Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy

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NYU Press, 2011 - LAW - 245 pages
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Academic institutions are facing a crisis in scholarly publishing at multiple levels: presses are stressed as never before, library budgets are squeezed, faculty are having difficulty publishing their work, and promotion and tenure committees are facing a range of new ways of working without a clear sense of how to understand and evaluate them. Planned Obsolescence is both a provocation to think more broadly about the academy's future and an argument for re-conceiving that future in more communally-oriented ways. Facing these issues head-on, Kathleen Fitzpatrick focuses on the technological changes-- especially greater utilization of internet publication technologies, including digital archives, social networking tools, and multimedia--necessary to allow academic publishing to thrive into the future. But she goes further, insisting that the key issues that must be addressed are social and institutional in origin. Confronting a change-averse academy, she insists that before we can successfully change the systems through which we disseminate research, scholars must re-evaluate their ways of working--how they research, write, and review--while administrators must reconsider the purposes of publishing and the role it plays within the university. Springing from original research as well as Fitzpatrick's own hands-on experiments in new modes of scholarly communication through MediaCommons, the digital scholarly network she co-founded, Planned Obsolescence explores all of these aspects of scholarly work, as well as issues surrounding the preservation of digital scholarship and the place of publishing within the structure of the contemporary university. Written in an approachable style designed to bring administrators and scholars into a conversation, Planned Obsolescence explores both symptom and cure to ensure that scholarly communication will remain vibrant and relevant in the digital future.

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Review: Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy

User Review  - John Benson - Goodreads

This is the kind of book I wish someone could have given me before I started graduate school. A nice overview of the challenges we face coupled with some tentative solutions. I was already invested, but probably a good gateway to the digital humanities. Read full review

Review: Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy

User Review  - Full Stop - Goodreads Review by Blake Seidenshaw In a speech given at the University of Illinois in 1962, the American architect and polymath R. Buckminster Fuller spelled out an ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Kathleen Fitzpatrick is Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College and founding editor of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons. She is the author of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television and has blogged at Planned Obsolescence since 2002.

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