Maximizing the Reach of a Graduate Research Journal Through Open Source Tools and Social Media

Rajendra Bose, Columbia University

Abstract


A new graduate research journal for cultural studies at Columbia University, titled Cultural Formations, will go beyond traditional online journaling to conjoin and enhance Open Journal Systems and Open Conference Systems with blog, wiki, tagging, image, and repository tools. The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS), part of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, is collaborating with CU Teachers College Students for a Cultural Studies Initiative (SCSI) to establish this open-access, peer-reviewed online journal.

SCSI's main objectives for Cultural Formations are to publish research in the fast-growing field of cultural studies and education, to display SCSI annual conference proceedings and related materials, and to foster collaborative scholarship by individuals at all levels of education, throughout the research community and beyond. For CDRS, this project is a pilot for its services supporting new publishing technologies that integrate Web 2.0 tools and interface with the University's research repository, Academic Commons.

Cultural Formations is currently in initial development, and the first phase will be launched in late Spring 2009. The evolving platform will ultimately offer unique features such as single sign-on for users across all sections of the platform, regardless of user role (editor, commenter, contributor), as well as layered but unhampered participation in scholarly dialogue and development for people from diverse demographics.

This paper shares the goals, process, challenges, and initial lessons learned in the creation of this multi-faceted online platform. Issues addressed include the achievement of interoperability among multiple tools; copyright management; use of Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE); usability; demographic suitability of interfaces, and more.