Editorial Workflows for Multimedia-Rich Scholarship
Skip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
This work is protected by copyright and may be linked to without seeking permission. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. :
For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy.
This article describes a body of academic research genres in which multimedia is a primary mode of argumentation. These genres, called webtexts, require editors and publishers to think differently about how to support, manage, and publish them through editorial workflows that accommodate their unique multimedia designs. This article provides a brief history and current state of webtext publishing and offers specific recommendations that editors and publishers can consider when integrating multimedia into their digital workflows.
Scholarly publishing has been rapidly changing over the last decade to include online, open-access, and multimedia content. This change has been concomitant with the rise of popular publishing and social-media platforms on the Web (e.g., Blogger, WordPress, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Tumblr, etc.). However, as popular (non-academic) publishing systems increase their use of multimedia-based content through image-heavy Tumblrs, annotated audio-streaming SoundClouds and long and short video embeds on Vine and YouTube, a portion of scholarly publishing venues have begun to consider how print-like scholarship might transition into multimedia-rich scholarship.
There are a number of advances that scholarly and creative journals and university presses have made to include rich multimedia content—what we refer to here as scholarly multimedia, or webtexts. Webtexts are multimedia-rich, digital, screen-based texts designed to enact an author’s scholarly argument. Webtexts, in which authors design their argument using linked webpages or database-driven platforms, animations, images, audio, video, scripts, programming languages, and written text, can be equivalent in intellectual scope to an article or a book. A webtext might have 50 interconnected files that live on a journal's web server (for archival purposes) as opposed to a word-processing document or PDF with 1-2 image files included as supplemental information that comprise one flattened document. Scholarly webtexts have great potential to be realized as spatial and temporal renderings of research (see Figure 1), not simply near-facsimiles of the print-based journal article or book. The purpose of authoring a webtext instead of a print-based or print-like article is the communication potential and additional layers of meaning-making that multiple media and networked writing affords.
The authors of this article have a combined 35 years of editorial experience with webtexts: Douglas is senior editor and publisher of Kairos and has worked with the journal since its first year of publication in 1996, and Cheryl is editor, having worked with the journal since 2001. Having published over a thousand webtexts that continually challenge generic and technological conventions, we’ve noted the difference between editing webtexts and editing print texts has become greater with time. When webtexts first began being published in 1996 in Kairos, webtexts were little more than plain HTML with written content and a few links. As web design progressed from plain HTML to more image-intensive and overtly designed interfaces, so did the design of webtexts change to mirror the changing histories of technological capabilities on the World Wide Web. In the early 2000s, with the rise of Web 2.0, webtexts began to include more multimedia usage such as linked and embedded audio, linked and embedded video, database-driven work, and combinations of multimedia and programming languages—changes the editors of webtext journals see daily. Besides Kairos, there are currently a dozen of mostly humanities- and art-related journals and presses that publish webtexts on a regular basis, if not exclusively so. These journals and presses include Computers and Composition Online, Computers and Composition Digital Press, Harlot of the Arts, Technoculture, Journal of Artistic Research, Enculturation, TheJUMP, Vectors, International Journal of Media and Learning, Journal of Interactive Media and Pedagogy, Itineration, Digital Rhetoric Collaborative (an imprint of University of Michigan Press), Journal of Visual Experiments, and Audiovisual Thinking.
Every day, as new technological capabilities are created, standards for the accessibility and sustainability of web-based publication as forwarded by organizations such as the W3C become more important. Scholarly multimedia venues must implement these standards in order to remain accessible. Such changes in technology, genre and design, and the concomitant changes needed to accommodate webtexts in an editorial workflow have created problems for the journals that publish this kind of work. For instance, webtexts and even entire journals go missing through bad archival practices. In addition, webtexts stop functioning because the authors used proprietary systems that are no longer maintained for the Web, and neither editors nor authors made provisions for such an occurrence. But those errors also produce experiential knowledge from which multimedia editors can build best practices. Some of these best practices are outlined in the Kairos submission guidelines that have been developed through extensive critical practice, and have been adapted for use by several online journals that publish scholarly multimedia, including the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, Southern Spaces, and Computers and Composition Digital Press. These venues and others—such as Syracuse University Press, X/Changes, Itineration, Journal of Basic Writing, and venues still in the making—have consulted with us over the last decade to learn about and implement Kairos’s best practices for publishing scholarly multimedia.
