The launch of the Conversations blog indicates De Gruyter follows a larger trend as academic publishers and institutions increasingly maintain blogging presence.
A Blog Article by Pablo Markin.
As Conversations blog was launched in early May, 2017, De Gruyter has signaled its acknowledgement of the growing importance that open access has for academic institutions, research centers and publishing houses. In this regard, blogs play a prominent role in bridging the gap between the wider audience and recent developments across a wide range of specialized and general interest disciplines. Among early examples of this trend is the Hypotheses platform launched in 2009 that hosts academic blogs on a variety of social sciences and humanities subjects ranging from arts commentary to regional and global studies research.
In this connection, the academic blogging can be said to achieve maturation as a format that responds to the need of academic institutions to exchange information on academic events, calls for papers and recent publications, while allowing for running commentary, topical discussions and external input. Likewise, as news feeds get accessed to not only via their originating websites but also through social media, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of blogging for maintaining the presence of academic institutions, such as universities and publishers, where content is consumed. Increasingly, academic journals also maintain companion blogs, such as that of the Space and Culture journal, that includes whatever does not fit into the article format and stimulates wider discussions on trending topics, such as communication and urbanism, that are more rigorously handled in the studies the journal publishes.
Admittedly, these developments blur the distinctions between media and access formats, as open access contents exist side by side with conventional or hybrid publishing models. Similarly, academic blogs straddle the distinction between academic contributions and individual perspectives. This, however, adds to the flexibility of the blogging format, while enabling the enrichment of Internet-mediated public discourse with relevant sources, otherwise unavailable information and up-to-date commentary from respective scholarly communities.
Thus, it can be expected that academic blogs will continue their development as venues for bringing scholarly research and academic communities into contact.
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: 2015 IASA Conference, 27 septembre/1er octobre 2015, October 5, 2015 | © Courtesy of Bagolina.