LoggingOn So Ya Wanna Be An Editorial Boarder?  by Nick Carbone

Structure and Possibility

To help structure the fluidity we need, Greg Siering has written a good description of the journal's Hypertext Links Policy. The policy creates a consistent sensibility, a rhetoric--or rationale, if you prefer--of linking that can be followed from piece to piece, issue to issue, while at the same time allowing for both authors' needs and an ever changing technology. In addition to reviewing the Links Policy, editorial board members should also consult Greg's LoggingOn contribution from Issue 1.3, "Lend Me Your Compass, Cap!: Towards Informed Linking". In that webtext you'll find a set of questions to ask about links that can be--should be!--sent to contributors.

Fluidity begets possibility. Print journals, after some five hundred years of Gutenberg instantiation, bequeath to their editors models of scholarly writing judged by relatively stable standards. Length, for example,though it varies from journal to journal, is usually, within a given journal a fixed standard. Also fixed are choices in font, cover design, layout, and citation styles. The writing usually contains linear arguments, dependent on a sequential linkage of given and new information, a march from context, to premise, to analysis and argument, to conclusion.

There's value in that--we've all benefitted from it and still write this way; we think this way. But as Wen Stephenson notes in his critique of Sven Birkerts's The Gutenberg Elegies, we are part of "a growing number of people with a foot in both the worlds of traditional literary publishing and the emerging online media." Indeed teachers and librarians, as Mary Been's annotated list of guides to evaluating WWW resources shows, are fast developing and sharing principles for judging the value of WWW-based information, scholarship, and knowledge.

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