Some of these best practices include requiring authors to submit editable versions of as many design elements of their webtexts as possible for copy- and design-editing purposes, submitting metadata and transcripts specific to any audio or video content they have, using file-naming conventions and information architectures that are web-friendly, requiring all webtexts to pass accessibility checkers, and mandating that all media files exist on the journal’s host server. These are some basic practices that ensure accessibility to editors and readers, now and into the future.
Why We Need New Editorial Workflows for Digital Scholarship
When Alex Juhasz published her screen-based book, Learning From YouTube (see Fig. 2), with MIT Press in 2010, she wrote about the editorial process that her work underwent, in which copy editors at MIT Press removed all of her written content from Scalar (the multimedia authoring platform she used to compose and design the book), placed that content into Microsoft Word, and copyedited the written content in Word. Juhasz specifically questioned in her contract with MIT how the “book” would be copyedited. She wrote on her blog that she was unclear how the editing and proofing work would be done “given the unique quality of the material in the Work: i.e. design, words, videos. I certainly want it to be edited and proofed but how and by whom?” This problem – how multimedia-based scholarship is edited and by whom – has been a perpetual refrain in conversations we have had with journal and press editors moving into multimedia publishing realms. They are often uncertain how to approach editing scholarly multimedia, so they remove written content from a webtext, copyedit it in another program, and then return that copy to a designed shell. But that is not a good practice.
While this process may sound legitimate to many copy editors and readers, my 15 years of experience editing scholarly multimedia suggests that separating form and content—or the written content from its design—can introduce hundreds of small errors that must be undone once written content is reinserted into the design of a webtext. Although Microsoft Word is a favorite program of editors worldwide, it is, in the end, a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) one. Word exists as a GUI interface that formats text in a manner made recognizable to authors, readers, and editors unskilled in working behind the scenes technically. Unbeknownst to most editors who are new to working with scholarly multimedia, Microsoft Word and programs like it introduce invisible code that, once that content is copied from Word and placed into—or back into—a designerly frame, can wreak the layout and production of a text. Consequently, the rhetorical intent and the mediational articulation are not merely compromised but patently violated.
This process of removing content runs counter to the purpose of scholarly multimedia in which form and content are inseparable. This process also assumes that, in a copyediting workflow, it is even possible to remove the written content from the design of a webtext (e.g., many webtexts take the form of proprietary videos with embedded linguistic content) or that written content is the only mode of communication that needs copyediting. Indeed, as scholarly multimedia becomes an increasingly employed genre of academic publishing, design-editing will need to be foregrounded in editorial workflows. A design-editing workflow accommodates evaluation of the rhetorical considerations of a design as a whole while also ensuring a design’s accessibility, sustainability, and usability through attention to the underlying technical specifications of a webtext so that it meets a journal’s access and preservation standards as well as any guidelines specific to the field and to web-based design in general (see Eyman & Ball, “History”). In other words, design-editing ensures that a webtext is not only appropriate in scholarly and designerly ways but also in technical ways that will allow the piece to be read without significant interruption far into the future.
Unique Editorial Workflows for Webtexts
Editorial workflows necessary for scholarly publishing generally require two parts: development and production.
