[OPE-L:7464] [OPE-L:998] Re: online journal

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Thu, 20 May 1999 08:46:38 -0400 (EDT)

I think it might be useful to step back and ask ourselves two important

1) what do we think are the needs in terms of journals? I.e. what is
lacking in terms of the content and nature of the current mix of
conventional journals on political economy?

2) What are the benefits of an electronic journal?

Some of the benefits of an electronic journal include:

a) an ability to reach a *world-wide readership* through the WWW.

b) an ability to significantly *decrease the time between when an
article is first accepted by a journal and when it is
published*. This is not an insignificant advantage to both
authors and readers since it is not uncommon for the lag time
between acceptance and publication to be anywhere from 6 months
to a year or more. Thus, an electronic journal allows an author
to intervene in a discussion and/or present a new perspective
which can be published much quicker.

c) an ability to provide a *free journal*. I.e. readers would not
have to pay a subscription fee. Given the prices of conventional
journals, this is a very significant advantage which empowers
both readers and writers.

d) minimal cost to publish an e-journal compared to conventional

If one wants to talk about a "niche", let's begin with the above. Taken
together, these represent *VERY* significant advantages. We should,
indeed, as Marxists be very *excited* about what this can mean in terms of
enhancing theory and praxis.

Comrades, *this is the future*!

Can you not see that the above will mean, over time (perhaps a relatively
long time) that conventional (including scholarly) journals will become

The writing is on the wall. Or, rather, the writing is on the Net!

Depending on how a journal is set up, there might be other very
significant advantages. E.g.

a) there could be a *links page* that could allow readers (*including
students*) to access other WWW sites for --
i) research (e.g. sites for statistics);
ii) other on-line publications (e.g. those posted at OPE-L
members' sites);
iii) organizing, communication, and information on *political

b) in some e-journals, there can be an on-line discussion of the
articles themselves. I.e. readers can ask questions and/or
comment on articles, the author can respond, and such a
discussion can continue and deepen in a way that is not possible
through conventional means.

The more I think about this, the more I am convinced that we should go
ahead with an e-journal. Of course, it will take some time and thought to
get it together. We'll also have to make a lot of decisions on format and
guidelines as we continue. Yet, can we not agree that this is an avenue
that we *must* pursue?

In solidarity, Jerry