Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Distressing? Distressing! BMCR is not spam!

A notice at the Bryn Mawr Classical Review reads:
Please note that Google has removed all access to our blog after incorrectly flagging it as a spam blog. We had requested a rehttp://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/view which did not happen, and on September 28 Google removed all access to the blog, which we are attempting to appeal.
I certainly hope this is a mistake!

For now the BMCR blog is blank.

Good news! Update: at http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/
Sept. 29: For the time being, our blog can only be accessed at http://brynmawrreview.blogspot.com. It was incorrectly flagged as a spam blog; Google has reversed its decision, but access to www.bmcreview.org is delayed.

ISAW Doctoral Program in Ancient World

This (and more detail) now up on the ISAW website:
The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is now receiving applications for its program in the Ancient World (2010-2011 academic year). This new doctoral program is distinctive in its flexibility and breadth, embracing the disciplines relevant to a comprehensive understanding of the entire Old World in antiquity. ISAW seeks students with sufficient preparation in at least one discipline or domain to allow them to work beyond its limits and who are committed to scholarly inquiries that cross boundaries of time, place, and discipline. Inaugurated in 2009/10, ISAW’s doctoral program offers rich opportunities for collegial learning and exposure to new perspectives within a research community.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Jim West posts a document intended "to clarify, purify, and solidify"


The Society of Biblical Literature’s recent decision to grant affiliate status to an informal grouping of SBL members who blog on biblical studies has generated several questions and issues that the SBL would like to clarify.

1. Who are “bibliobloggers” and are they an organization?

“Bibliobloggers” is a loose term used to describe the over 300 people who blog about the Bible; half of that number are SBL members. Up until this point, these bloggers have had no formal organizational structure, but have met informally and held discussions at the SBL annual meeting. The affiliate agreement was initiated by SBL executive director, Kent Richards and Jim West, a biblioblogs site administrator and SBL member.

2. Why did SBL make the affiliate agreement?

The SBL was in the process of having internal conversations about the potential of the internet and blogs in particular to communicate scholarship and organizational info among our members, and possibly beyond. It seemed wise to look to our members who were already using the technology and savvy about its uses; perhaps there were ways to learn from them and encourage internal discussion of issues related to blogs?

It came to our attention that a group of SBL members who blog were already convening at our annual meeting, but had to go off-site for group discussions. The SBL decided to offer affiliate status so that these SBL members could meet on-site at the Annual Meeting, free of charge, just as other affiliates, such as the Homiletics or Adventist societies do.

3. Is SBL endorsing the academic quality of all ‘biblioblogs’?

Just as with any affiliate status, the SBL neither affirms nor endorses the internal content of the affiliate. What the SBL does is to provide free meeting space and the opportunity to hold sessions. However, the hope is that this affiliation will increase member awareness of blogs as a means to engage others, thoughtfully and responsibly, on the topic of biblical studies.

4. Will bloggers now make use of their affiliate status to propose sessions or section units at the Annual Meeting? And if so, who will be responsible for reviewing their proposals?

Yes, as affiliate members, bloggers who are SBL members may propose sessions. Robert Cargill is the program unit chair, and the steering committee includes, April DeConick, Stephanie Fisher, Mark Goodacre, Christian Brady, Michael Barber, and Jim West. The steering committee will be responsible for reviewing all proposals.


For further information
Contact: Moira Bucciarelli
Tel: 404-727-9484
Email: moira.bucciarelli@sbl-site.org

I commented on this issue a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5 major American universities commit to support OA journals

Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity


Scholarly publishing is going through a transformation as a result of digital means of communication, coupled with the financial predicament of libraries. With the most recent economic downturn, access to scholarly articles, so important to research progress and public advancement, will no doubt suffer.

Open-access scholarly journals have arisen as an alternative to traditional subscription scholarly journals. Open-access journals make their articles available freely to anyone, while providing the same services common to all scholarly journals, such as management of the peer-review process, filtering, production, and distribution. Since open-access journals do not charge subscription or other access fees, they must cover their operating expenses through other sources, including subventions, in-kind support, or, in a sizable minority of cases, processing fees paid by or on behalf of authors for submission to or publication in the journal.

Universities subsidize the costs of subscription journals by subscribing to them. Universities and funding agencies can provide equitable support for the processing-fee business model for open-access journals — to place the subscription-fee and processing-fee models on a more level playing field — by subsidizing processing fees as well.

The compact for open-access publishing equity supports equity of the business models by committing each university to "the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds."

A full account of the motivation for the compact can be found in the article "Equity for Open-Access Journal Publishing" published in the open-access journal Public Library of Science Biology.

Additional universities are encouraged to sign on to the compact at this web site.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bibliobloggers and SBL recognition

There's an interesting and curious discussion cooking among the bible bloggers about efforts among them to affiliate with the Society of Biblical Literature. There are apparently strong opinions on both sides of the matter. Here's a roundup of opinions by Daniel O. McClellan.

Can anyone think of other instances in which a group of bloggers has sought to to affiliate with or hold blogger/blogging related sessions on the program of the meetings of scholarly societies?

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Friday, September 4, 2009

"The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations"

The report commissioned by the National Humanities Alliance, "The Future of Scholarly Journals Publishing Among Social Science and Humanities Associations," is now posted on the NHA website.

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Bible, Blogs, Gender

During recent days the Biblioblog community has been addressing, jointly and severally, the question of why there are not more female bloggers among them, and if there are in fact more, why they do not seem to be visible.

Jim Linville's contribution this morning at Dr. Jim's Thinking Shop & Tea Room summarizes much of the discussion:
Throw Another Blog on the Fire: Gender Blender Bible Blogging.

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