Monday, July 9, 2007

"Extending OJS into Cultural Magazines: The OMMM Project"

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2007 9:40--10:40 July13, 2007

John Maxwell Mpub PhD, Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, SFU "The Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing is located at the Simon Fraser University Vancouver campus' Harbour Centre building in downtown Vancouver."

John Maxwell is an assistant professor at SFU, located in Burnaby, BC. John became a part of online publishing in the 1990's. He was involved with web designing at Knossopolis Media; he developed instructional material for different media at Open Learning Agency; as well as worked as a consultant for XML with various projects. John has his Master of Publishing and a PhD in education specializing in computer use. He is involved at the Canadian Center Jmax2_2for Publishing. His work has and passion has lead him to develop blogs and wikis in an inquiry approach to his class with undergrads and grads. He is now working on his vision to use OJS in the development of cultural magazines in the "Online Magazines Management Model (OMMM) project". On his blog site, JMax is looking for contribution from cultural magazines. For more information on the research being collected read his OMMM Thinkubator blog.

Presentation Power Point

J. Maxwell is not directly part of the OJS project but his work is along side this project. His purpose was to see if the OJS system could be extended into the magazine realm as well as scholarly journal publishing. There were similarities and the OJS model of workflow might be adapted for small, independent magazines. So far there has not been any magazine using OJS. J. Maxwell looked into why not. Conversely, how could OJS benefit from exploring publishing modules in magazine?

By looking at Geist Magazine which has a 10,000 subscription based readers, grants for funding and a small staff to compare models. Initially there seemed to be similarities between scholarly journals and the independent magazine: a community of known contributors, a stable reader base, submission/review processes, marginal budgets and an interest on web publication.

Initially there seemed to be a good fit with OJS as the magazines could use the workflow, they also had their methods of assessing their material and OJS could offer: (as taken from the OJS site)
OJS is installed locally and locally controlled.
Editors configure requirements, sections, review process.
Online submission and management of all content.
Subscription module with delayed open access options.
Comprehensive indexing of content part of global system.
Reading Tools ... based on field and editors' choice.
Email notification and commenting ability for readers.
Complete context-sensitive online Help support.
What became apparent was there were also differences in the models the two types of publishing. How the article was viewed and used by the two spheres resulted in different practices. In scholarly journals the article is the building block of academic productivity and is the source of the author claiming ownership of a set of ideas; the publishing the written word is the claim of ownership or intellectual property. The article is peer-reviewed but its integrity is kept whole and inviolable. Scholar editors tread lightly. The editing process is a more hands off approach in the journal.

Magazine content is more varied, not always clearly authored or attributed and very heavily edited. It can be aggregated with other articles to make it longer.
The front of the magazine material is written by editorial staff, aggregated together in context and look. The purpose is to represent a particular world view or perspective (brand) the magazine is trying to project.

In a larger context the journals are like a series. They cite, reference and review each other. It takes considerable time to complete a topic and they can be seen as diachronic. Magazines are assembled issue-by-issue. Each article is Independent and tied to economics of the audiences’ response. If readership sees themselves represented in the mix then it sells. The articles are not chronically related or not even necessarily connected and are synchronic.

Magazines are looking for more active participation with their readers. The Web 2.0 model extends this framework.
Content repurposing for magazines–clip articles and have a toolkit so aggregate able for readers.

Magazines can use aspects of OJS like online submission and workflow support. But they need online massaging of content for reiterative and aggregation of the content. They are using a variety of tools between different magazines and even within themselves; Drupal , Bricolage and Google Docs, Backpack etc. They are using bits and pieces to make things work.

They need an open ended repertoire of content types (advertising, reader content etc), content re-purposing (a dynamic view), content granularity, collaborative, online editing (so they can work on the same piece at the same time), audience interaction and a flexible configuration is a key feature. Create workflow.

As journals outsource to the layout editor, for magazines, OJS would have to incorporated this into layout editor. XML (digital humanities production) seems to be the ideals for storing and editing but it is costly. XHTML and simple Web2.0 is may become part of the solution. At this point OJS is not suitable for magazine purposes. As scholarly publications become scholarly communications and embrace more digital media it may make this possible in the future.

This was a well designed foray into the comparison of scholarly publishing and the independent magazine. The premise stretches back to Oldenburg's steps of bringing scholarly letters to print for the public, in the development of the first journal, Philosophical Transactions. J. Maxwell tried to bring the model of online (OJS) workflow to shape the publishing model of independent magazines. In his study it became clear that scholarly journals still carry some aspects of the letter for communication. They are often like a series, with responses back and forth to each other, requiring the reading of all the material to fully understand the topic. The material is treated with a form of sacredness, with minimum editing. The purpose of the author(s) and the research, rather than the overall perspective of the journal or the editor. The intellectual property rights of the content, is highly respected in journals. Magazines have a different purpose. They are focussed on the tastes of the reader and the image or world view of the publication. This can result in heavier editing of the paper content, rather than just the structure and validity. As a result of this intense editing, OJS would have to undergo some significant changes to become efficient for magazine publishing.

CCPS (Canadian Center for Studies in Publishing)
Research Interest

1 comment:

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