For our last question, I would like to ask you to consider the act of publication for this blog carnival. How could we best capture the interplay, the multimedia experience of blogging as a more formalized publication? What would be the best outcome for this collection of insights from archaeological bloggers?
Kris and others talk about peer-reviewing blog posts as “publications”. This is something I don’t support. Sort of. Well, I think it’s kind of a dumb idea. Which is not to say that some form of electronic open-access journal with some form of peer-review isn’t a bad idea (it’s not). Nor is some sort of data repository, not only for data but also for much of the “gray literature” that floats around in various government and private offices worldwide; we would all benefit greatly from making more data and research available.
Blogging is, I think, different. I think it’s a great way to throw out ideas, flesh out incipient research, generate comments (from peers and others) on what you’re doing, and share arguments and data. It’s even useful for putting out a few short treatises on whatever topic interests you. There’s a continuum, as there should be, from high-level peer-reviewed research down to informal discussions, where blogging (IMO) lies. Blogging can, I think, be seen as a positive aspect of one’s career even if it isn’t all long articles of pure archaeological research. It can be seen as generating ideas and getting feedback on them, and interacting with the general public who tend to be, through tax dollars going to public universities for example, supporting the work. I don’t think it needs to be elevated to peer-review status.
Of course, my other gig is slightly more formal than here. Over there, I have to write actual articles that are edited by professionals, so I won’t say all blogging is the truly informal almost-stream-of-consciousness kinda thang I practice here.