Google Knol: the future of academic journals?

Update: Great minds think alike! (and fools never differ…) @jonbecker quickly pointed out after I pressed ‘Publish’ that @doug_holton has already blogged about, made notes upon, and tested out this idea! 😀

Before Google Teacher Academy last week I was revisiting Google tools I don’t use every day. One of these is Google Knol. Like Google Wave, it had changed a lot since I last used it, so I experimented further on the train down to London. Below is a link to the New Literacies ‘knol’ I produced along with a video overview of some of Knol’s features. I really do think the current peer-reviewed academic journal system is broken and needs a replacement. Something like Knol could do the job!

http://knol.google.com/k/doug-belshaw/new-literacies/2nbucoh2hz6cn/1

(choose 720p and click the arrows to the bottom right to watch full-screen!)

3 Comments

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  1. Certainly an interesting concept, and I agree something certainly needs to be done about the current state of academic journals. Even the teacher journals have a very long lead time. I write for a few of the Maths journals and it normally take 6-9months from submitting the article till it is published…

    A good first step however was taken by the ATM (Association of Teachers of Mathematics) who now publish one journal a year online (MTi – http://www.atm.org.uk/mti/) which allows for more multimedia content etc… This doesn’t fix the fundamental issues but it is a good start.

    Whilst I really like the Knol concept, it is a huge step from the current peer-review process and I struggle to see how we get from where we are to there… Journals are big business and peer reviews require funding etc, but if wikipedia has taught us anything then open peer-reviewed content is certainly a possibility!

    I look forward to seeing how this progresses!

  2. (academic hat on)
    There is something to be said for time. When an article comes to you for review, and there is a flaw somewhere, it can take a while for the little grey cells to home in. Wikipedia is great but can be too information rich (or do I mean indigestible) sometimes. Different people have different philosophies for the processing of inputs and as one gets older it is sometimes luxurious to chew on the metaphorical pipe and besides as Louis Armstrong says there’s plentyoftime.

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