Best of Both Worlds: Now Online and In Print
Of late, the academy has been wrestling with a number of publication trends, including the increasing prevalence of online writing. Many question whether blogging counts for tenure. Others debate the cachet of online journals.
An exciting development has emerged, one that serves as a bridge between the past and the present: the publication of shorter works online that later appear in print. For instance, the Washington University Law Review has just announced that in the fall, it will begin publishing concise scholarly pieces (approximately 2,500 words) online followed by publication in the print edition. Authors get the benefit of the law review’s excellent editorial feedback (I speak from experience) and a chance to write scholarly commentary that can find an audience quickly (as compared to the print process).
This allows scholars to enjoy the “best of both worlds.” Academics get the benefits of blogging (quick access to an interested audience) yet with more space to develop their ideas. They also enjoy publishing in an esteemed law review, which will generate more readers. It may even demonstrate that such writing has a place in a junior academic’s scholarly portfolio. Kudos–this is a valuable development for academic discourse.