Thursday, March 24, 2005

Oh Bloggeration

Following my attendance at the recent Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) I met a number of other researchers, academics and practioners interested in the field of blogging and its use as a PR tool.

I entitle this piece "Oh Bloggeration" because that's a similar phrase to the one I uttered when I found out about NewPRWiki and GlobalPRBlogweek. These sources contain a great deal of information about PR and blogging as does Philip Young's excellent blog Mediations (see links).

I met Philip at the conference, where I presented a paper concerning a case study of Nokia and Blogging. This paper will appear on this site in the next two weeks. It followed on from information I gathered through the Adrants network. I had struggled to find research papers about blogging, but I was looking in the wrong place, academic resources, rather than searching cyberspace itself.

A question about traditional academic research and publishing in cyberspace came to mind.

For academics researching dated definitions and debating long-standing theories text books and academic search tools may be relevant, but for academics writing about, researching and commenting on the issues of the day I ask - Have traditional forms of research publishing become redundant?

Is it better to be published in a journal that is controlled by an editorial team of academics who could have an agenda of their own or to make your material available for comment on a blog?

A recent discussion about the Research Assessment Exercise in the UK made me aware that cross-referencing other academics' papers lifted a researcher's ranking and so the finance his/her institution received. This "nepotism" reduces the validity of this exercise.

I propose that academics establish blogs and take comments from fellow academics in cyberspace for discussion and comment on our work. Forget about blind reviewing by peers and introduce a system that utilises the technology of the day. The 2-3 year waits for publication lead to reduced credibility and out-of-date material when publication eventuall happens.

Let's open up the debate - post our research on the web and change the current assessment system to fit today's world.


Anonymous said...

This blogging phenomenon has the potential to change the way in which we view publications of by journalists or academics which content is refereed or approved. I think as long as those who blog are significantly well informed, are an acedemic in the appropriate area or are a practitioner it is quite acceptable to use the theories and opinions they provide as sound. Blogging gives the opportunity to keep up to date with current affairs and issues in the industry but still be academically underpinned.

Adam J Smith

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