Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pre-publication work

Mark Goodacre offers his own reflections on my previous comment about the issue of putting pre-publication ideas on a blog, and (a) is highly sceptical about journals not taking such material as articles, but (b) concludes by mentioning an intriguing untitled volume-in-the-making which he won't discuss on the blog. Others have also offered comments (Stephen C Carlson here and here, James Crossley here and here, Mike Bird, and J Archer), and I shall think on further about their comments, but I want here to try to be clearer about the form that my own reluctance takes. In other words, describe the phenomenon better.

So, my own reluctance surfaced again recently with the Johnny Cash piece mentioned in numerous posts over the summer. I tried intially to write this on-line, but my working methods don't really suit this and I only posted the opening section. Later, however, when the paper presented at the Reception of Revelation conference here in Bristol was complete, I did not put it on the blog (though I did send it to various people [including James Crossley] for comments or even their personal enjoyment [I know, weird, eh]).

This is a piece that already has an editor and a publisher. The editor is me (and my co-editor, Jorunn Okland of Sheffield University) and the publisher is Sheffield Phoenix Press. So I am not worried about journals here. But I have not asked either Jorunn or the Press how they would feel about me putting the short version on-line (the published version is fully referenced, corrected and twice as long).

I don't know why I haven't gone further with this, though I now realise that one element of this is that I don't actually reference my work fully until quite late on, preferring a kind of short-hand notation for convenience. But can it really just be about the need for a bit more work at that stage.

A second piece of 'evidence' here. In an article published last year, I used an on-line essay of David Clines on the Psalms and Honour. It was one of those pieces described as a work in progress and where the author asks you not to quote without permission. I did e-mail David about this, but confess that I find it a bit strange that you 'publish' some work on the net and then try to hold people accountable in this way. At the time I also found myself thinking, who would publish this now its been on-line. It seems unnecessary to expend the effort publishing something already available.

These are not intended to explain my reaction but just clarify what has caused that reaction in the first place. Like Mark, this will take some thought. But if blogging has a long term future in this discipline, I think it worth trying to get to the bottom of this.


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