(Updates at the bottom.)
This post comprises an important three-pronged announcement:
First, the latest version of the Library (Beta 3) will soon be going live.
Currently there is a brand-new mockup you can take a look at here (but be careful as most of the links aren’t connected yet). Where I did not realize it myself, as I’ve been told by others it is much more “Gawker-like” with how it shows the latest posts in whatever category or topic you’re viewing in the right-hand column.
Once this goes live, you will have the ability to create a Library ID, which opens up a large number of new features, among them being:
- The ability to build a public profile for yourself and your academic work.
- Link that profile to author names and blogs in the archive by claiming them.
- Customize what claimed blogs and author accounts display on their information pages and how often the Archivist software checks for updates.
- Create, organize, and share lists of posts (“portals”) of your own.
- Contribute to specific portals by setting up unique tags.
It’s going to be awesome, and I hope to have it up to use by the end of this month, and fully functional by the end of September.
Secondly, I am officially announcing Ephemeris Bibliablogarum: The Biblioblog Journal.
Finally. With all of the well-written articles and so much talk about a journal over the past number of years, we’re actually going to do it. The peer review system is going to be fully integrated with Beta 3 of the Library, and will have a bunch of spiffy features that will be revealed over the next month as well, so keep watching this space. It will be published in both traditional paper and digital open-access (via a special section of the website).
Thirdly, I am officially announcing The Biblioblog Reference Library Press.
With a journal, there should be a publishing house to look after it, and The Biblioblog Reference Library Press will fill that role. With a strong peer review and editing process, the Press will publish titles in the Humanities that fall in and around Biblical Studies as a field in both traditional paper and digital formats (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc.).
More to come, so stay tuned. 🙂
UPDATE 8:30PM: Jim West writes:
Steve’s been busy lately. He’s started a new Journal for bloggers and a new Press for publications. And it’s all peer reviewed (I wonder who those peers are!).
Anyway, I still have reservations and questions. Aside from who the ‘peers’ are (will they be degreed academics or loving amateurs?), will there be a connection to the already existing bibliobloggers group of SBL? Is Steve reinventing the wheel? Questions, questions.
Yep! Busy because I believe that this is something genuinely worth the effort, and here’s how:
I’m not the one who’s going to be “starting” the Journal, as it were, as it will ultimately rest upon the Biblioblogging community. My goal in this is to create a channel to do this that is accessible to each and every Biblioblogger backed with the right technology to make it happen and give (or be) the proper, consistent “oomph” in the right direction. I don’t plan on publishing any of my own articles on this, so it’s not going to be about creating a vanity journal to wave my own flag about. This is about organizing, reviewing, and recognizing superb and reliable work amongst all Bibliobloggers. The same for the Press.
Now, as for the peers: They’re going to be everyone who is more or less traditionally qualified. As I mentioned above, in Beta 3 of the Library software, one of the largest added features is a means for Bibliobloggers to compile a personal profile, listing their academic achievements, areas of expertise and areas of interest, and whether or not they would like to be a part of a battery of experts for article submissions. When an article is sent in for inclusion, requests for putting together an editorial board for review will go out to people in that battery who match the article’s scope. Both of these — the credentials and the scope — will, of course, be vetted beforehand and that gruntwork I will do, as finding reliable sources is something we librarians tend to do well to begin with. 🙂
I’ll have a full flow chart and other information about how that entire process works in the upcoming month.
As for SBL involvement, I feel like discussing this I’m jumping the gun, but since it has been asked I believe that it might as well be known: I was in the midst of drafting a letter to all of the members of the unit / steering committee requesting comments and guidance on how things should mesh together as well as solicit thoughts. That letter will be forthcoming, and I look forward to dialoging in depth on this matter.
Am I reinventing the wheel? I sure as hell hope not. I’m shooting to get a wheel rolling. 🙂
— The Reference Librarian