The developmental workflow for scholarly publishing typically includes everything that happens once an article or artifact is submitted for consideration by a venue and continues through editorial peer review until a piece is either rejected or accepted for publication. Some venues are beginning to implement models of working collaboratively with authors prior to official submission. Kairos and C&C Online (as webtextual journal examples) have done this for over a decade, and presses have long done this sort of development work prior to submission of an entire manuscript. Also, the Public Philosophy Journal is introducing a community network platform that will move parts of the editorial peer-review process forward in the submission timeline so that authors can be encouraged and their work developed prior to official submission. Hybrid Pedagogy has another type of developmental workflow (similar to Kairos but much more hands-on) in which the editors of the journal work one-on-one with authors, in Google Docs, to develop drafts of their articles for publication.
However, generally speaking, the developmental workflow for a print-based, humanities scholarly venue has not changed much in the last century:
- 1. An author submits a word-processing or similar document,
- 2. An editor quickly reviews to see if it’s ready for the editorial board,
- 3. If it is ready, she sends it out to two or three reviewers,
- 4. Those readers review the piece independently and write a critique, emailing or mailing it back to the editor, and
- 5. The editor compiles the reviews into a letter, informing the author whether her piece has been accepted, needs revision, or has been rejected for that particular venue.
The production workflow for a typical humanities journal begins once a piece has been accepted for publication and continues until the piece has been published. In this stage of the workflow, an editor
- 6. Copy edits the document herself or sends it to a copy editor to make sure that the grammar, house style, and references are in order,
- 7. Writes the author to clarify anything missing at that point. Often in print-based work, she sends a word-processing document with Track Changes back to the author for clarification or acceptance,
- 8. Sends a clean version of the article to the production house for another round of copyediting and overseeing by a production editor, and
- 9. The production editor supervises or does the layout of the copyedited artifacts and the whole publication, sending the final versions back to the author for proofing, and then onto printing and distribution.
The production workflow can change significantly depending on whether a publication is run by a commercial publishing house, a small non-profit house, a university press, an affiliate of the press, a disciplinary organization (large or small), a department, or is an independent entity. The basic developmental and production workflows outlined above are easy enough to follow for scholars who become new editors, either by taking over from previous colleagues or by starting a new publishing venue. However, while scholarly multimedia workflows follow the bare bones of these same processes—in that webtexts are submitted, peer-reviewed, and, if accepted for publication, they proceed through some type of copy editing and production process—there are several major deviations necessary to produce rigorous scholarly multimedia. These differences are described below, and start even prior to the editorial process, with an author’s compositional choices.
Authors design webtexts using any available technology that meets the accessibility and sustainability guidelines of the journal they are submitting to, while keeping their argument at the forefront of that design. Their argument is made through a combination of written content and multiple media.
- Because scholarly multimedia is still a relatively new genre, much more developmental feedback is required for authors, many of whom are authoring webtexts as first-time scholars. This makes for a much more recursive composing process for the text, where authors and editors tend to work more closely together to get a webtext ready for submission or publication.
- Authors sometimes submit their webtexts as zip-file attachments. This can be precarious in the age of overzealous spam filters on university mail servers.
For example, in the last decade, the primary method of receiving webtext submissions at Kairos has only slightly moved away from zip files to academic or folders with linked files downloaded from personal-professional URLs or FTP servers. Only a few years ago, the day before a special issue deadline for Kairos, the IT staff at Cheryl’s university changed its zip-file email-attachment policy, and suddenly a majority of the submissions were disappearing, having been blocked by the university’s filter and not even making it into Cheryl’s spam folders. She discovered the problem only when she tried to send a zip file attachment herself. Thankfully, the IT staff were willing to revert the policy temporarily so she could attempt to recover the submissions by extending the deadline with a note about the glitch. Currently at the journal, zip files still account for about 25% of our initial submissions (primarily, fwiw, for the Praxis section), while approximately 50% are personal-professional or academic websites, and another large chunk are URLs to third-party hosting sites for webtexts that are primarily media embeds such as videos or Prezis. A handful of submissions are uploaded using FTP directly to the journal’s server initially; while all must be, eventually, upon acceptance. Only once in recent memory has an author submitted a webtext by individually attaching every HTML, CSS, and image file to an email cover letter. We could tell without even opening the five files and recreating their intended architecture that the piece wouldn’t be ready for a Tier 1, internal peer review, although we did provide some to get them started on revising towards a reviewable piece, because the content topic was of interest to the journal.
