Comparing two publication channels – academic journals and blogs

With blogs, comments are usually (but not always) invited and open, but may be moderated by the blog owner who may choose to reject comments e.g. spam comments.  The blog owner has quite a few powers at his/her discretion moderation, deletion, opening/closing comments. You could say they are their own editor – as they make the decision on publication of post and comments.  Some bloggers (like Seb Schmoller at Fortnightly Mailing ) invite guest contributions that they then edit before publication. So power relations are exercised in both blogs and journals in relation to what is published and how, and in both cases there may be room for more research into how the dimensions of power are operationalised.

dissemination of research

At Research in Learning Technology, we are keen to explore the role of social and other media in disseminating the research articles we publish in our newly Open Access journal.  I have blogged about this here and here .  The joy of Open Access is that every article has a clickable link so we can safely tweet links to articles knowing that all readers can open the article and read some or all of it as they wish. In Actor Network Theory terms, we hope to grow our network of human (readers, authors, etc.) and non-human (articles, web sites, tweets, blog posts, etc.) actants.  And if you wish to read more about ANT you can check this article or this one or this one.


It will be really interesting to see what the literature throws up on journals and blogs as publication channels, and I would also be very grateful for any comments and suggestions that you have to make.  Clearly the openness of processes in writing and publication is worthy of question and shifts in practices should be observed and evaluated to achieve potential benefits of digital publication for readers, authors and others.  Clearly there are cases when openness can help to emancipate but I can’t help but wonder if slavish openness can also have the potential to reinforce existing power differences and may even aid discrimination if not handled carefully.


4 thoughts on “Comparing two publication channels – academic journals and blogs

  1. Pingback: Über das wissenschaftliche Denken und den Austausch… « juergenalbers

  2. By the same token, academic writing can play a role in development of blogs. It all depends where the focus of one’s attention happens to be at the time.
    Blogs are as widely differentiated as books in their content. Some are presented in a scholarly way, and to the appropriate readership. However, i think that even those which are a chronicle of ordinary domestic life would benefit from more attention to language skills!

  3. Pingback: Comparing two publication channels – academic journals and blogs | Daily Nuggets |

  4. Audience counts in both realms. I tend to think of blogs/journals as opposite ends of a spectrum with many points in between. Categories / intended audience are another way to compare. Some categories do not have journal counterparts. Most, however, do have counterparts in some form of hard copy publication. If we don’t read the hard copy versions, chances are we won’t be interested in the blog iterations either.

    In “serious” areas, ~ academic, education, specific disciplines ~ the ends of the spectrum often share more with one another than with other categories of their own kind.

    Some serious blogs are delights to read. Others are presented in such a way as to drive off all but the most determined academic readers. On the other, maintaining a blog for an academic advocacy group, I am continually plagued by posts from published academics who can’t bother to proof read before clicking the publish button.

Comments are closed.