In a recent Journalism Studies article, Jane Singer questions the academic authority of peer reviewed print journals in a digital world. She argues that anonymous reviewers no longer solely decide on what quality scholarship is. Indeed, in the academy, “getting published counts, but getting read should count too”. This is because
determination of quality is now two-tiered. One tier is provided by traditional gatekeepers, the editors and reviewers, who (at the moment) still decide on initial publication. But an important new tier comes from readers, as indicated by links, hits, references and so on.
(Singer 2008: 601)
I couldn’t agree more. Funding, tenure and promotion are still very much tied to getting published in (preferably A1) journals. Getting cited counts too, but less so. I think it is time to correct this imbalance and take readers’ decisions about quality into account.
Open access is one way journals and authors can gain visibility. That is why I applaud the move by the International Pragmatics Association journal Pragmatics to jump on the open access bandwagon. From now on, IPrA members can choose between online access or online access and print copies. After a 12 month embargo period, all published materials (currently comprising over 9,000 pages of peer-reviewed articles) will be freely accessible in the Pragmatics archive.