Thursday, February 03, 2005

Disruptive Scholarship Blog Launched

Disruptive Scholarship

As defined by the Wikipedia, "[a] disruptive technology is a lower performance or less expensive product or process that gains a foothold in the low end, less demanding part of an existing market, and then successively moves up-market through performance improvements until finally displacing the market incumbents. Disruptive technologies are usually introduced to the market by small startup enterprises."

The term Disruptive Technology was coined by Clayton M. Christensen and described in his 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma.

In considering the nature of the Wiki [] and the increasing range of applications [], I have begun to speculate further about the Wiki as *the* platform for The Next Generation e-Journal
[] and the transformation of the review process. I hereby invite Any and All of my Web Colleagues to Critically Review the scenarios outlined below in which I sketch the probable future [:-)] of scholarly communication, review, and publishing ['Disruptive Scholarship'] in the WikiWorld.

Presented for Your Consideration:
In view of its collaborative features and functionalities, and the nature and character of alternative methods of quality management outlined, the wiki environment (McKiernan 2005) could provide an outstanding framework for preparing, editing, reviewing, assessing, and publishing for a range of scholarly work, including manuscripts, articles, journals, and monographs (Guest 2003).
In one possible wiki-based publication scenario, authors would prepare a manuscript draft using locally-installed wiki engine software (or a free or commercial wiki service) that best suits their needs or preferences. In a first stage review, colleagues would be invited to participate in a review of the draft. At this stage, the author can choose to allow first-stage reviewers to edit the text, or limit participation to a discussion space.
At a second stage, known specialists in the field(s) covered by the manuscript could be invited to review the revised first stage version. As in the first stage review, second stage reviewers would be granted open permission to edit the manuscript text, or be restricted to commenting on its content.
At a third - and perhaps final stage - the author could request that others (such members of a professional electronic discussion list) review and edit and/or comment on the new, revised version.
After final review, the revised final stage version could be locked from future discussion or editing. The locking of the final version could constitute formal publication of the work. Alternatively, the author/editor in chief at some later time could unlock the published version and invite any reader to discuss and/or edit it, thereby creating a 'living', dynamic, potentially ever-changing-and improving document by doing so.
In this general scenario, there would be no editorial evaluation or judgment of the initial or subsequent versions of an original manuscript by an editor or editorial board; at each stage, the author would serve as both author and editor in chief, and ultimately as publisher of his/her work. The significance and value of the work would be based on a variety of metrics that could include a matrix of such measures as citation pattern, linking volume, and access statistics (McKiernan 2004).


David G. Guest, "Four Futures for Scientific and Medical Publishing. It's a Wiki Wiki World," BMJ 326 (April 26, 2003): 932. Available at[] (9 January 2005).
Gerry McKiernan, "Peer Review in the Internet Age: Five (5) Easy Pieces," Against the Grain 16, no. 3 (June 2004): 50, 52-55. Self-archived at
[] (8 January 2005).
Gerry McKiernan, "SandBox(sm). WikiBibliography," January 6, 2005
[] (9 January 2005).