My latest essay, “Acknowledged Goods: Cultural Studies and the Politics of Academic Journal Publishing,” is now out in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 7(1) (March 2010), pp. 3-25. In my opinion, it’s probably the single most important journal essay I’ve published to date. Here’s the abstract:
This essay explores the changing context of academic journal publishing and cultural studies’ envelopment within it. It does so by exploring five major trends affecting scholarly communication today: alienation, proliferation, consolidation, pricing, and digitization. More specifically, it investigates how recent changes in the political economy of academic journal publishing have impinged on cultural studies’ capacity to transmit the knowledge it produces, thereby dampening the field’s political potential. It also reflects on how cultural studies’ alienation from the conditions of its production has resulted in the field’s growing involvement with interests that are at odds with its political proclivities.Keywords: Cultural Studies; Journal Publishing; Copyright; Open Access; Scholarly Communication
I’m fortunate to have already had the published essay reviewed by Ben Myers and Desiree Rowe, who podcast over at The Critical Lede. You can listen to their thoughtful commentary on “Acknowledged Goods” by clicking here — and be sure to check out their other podcasts while you’re at it!
Since I’m on the topic of the politics of academic knowledge, I’d be remiss not to mention Siva Vaidhyanathan’s amazing piece from the 2009 NEA Almanac of Higher Education, which recently came to my attention courtesy of Michael Zimmer. It’s called “The Googlization of Universities.” I found Siva’s s discussion of bibliometrics — the measurement of bibliographic citations and journal impact — to be particularly intriguing. I wasn’t aware that Google’s PageRank system essentially took its cue from that particular corner of the mathematical universe. The piece also got me thinking more about the idea of “algorithmic culture,” which I’ve blogged about here from time to time and that I hope to expand upon in an essay.
Please shoot me an email if you’d like a copy of “Acknowledged Goods.” Of course, I’d be welcome any feedback you may have about the piece, either here or elsewhere.
Ted – this is a fabulous piece, a must-read for grad students, faculty & editors. I really hope you make it available through your site or institutional repository, especially since C&C/CS is a comparatively low circ journal. I post PDFs of all my articles on my blog without permission, and have never gotten flack from publishers – if they did complain, I would take down the PDF but leave the manuscript version.
I do think that scholars need to flex our muscles a bit, especially those of us with tenure and little incentive to jump through publication hoops. There are enough open access journals that there’s little reason to publish in a journal with restrictive closed access policies. And these issues need to be taught in grad school, highlighted for emerging scholars to avoid the alienation you eloquently describe.
[…] Thanks to his blog, I learned that Ted Striphas’ important, horrifying and inspiring piece on the politics of academic journal publishing–”Acknowleged Goods”–just appeared in the Journal of Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies. (And I agree with Jason Mittel, the first commenter, that he should just post the essay for people to read.) The same post also makes mention of Siva Vaidhyanathan’s “Googlization of Universities” piece. […]