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Publishing Ada: A Retrospective Look at the First Three Years of an Open Peer Review Multi-modal Journal


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Presentation by: Karen Estlund, Sarah Hamid, and Bryce Peake

At the CNI spring 2012 meeting, we presented on a new collaborative journal publishing project from The Fembot Collective and the University of Oregon (UO) Libraries, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology. The Fembot Collective is a collaborative of feminist media scholars, producers, and artists engaged with the intersection of new media and technology and scholarly communication. One aspiration of this project was to reclaim the means of scholarly production through a community-centered model of open peer review and multi-modal publication processes. As a work in progress, Ada has continuously evolved to meet the needs of diverse authors, readers, and commentators. In the face of changing scholarly communication practices, the Fembot and library collaboration offers an alternative system of open-access publication and review that recaptures academic production structures in favor of cross-disciplinary, multi-modal, collaborative knowledge. Our community standards state that “responding is political work” emphasizing a space that demands constant redirection and active participation by its collaborators in order to generate new expressions of feminist open access scholarship over time. Now in our third year of publication and working on our ninth issue, we will review lessons learned about audience, production, infrastructure, design and assessment. We will discuss the ways in which our intervention has been transformed by, while also transforming, discussions about participatory media, open and collaborative peer review, production costs, and the intersections of technical and intellectual labor.

Published in: Education

Publishing Ada: A Retrospective Look at the First Three Years of an Open Peer Review Multi-modal Journal

  1. 1. Publishing Ada A Retrospective Look at the First Three Years of an Open Peer Review Multi-modal Journal Karen Estlund, Sarah Hamid, Bryce Peake,
  2. 2. Outline • Review Goals from 2011/12 - Karen • What we learned: Open Access, open peer review, multimodal • Production Lessons - Sarah • Assessment - Bryce • Cost / labor estimates - Karen
  3. 3. The Fembot Collective & Ada
  4. 4. Infrastructure & Hosting Marrero, J. F. (2011 July 3), CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
  5. 5. Open Access -
  6. 6. Multi-level Peer Review Accepted for Publication Suggestions for Alternative Publication Suggestions for Resubmission Not Accepted for Publication
  7. 7. Collective Peer Review
  8. 8. Multi-modal & Interactive Zylinska, J. (2014) iEarth. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No.5. doi:10.7264/N36W98CFRuberg, B., (2015) Curating with a Click: The Art That Participatory Media Leaves Behind. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No.7. doi:10.7264/N3PR7T8X
  9. 9. Questions of Indexing
  10. 10. Production Process Sarah Hamid
  11. 11. Inter-personal Challenges ● Demands of production in an era of smartphones. ● Coordinating meetings. ● Screen communication.
  12. 12. Inter-personal Successes ● Collaboration & spanning international time zones. ● Google-docs & forms. ● Emphasis on feminist production.
  13. 13. Personal-Medial Challenges ● Author edits: ○ Edits vs. feedback. ○ Digital reading habits. ● Comment press & coaching OPR.
  14. 14. Personal-Medial Successes ● Multimodal collaboration. ● Social media. ● OPR access for junior scholars.
  15. 15. Media-Infrastructural Challenges ● Lack of control over infrastructure; ease of use vs. inconvenience of use.
  16. 16. Media-Infrastructural Successes ● Easy-access, easy-share. ● Last minute edits.
  17. 17. Assessment Bryce Peake
  18. 18. Some Metrics
  19. 19. Metric-driven writing + building ● web is set up for articles about the web to succeed ○ 94k inbound links, 19k were originally pinged by our articles.
  20. 20. Metric-driven writing + building ● People who show up not for a specific article are going to issues, but not in ‘lead article’ order ○ We now randomize article order on front page.
  21. 21. Processual Assessments ● Special Issue Editor ○ 1 special issue a year, proposed 2-3 years in advance ○ 8 month turn around from end of cfp to production ○ guided by process document built by webmistress at acceptance of SI. ○ Shifting from ‘flexible’ to ‘set’
  22. 22. Processual Assessments ● Author perspective ○ Easy submission to author ○ Peer review is time intensive, requires responses during peer review ■ “There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with the conversation. If I didn’t have other things to do (other articles to write/submit) then maybe I could be active in the peer review process. It’s just unreasonable to expect academics to put that work into review in the current job climate.” ○ Process is “fast,” but not rapid like news/editorial/ blogging norms.
  23. 23. Processual Assessments ● Production perspective ○ Team labor - SI Editor, Ada Editors, DSC, Webmistress ○ Review - Invite Expert Reviewers - Format and Posting - Send Formatted, Post-Review Version to Editors, Editors Summarize Comments + Send to Author - Copy Edit Revised Version - Post to Ada - Advertise - Analytics Follow-ups (6mo, yearly)
  24. 24. Processual Assessments ● Peer Review Perspective ● “I like that it’s mentorship focused. I get to ask myself ‘how can I help make this piece publishable,’ rather than acting as some kind of gatekeeper for a competition-driven scarcity that is traditional journals.” ● “Anonymity is the bane of peer review. I’ve gotten reviews that are insulting. Like this recent one from ______ “Impaling himself on the pole arm of Marxist feminism, the author mistakes “gendered classed” implications for “gendered classed” intentions. Removing the gender dimensions of the analysis, we have the same old, reductive Marxist understanding of telecommunications infrastructure.’ Thanks, that’s absolutely helpful for understanding why you don’t like it. What’s scholarly about this review, though?!”
  25. 25. Personnel Successes ● Graduate Students ○ Chelsea Bullock (early proj. manager) - Marion Brittain Postdoc Fellow @ Georgia Institute of Technology ○ Mél Hogan (first Fembot Advisory Board member) - Asst. Prof. of Media Studies, Illinois Institute of Tech ○ Brian Reece (DSC graduate student) - Assoc. Dir. for Assessment + Communication, Toppel Career Center @ University of Miami ○ Bryce Peake (first Webmistress) - Intel fellowship, Asst. Prof. of Media + Communication Studies @ University of Maryland Baltimore County
  26. 26. Personnel Successes ● Faculty ○ Carol Stabile - ACLS ○ Radhika Gajjala - Fulbright Fellow, Norway
  27. 27. Costs Infrastructure • Web Hosting •WordPress MultiSite w/CommentPress •URLs •Email •FTP • Back-up • Spam Blocker • Google Drive / Dropbox • EZID for DOIs • Archive-It! • Preservation Storage Production Labor • GTF • Designer • Manager • Copy Editing • System Updates • CSS Modifications • Interactive Development
  28. 28. Review Labor
  29. 29. Sponsors