The process to review webtexts can be the same as for print-based webtexts, even if the criteria for evaluating the two kinds of scholarship are different, such as those items outlined below, but anonymous review of webtexts is not possible for several reasons outlined below.
- Authors most often submit their webtexts as a URL, using their university website to host the submission. In this case, the authors can be recognized through their URL (e.g., http://university.edu/college/~facultyname).
- It is often necessary in scholarly multimedia to include voiceovers or head shots in video, which reveals who the author is to reviewers. It is too cumbersome to scrub media submissions to make an author anonymous and still retain the sense of the author’s argument. Therefore, double-blind or anonymous review of scholarly multimedia is impractical. Peer reviewers will know who the author is.
The necessity of open reviewing and the absolute impossibility of peer-reviewing multimedia content became evident early on in our editorial careers with Kairos. Perhaps the most prominent example was in the Issues of New Media CoverWeb from Spring 2003, which was around the time Kairos began publishing more video content, including the webtext by Daniel Anderson on “Prosumer Approaches to New Media Composition,” which began with the screenshot seen in Figure 3.
Because of the issues presented by anonymous review of scholarly multimedia (as outlined above), open and collaborative reviewing is often done.
- To overcome the potential bias of knowing whom an author is, one long-standing practice is to collaboratively review webtexts among many board members. Collaborative reviews in this environment have shown to be more rigorous and more informative in feedback than traditional gatekeeping peer reviews.
- Means (probably innovative technological) other than mailing a manuscript to a reviewer must be used. Some of these means include email listservs and other asynchronous discussion forums, and synchronous forums such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or live-reviewing if editors are co-located.
- During reviews of scholarly multimedia, only a portion of the discussion or feedback is about the written scholarly content. Attention must also be paid to the design of the piece in relation to the author’s argument as well as to the technology or code of the piece.
- While, historically editorial board members have had no difficulty writing a great deal about the nondiscursive elements of a webtext, we note that while it is incredibly time-consuming to transmediate between design elements and written feedback, there’s currently no better way to expedite sending review feedback to the authors in a way that makes their revision process manageable.
For more information on the open review process of scholarly multimedia, please see Cheryl’s 2012 and 2013b articles on assessing webtexts and editorial board processes, which provide several in-depth examples.
Once accepted for publication, a piece must go through many more layers of copyediting than traditional print-based scholarship. While copyediting for grammar and style, as well as reference checks, are necessary in print and webtextual scholarship, design editing is also a part of the production workflow and happens before stylistic copyediting. Design-editing attends to the design of a webtext, and allows time for design problems to be corrected before a webtext proceeds to more micro-level copyedits. It is, by far, the longest and most labor-intensive process in the production workflow. Webtexts must be checked for the following:
- Rhetorical appropriateness of their designs, which encompasses a wide range of editorial skills that require analysis and correction of the audience–context appropriateness of the webtext. In design-editing, editors are concerned with what is beyond the written content, focusing on the style of the design, layout, navigation, and so on. Post-acceptance, this type of editing happens in fine-tuned ways such as ensuring that all media usage is acceptable under our permissions guidelines and copyright rules, including our fair use policy; all links are marked in rhetorical ways to guide a reader (e.g., see Landow, 1991; Warner, 2007, links.html), and that all media and design elements are non-gratuitous and facilitate or enact the rhetorical and aesthetic argument of the webtext. (Some of this rhetorical work happens during the developmental stage, but sometimes it needs to be fixed or clarified in the production stage.)
- Accessibility includes checking for and adding alt text, long descriptions, and transcripts for media elements, and running the webtext through an accessibility checker such as WAVE.
