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The GuildModel offers a novel approach to AcademicPeerReview that fits well with the OnlineCommunity model particularly relevant to the WikiWay.

To break away from the publish and PeerReview cycle, Kling, Spector, McKim (2002) propose a very novel approach they term the Guild Publishing Model, which is both entirely scientist-driven and compatible with traditional publication models, not to mention flexible enough to evolve into what best fits meet researchers' needs in the future. Many academic departments publish research manuscript series, which are written by researchers interested in, and working on, similar topics. Guilds are a GatedCommunity, where membership is limited to academic departments and research institutes, and it is selective, based on experience, education, and other qualifications.

In this model, researchers join the Guild based on their career reputation. They are free to publish their materials directly into the series. Since traditional AcademicPeerReview is flawed anyway, the loss in quality may not be severe. Of course, researchers are encouraged to ask other members of their guild to review their papers before they are published. This career-based approach has a strong advantage for the researcher. While publishing in a traditional journal does not guarantee future articles will be accepted, guild members instead are measured on their careers and current publications. Thus good researchers will have a guaranteed place to publish without having to wait substantial periods of time for peer review to occur.

The guild model has a number of other benefits. First, they are localized to the research institutions, so they are locally controlled, and thus may take on a local character. Their local control grants them an ease of innovation, so that the guild community can set the flow. It maintains quality through career-based review, which is faster than traditional article-based review. By maintaining a consistent stream of topically focused output, other interested scholars can quickly locate these publications; much faster than looking for publications on authors' personal websites. Further, the guild can maintain stable, long-term access to published materials, which is an essential dimension of a system of publication. Finally, by coming together, costs are lower than publishing separately.

On the other hand, guild publishing will RewardReputation. Institutions with strong reputations will continue to outpace institutes with weak reputations, perhaps due to underfunding. This gap widens as popularity reinforces itself by the PowerLaw of PreferentialAttachment. Also, certain AcademicJournal?s like Science may not accept material already published online in this manner, so this cuts down on the options available. In that case, the publications will be only available through the guild, and that means that the university librarians will need to find ways to archive this material.

The GatedCommunity might also become insular and incestuous, turning more into an EchoChamber? as friends and colleagues parrot each other or at least refuse to criticize the person next door. GroupThink and GroupShift? may set in. Of course, this would only be a problem if it weren't already happening in traditional academic publishing. Most fields are so small that everyone knows each other anyway.


Kling, R., Spector, L., and McKim, G. (2002). Locally controlled scholarly publishing via the Internet: The guild model. The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 8(1). Available from http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/08-01/kling.html


Collaborative AcademicPeerReview may become a conservative OralCulture?

From http://www.forbes.com/best/2004/1213/bow001.html

Had Galileo chimed into a sixteenth century wiki, for example, he might have had trouble convincing a collection of skeptical administrators and anonymous editors that the Earth was, in fact, round. His repeated protestations could have been taken as vandalism. His IP address might have been banned. Will publicly accessible wikis like Wikipedia become the source for a more accurate description of events or things, or will they merely reinforce popular beliefs?

That would have depended on the culture of the wiki. He wouldn't have succeded at WikiPedia, but he would have had no problem to place it at MeatballWiki (apart from being OT) as an alternative theory.

This also might be a case where wikis and weblogs are an essential complement to each other. Wikis are, by definition, group / consensus texts. But blogs can be wholly individualistic. They can create what SebPaquet calls PersonalEchoChambers? http://radio.weblogs.com/0110772/2004/06/04.html#a1596 to sustain your confidence when no-one else believes in you. -- PhilJones

I don't think that this is the main difference between wikis and blogs. There are purely individualistic wikis that are similar in their PersonalEchoChambers? effects. OmWiki? comes to my mind. -- HelmutLeitner

I don't think there was any medium that would have saved Gallileo from the Church save obscurity. His crime was that he published in the vulgar so his writing would be understandable by laymen. So, I think the argument in the quotation is irrelevant, but the question it raises is interesting. If OralCultures are conservative, what are ManuscriptCultures? -- SunirShah

By ManuscriptCultures? you mean hand-written? Probably less conservative than oral, but more so than print. Compare Catholic Church and Protestantism.

Some other comparisons : http://www.nooranch.com/synaesmedia/wiki/wiki.cgi?MediaAndMaterials, http://www.nooranch.com/synaesmedia/wiki/wiki.cgi?PrintingAndUniformity, http://www.nooranch.com/synaesmedia/wiki/wiki.cgi?MediaInConflict

-- PhilJones


The proposed AutonomiWiki would enable guilds to have the option of controlled publishing. It is supposed to protect autonomy, and may be appropriate if the guilds are collectively controlled by their members.


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