look like as viable and recognized scholarship.

I’m guessing they want to stay away from the storytelling moniker because it has that association with fiction, fairy tales, and mass-audience pulp. It’s hard to convince academics (I know from digital storytelling workshops) that the term story has broadened to include any research or report with a narrative thread, whether told in chronological order or in that psychological pattern that organizes according to importance or significance.

But maybe it would be a good idea for academics to start composing their research results as if they are telling a story. Maybe that’s yet another way to get away from the stodgy journal article that has caused more brain deaths than PowerPoint. I was told in the Comments that there is a part two coming this week, so I will be interested to hear if digital storytelling comes up–particularly because of the publisher’s association with NITLE and its well-known digital storytelling fellow, Bryan Alexander.

UPDATE 10/2/2012: The interview, “Digital Killed the Analog Star,” with Fred Moody of Anvil is up and answers some questions, but if yours is not answered, there is a live Twitterchat on Friday, 10/5 from noon-1:00, using the #anvil hashtag.

UPDATE 10/5/12: Anvil’s new site is very spiffy: http://anvilacademic.org/

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Categories: academia, open source, profession, work

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