- Usability includes editing code and images to meet standards of responsive web design (optimal viewing and interaction across all platforms), and checking the filenames and information architecture of a webtext to ensure it is standards compliant and cross-browser compatible.
- Technological sustainability includes making sure all the media elements and artifacts used a webtext are archived on a journal’s server, proprietary uses of software are freely readable, and technical standards (such as W3C) have been met from a usability perspective so that webtexts will remain readable long into the future.
For more information on design-editing webtexts, including more detailed examples, please see Doug and Cheryl’s articles (2014, 2015) and Cheryl’s article (2013a) on electronic publishing in the humanities.
Version control in copyediting print texts can be as simple as using Track Changes, but such features are not available when editing scholarly multimedia. Ghost editing must often be done for webtexts and versions made manually.
- In each stage of the copy editing process, which may include a style check, a reference check, a design edit, editors proof, authors proof, and a final walk-through of the whole issue, versions tracking changes at each production stage must be made to ensure that if changes happening at one stage are incorrect, or files become corrupt during their movement through the system, editors can revert to a previous version quickly.
- Manually creating and moving copies of a whole webtext after renaming the folder in an alphanumeric sequence is one method of version control. These copies cannot be uploaded to a version control platform like GitHub, which is what most technologists would suggest, because GitHub cannot handle large multimedia files, some of which do need to be edited in the course of design-editing. So, workflow systems need to be in place for a webtext journal to create, name, and move files from one location to another.
We’ve recently learned of some workflows for online journals such as Hyperrhiz that use GitHub on local servers to handle multimedia content, and that is a method we will explore (Helen Burgess, personal communication, August 7, 2015). In the meantime, Kairos knocks it old school, with filenaming conventions that assist with version control for webtexts (see Fig. 4). Track changes happen by keeping style sheets in a password-protected training wiki for the journal staff and by indicating where author queries are needed in the written text. We embed bold-capped “QA: PROBLEM” into the HTML itself to mark locations where editors need more content from the authors, and then each query is repeated and explained in a query letter to the author, which is accompanied by a live URL of the copy- and design-edited webtext.
Final production, publishing, and citation issues
There are several challenges in the final stages of production and in reaching wider audiences through scholarly multimedia:
- Because each webtext is designed in a unique set of technologies and media, there is no standard way to provide author queries or to receive author proofs during the latter stages of production. While there are some typical practices for requesting these changes—such as asking authors to list the file name, URL, or section name of an HTML-based webtext and briefly describe the area in which the change needs to occur or to provide the minute and second of a timeline based text where the change is needed—each webtext is handled on a case-by-case basis, with editors manually making changes before final publication.
- Once when texts are published, only the written content is easily searchable on the Web, unless rich, multimedia-specific metadata has been added to each of the media components. This is a time-consuming process for editors and often requires assistance and information from authors, who find the additional textual requests annoying and confusing. Scholarly multimedia editors see this foremost in the request for written transcripts for audio and video content, although this form of metadata is not required by all multimedia editors, the added structure lends itself not only two more accessible webtexts but also to more searchable and citable webtexts.
- Citations of webtexts rarely happens in print-bound or other webtextual journals, either through reference or remix, except in only the most peripheral ways that focus on the designs of webtexts instead of their overall scholarly import.
- Scholarly multimedia cannot be ingested into databases and indexes such as EBSCOhost or JSTOR. These platforms don’t have any way of handling multimedia content other than a PDF, which means that scholarly multimedia does not get distributed and cited in the same way as print-like, word-based scholarship, even as it might have greater impact because of the multiple channels of communication it employs.
One of the major educational challenges for scholars is to reconsider their word-biased citation practices, and to expand how they cite multimedia content. For instance, readers will notice a few paragraphs ago that we included the filename “links.html” in a parenthetical citation. That filename is the webtext equivalent to a page number in a citation for a print-like artifact. The URL for the full webtext is provided in the references list. If we’d been citing a movie, we could have provided the timestamp for the location we wanted to point readers to. And so on.
