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 The 2-3 year waits for publication lead to reduced credibility and out-of-date material when publication eventuall happens.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.