As things stand now, publications are a necessary part of the career of academics working at research universities, so much so that "publish or perish" has become an institutionalized part of our culture.
Those of us who choose to work in electronic environments must make sure that we either publish in "acceptable" venues or accept the risk that our work might not count towards hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. At the present moment, "acceptable" means the juried, peer-reviewed print journal. This is true even in the case of electronic based publications that nonetheless require peer review of submitted articles. Recently, the MLA has issued a statement that discusses the issues surrounding the work done by academic professionals and how the academy should allow credit towards tenure and promotion, but the profession still has a long way to go.
The dissertation written in hypertext may not count as much in today's job market as the dissertation printed out on paper, regardless of the relative quality of the two essays.
Nonetheless, the wide range of publishing opportunities including the ERIC database for papers concerned with pedagogical issues, web journals such as Kairos, and e-mail journals such as Postmodern Culture allow both newer voices and established scholars new ways and places to publish, and, in time, electronic forms of publications will be as respected - or at least judged on the same terms - as the print publication is now.
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Last Modified: August 2, 1996
Copyright © 1996 by Keith Dorwick