Although webtexts have been published in scholarly venues for 20 years, most academic editors are just beginning to become familiar with their benefits and challenges. The possibilities of webtext-based editorial workflows described above have been tested and refined by Kairos and similar journals. But a major challenge still facing editors, authors, and publishers who want to work with multimedia content is that there aren’t any editorial management systems available to support this kind of publishing. In creating this description, our goal is to share this knowledge but also to work towards building a system that supports multimedia-based scholarship and creative works in academic publishing venues. Using the above, we have teamed with research and communication design professor Andrew Morrison and design-development studio Bengler to build—with major financial assistance from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—a new academic publishing platform that will support editorial workflows for multimedia scholarship. This platform, called Vega, will be open source and modular so that editors and publishers can modify their own installations of this free software based on their own editorial needs and desires. Vega is currently in development with an expected release of Spring 2018, but if you’re interested in following its progress, please visit its website at http://vegapub.com or contact the authors.
Douglas Eyman is Senior Editor and Cheryl E. Ball (@s2ceball) is Editor of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. Eyman is Associate Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing at George Mason University, and Ball is Associate Professor of Digital Publishing Studies at West Virginia University. Together, they have published several articles on digital (media) publishing, based on their combined 35 years experience with Kairos and other print and online academic venues. Ball is co-PI and Eyman is consultant on a $1M Mellon Foundation grant to build an open-access, multimedia, academic publishing platform called Vega.
- Fitzpatrick, Kathleen and Avi Santo. 2013. “Open Review: A Study of Contexts and Practices.” MediaCommons. Accessed March 14, 2015, http://mcpress.media-commons.org/open-review/.
- Ball, Cheryl E. 2004. “Show, Not Tell: The Value of New Media Scholarship.” Computers & Composition, 21.3: 403–425.
- Ball, Cheryl E. 2012. “Assessing Scholarly Multimedia: A Rhetorical Genre Studies Approach.” Technical Communication Quarterly, 21: 61–77.
- Ball, Cheryl E. (2013a). Multimodal revision techniques in webtexts. Classroom discourse, 5(1), 1–15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2013.859844
- Ball, Cheryl E. (2013b, January 28). The kairotic nature of online scholarly community building. mediaCommons: a digital scholarly network. http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/question/how-do-we-build-digital-cohorts-and-academic-communities/response/kairotic-nature-online-sc
- Ball, Cheryl E., and Ryan Moeller. 2007. “Reinventing the Possibilities: Academic Literacy and New Media.” Fibreculture. Accessed March 14, 2015, http://ten.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-062-reinventing-the-possibilities-academic-literacy-and-new-media/
- Cross, Nigel. 1982. “Designerly Ways of Knowing.” Design Studies 3.4: 221-227.
- Eyman, Douglas. 2015. Digital Rhetoric. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/dh.13030181.0001.001.
- Eyman, Douglas and Cheryl E. Ball. Forthcoming. “History of a Broken Thing.” In Microhistories of Rhetoric and Composition, edited by Bruce McComisky. Logan: Utah State University Press.
- Eyman, Douglas, and Cheryl E. Ball. 2015. “Digital Humanities Scholarship and Electronic Publication.” In Rhetoric and Digital Humanities, edited by Jim Ridolfo and Bill Hart-Davidson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Eyman, Douglas, & Ball, Cheryl E. (2014). Composing for digital publication: Rhetoric, design, code. [Special invited section: Digital scholarship in composition studies]. Composition Studies, 42(1), 114–117.
