More on Indigenizing Wikipedia. . .and Open Peer Review

I feel very lucky to have my short essay on "Indigenizing Wikipedia" included in a new book-in-progress:  Web Writing: Why and How for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning. This is a collection of essays about using online writing in liberal arts education, and it was fun to write about what happened when my students wrote Wikipedia entries for contemporary Native New England authors.

The book is under contract with the University of Michigan Press, and will eventually be a "physical" book (print-on-demand, for a fee; or free, if you get it digitally). But meanwhile, the editors (a great team, led by Jack Dougherty, at Trinity College in Connecticut) are putting the whole collection up online for public review.  The publisher has commissioned four expert reviewers, in accordance with regular academic peer review, but in theory, anybody can comment.

If you've never seen this platform, PressForward, it is (IMHO) pretty exciting. It bills itself as "an experiment in sourcing, evaluating, publishing, and crediting scholarly communication from the open web." The idea is that, when you take advantage of the online environment to make your work in progress more readily available, you get good developmental feedback from readers before revising for your final version, and you make the whole peer review process more transparent.  Kathleen Fitzpatrick used the process in her brilliant book, Planned Obsolence--which is apt, because that book is all about the academy's unsustainable reliance on traditional print publishing and anonymous scholarly review.

So if you have a minute, please consider commenting!  Or, consider having your students read and comment, as an innovative writing assignment.  The essays will be available between September 15 and October 30.   See the current roster of essays and learn more about the here.

Siobhan Senier
Associate Professor, English at University of New Hampshire
Editor, Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England (U of Nebraska P, 2014).

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