Journals, News, and Discourse

Due to poor planning (ask me later) I’ve received a “new faculty grant” to start a free access, online, peer-reviewed, instructional technology “journal.” Of course, my inclination is to lean it toward learning objects / reusable media / online communities / blogs / open content / etc. for the topic or niche. But the point of the grant is to explore new publishing models, and there are a whole bunch of other exploratory things that could be done. (This of course all ties back into the recent lamenting about the sorry state of academic discourse in inst tech blog circles…)

We don’t need another publishing mechanism. To meet the needs of researchers and practioners in instructional technology I think we need a publication / discourse-facilitation service. And yes, before someone climbs all over me, I’m not the first or only person on the planet to have this thought enter their tiny minds.

So I’m thinking, given all our interests in reusability and syndication, why not crossbreed a peer-reviewed journal, blog, and a news aggregator? A peer-reviewed blog / aggregation service. Think something like:

* a clear statement of the topic(s) of interest to the publication / discourse-facilitation service
* all content would begin its life online somewhere else – a blog, personal website, etc. trackback facilities make blogs preferable.
* a “k5”: -esque story submission queue with editorial comments (also via trackback from other blogs) and a peer-review (voting) mechanism. articles could be submitted via trackback pings at publication time by their authors, or through a form-based approach by non-authors, as long as the content is cc-licensed (for more of a blog feel — “hey, here’s a great paper I found on LOs, repositories, and trackback! it should be published and talked about in the peer-reviewed blog!”) editorial comments given via trackback (when available) would let authors whose work is unknowlingly submitted know their work is being considered and how it could be improved.
* archived and permalink-ed papers, articles, etc. with trackback enabled, allowing readers to follow an ongoing dialogue from one article to the next
* trackback-enabled threaded comments which will allow readers to enter the discourse at any point and follow it forward and backward across comments and articles
* a clear path for moving high-quality discussions out of the “comments” world into the “publication” world, purposefully blurring the line between publication and discourse
* cc-licensing of *all* content, including comments
* subscribe-able / searchable RSS feeds of new articles, comments, etc.

This is an afternoon’s worth of thinking… I never expected to get the money so I haven’t put a lot of thought in here. What would *you* do with such an opportunity?