- Juhazs, Alex. 2010, June 11. “Contractual Mayhem: On the Absurdities of Moving from Paper to Digital in Academic Publishing.” Media Praxis. Accessed March 14, 2015, http://aljean.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/contractual-mayhem-on-the-absurdities-of-moving-from-paper-to-digital-in-academic-publishing/
- Krause, Steven. 2007. “’Where Do I List This on my CV?’ Considering the Values of Self-Published Web Sites – Version 2.0.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 12.1. Accessed March 14, 2015, from http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/12.1/binder.html?topoi/krause/index.html
- Landow, George. (1991). The rhetoric of hypermedia: Some rules for authors. In Paul Delany & George Landow (eds.), Hypermedia and literary studies (81-104). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Walker, Joyce. 2006. “Hyper.activity.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 10.2. Accessed November 8, 2013, from http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/10.2/binder2.html?coverweb/walker/index.html
- Warner, Allison Brovy. (2007). Constructing a tool for assessing scholarly webtexts. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 12(1). Retrieved August 21, 2015, from http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/12.1/topoi/warner/index.html
- Wysocki, Anne Frances. 2002. “a bookling monument.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 7.3. Accessed June 1, 2014, from http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/7.3/binder2.html?coverweb/wysocki/index.html.
See Eyman & Ball (forthcoming), “History of a Broken Thing” (in Bruce McComisky’s edited collection, Microhistories of Rhetoric and Composition with Utah State University Press), which describes the techno-infrastructural failure of the multi-journal special issue on electronic publishing that Kairos and four other online journals participated in during the summer of 2002. Of those five journals, Kairos is the only one that has continued to publish at its original domain. See, also, Steven Krause’s (2007) discussion in “Where Do I List This on my CV?” of the National Council of Teachers of English’s removal from the Web of their online journal, CCC Online (in which Krause’s webtext had been published in 2002)—a move that NCTE repeated in 2013 with its third (failed) iteration of CCC Online, due to its lack of technological and social infrastructures for maintaining webtextual work.
See Juhasz’s blog point outlining the problems with her contract because of the digital-media nature of her book project: http://aljean.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/contractual-mayhem-on-the-absurdities-of-moving-from-paper-to-digital-in-academic-publishing/
For more on design editing as a part of the copyediting process, see Ball (2013a) “Multimodal Revision Techniques in Webtexts” Classroom Discourse, available http://ceball.com/2013/07/11/multimodal-revision-techniques-in-webtexts/.
For an example of how Kairos uses design-editing in the submission and review process, see http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/styleguide.html#design.
Here we are taking up Nigel Cross’s (1982) definition from “Designerly Ways of Knowing,” in which he states that design culture, in concert with cultures of the sciences and humanities, values “practicality, ingenuity, empathy, and a concern for ‘appropriateness’” and that the methods for achieving those values are through “modelling [sic], pattern-formation, and synthesis” (p. 2).
Open review leads to collaborative review. Collaboration in webtextual publishing is drawn from the disciplinary history of writing studies in which webtexts—as a scholarly genre—were first published. Collaborative reviewing has been taken up more recently in the sciences, media studies, and literature, as seen particularly in open- and peer-to-peer reviewing principles exhibited through projects such as ArXiv.org, MediaCommons, and CommentPress, although those projects are print-like in their media usage. We refer readers to the Mellon-funded Open Peer Review white paper for a more complete discussion and history on this topic.
Kairos has a design-editing checklist that encompasses more than 40 points to be checked, and usually fixed, in an author’s accepted submission. For more discussion of this subsection, please see Eyman & Ball (forthcoming).
As of October 2015, the Mellon Foundation has funded 10 projects in the last year that sound similar to Vega. There is currently a study that Mellon has also founded to examine the crossover work that each of these funded projects will accomplish. But, from an informal discussion Cheryl has had with several of the PIs on the other grants, only one other—the Manifold Scholarship project from University of Minnesota Press and CUNY Gradute Center—seems to be building infrastructure for network-based writing, although that writing seems to still be print-like (i.e., networked eBooks) in its final product. (See https://www.upress.umn.edu/press/press-releases/manifold-scholarship)