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i definitely like this idea, and as you say it is a really good example of the kinds of possibilities that are opened up through open access (on the very day that I post something highlighting how open you can be with closed content! http://wp.me/pJwaH-4z

i wonder if i got something picked up by your metajournal would i be able to claim it as two REFable outputs? :-p

Carl Morris

Both your WordPress questions require little hacks as I see you're running wordpress.com.

To get rid of the author you could edit the CSS to display:none for author. An alternative would be to create another user on the blog with a generic name and use that to login and blog instead.

As you know a blog doesn't have issues/editions, only posts. Another way to simulate this would be to have issue tags. Then use the same tag for all posts in an issue. The string "Volume 1 Issue 1 – December 2011" could be a tag. The advantage would be that it's easier to go from an article to its issue. And no need to create pages.

Nice idea. Hey, you could use Newspaper Club to print it and distribute it at conferences! Surprisingly cheap. With added context.

Nick Freear

You've achieved a lot here. And, I'm intrigued to look behind the scenes at Annotum.

I've recently become interested in Paper.li Scoop.it and so on. However, I take your point about context - a Scoop.it meta-journal would be "on the shelf" next to lifestyle, sports and whatever magazines. I don't know what that would do to the circulation, but it may not be good for its scholarly reputation.

Doug Belshaw

Great stuff, Martin. I'm definitely in if you need an additional editor. :-)

Chris Lott

I like it. Looks like a rich, thought-out form in the vein of the first things called blogs. I couldn't care less about how "scholarly" it appears to move these things into their own little channel; I'll take them in any of the other contexts you mention (in fact, I'd prefer it did so I don't have Yet Another Place to browse), but I can understand why moving such things out of your main blog stream would appeal to some people.

Seems to me this is part of the fragmentation, or not, of one's self. The audience one appeals to by going this separated route will not wholly overlap with your normal readers. For me, that process of fragmentation causes other headaches that I take very personally, even even resent: why should I cater to people who want some kind of formalized, deodorized version of me, when it is the me (and the you) that makes it worth anything in the first place? Or, why should I care about people who care about such things?


@Nick - no, definitely doesn't count as two REF pubs! But it might help with the whole impact thing
@Carl - ta for the tips. It would be a great irony if we started printing meta journals to replace online only journals, which had replaced print journals...
@Doug -and thank you for the annotum tip. May come back to you on the editorship
@Chris - so, was a 'don't' missing from your first sentence? ;) I take all your points and I love blogs over all. But I also think this stuff costs little so if repackaging it works better - for example, it may be hard to believe, but there are people who don't read this blog, but might be searching for journals in ed tech and find it. I must admit, I'm not sure, maybe there is no difference, but I like this new life for existing content possibility.


Thanks Martin.
If you need something count on me, but for now I think I will create one in pt ;)


Hi Paulo, I won't understand it if it's Portugese, but I'd like to see it if you do create one. And any useful tips you pick up, let me know.


My initial thoughts here: http://scienceoftheinvisible.blogspot.com/2011/12/annotum.html
It's quite possible I may rethink this in future if I found a more appropriate use, but I think that would be more likely to be publishing original material rather than aggregation.

Scott Leslie

Martin, you are right about "context matters" - I'm just not sure that the context of this itself being a "journal" matters. To whom? The things you are republishing are, by their very nature, already vetted and part of the formal academic system. So from the author's perspective, it's not really adding any more incentive to them - they already published the work, got the credit. From the end users perspective, are academics more likely to recognize the credibility of a meta-journal if it looks journal-like? Maybe. It just seems to be re-enforcing a boundary that has more downsides than ups - people who only grant respectability to formal journals are already likely to do so to the journals you acknowledge through republication, and more formality's not likely to sway people who don't already do so.

Which is not to say that the idea of curation and filtering itself is a bad one. But I think you touch on the critical aspect in your last few paragraphs regarding interdisciplinarity and mashups - the potentials that openness presents is in my mind best met with a format/technology that looks forward to permeability and the contamination of formerly pure categories (mashups and all the informal, improper tools that support them), and not backwards to the indivisibility of disciplines and knowledge (journals, and all the read-only formality they imply.)

Not meaning to be harsh. And to bring it back to the example at hand, if you are going to stick with this aproach/technology, then some small additions I would suggest would be to use either categories or tags to make the author and journal names sources of data and not simply text; e.g. it would be useful after you've done 10 meta-issues to be able to see with a click all of the articles from IRRODL that were published (and indeed, be useful as additional context to link to ALL of the sources you are scanning in some sort of master list.) I think what you currently have listed as "Author" (e.g. mweller) is perhaps better renamed as "Reviewer".

Anyways, good luck, be interested to see how this plays out.


Hi Scott - I wouldn't disagree with much of what you've said. Certainly I think you may have a point about audience: those who care about journals won't look at this and those that don't won't need it. But I am still surprised at how much journal articles mean to a lot of people, and so I find them an interesting form of content to experiment with. The good thing is it doesn't cost anything (apart from a bit of my time) to do it. And it's a good way to keep up in the research.
Thanks for the suggestions for improvement - the categories point is very good, I'll have a play and modify this.

Stian Håklev

This is pretty neat. There are lot's of great articles coming out in our field, and I often hear about them through blog posts, twitter, etc. Or they show up years later in a GScholar search. It's also a neat way of showing the difference of publishing in an OA journal.

One neat thing is also that you are offering comments under each article. If even a few people read the same article roughly around the same time, and commented, that would be really interesting to me - a kind of reading circle... Most of the journals do not offer any forms of comments or reader discussion.

Rita Kop (Welsh Cloggy)

Hi Martin
Good idea. I would be interested in helping you out with the editing process.

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