Open Access and Web 2.0 in the Academy: Changing and Exchanging Scholarship in Children’s Literature

By David Beagley.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While the role and dominance of online scholarship is now unquestioned, the place of open access publishing is still problematic, especially in the humanities. Much of the discourse about it is still publicly characterised by the political evangelism of enthusiasts or the pragmatism of library issues such as copyright and archiving. Issues about the nature of academic conversations through open access need to be explored, especially in the explosion of interactive Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs and wikis.
The Looking Glass is an online, open access, peer-reviewed, academic journal for the critical analysis of children’s literature. It has operated for 14 years, evolving from a US website, through Canadian affiliation, to its current delivery from La Trobe University in Australia. The options for its future demonstrate key issues in the nature of academic exchange in an open access, and a global, environment. These range from structural aspects such as affiliation, funding and commercial links, to professional features such as academic authority and validity. In particular, the more theoretical and less quantitative nature of humanities scholarship (such as the analysis of children’s literature) opens the question of the place of direct, personal exchange of views through interactive Web 2.0 avenues in scholarly journals.
How can scholarly journals maintain the perception of academic quality and rigour while encouraging the academic freedom of Web 2.0 conversations?

Keywords: Open Access Journals, Academic Scholarship, Children’s Literature

International Journal of the Book, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.111-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 825.770KB).

David Beagley

Lecturer in Children's Literature and Literacy, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

David Beagley lectures in children’s literature and literacy at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus in Victoria, Australia, working particularly with undergraduate Education students in defining and exploring the genres and history of children’s literature. He is also the general editor of The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children’s literature and has overseen its development from a general web page to a formal open-access journal. In this he works with several fellow academic educators in the USA and Canada, whom he has never actually met, but who operate as a team through email and similar online avenues.

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