[csaa-forum] ERA Listings and journal survival

Ned Rossiter ned at nedrossiter.org
Wed Jul 16 16:32:42 CST 2008

Sorry to be the spoiler here, but this all sounds very quaint.  Are  
CS academics really so naive with regard to their working conditions?  
While I share the motivations and desires around so-called  
independent journals, both past and present, it is pretty crucial to  
make the connection between the desire for independence and  
infrastructural conditions - minimal as they may be - that university  
employment provides.

Like the 'free labour' of much of the open source software movement,  
the independence of the more peripheral, experimental journals is as  
strong as the 'free time' academics and researchers have to devote to  
the administration and production of such journals.  If that time is  
subtracted by increased administrative / teaching duties that arise  
from the division between research 'active' and 'teaching' staff - a  
division built into the regime of rankings, then it doesn't matter  
how much 'good will'  and 'powerful ideas of critique' there is out  
there.  Simply put, the ERA will impact upon labour conditions, and  
to think otherwise is really pretty freaky.


On 16 Jul 2008, at 14:10, Warwick Mules wrote:

> Three cheers for Adrian Martin’s post. I have been following the  
> discussion on the ERA list with much alarm as almost everyone seems  
> to think that the ERA listing will spell the end of smaller  
> humanities and cultural studies journals, including the one I edit,  
> Transformations. It was against such attempts to include,  
> exclude,   measure and corporatise the ‘content’ of intellectual  
> activity that I initially started Transformations as an  
> independently minded e-journal in 2000. We operate without funding  
> and with a small team of core workers, backed by a helpful group on  
> the editorial board and an army of referees. We are constantly  
> heartened by the amount of good will from academics and others in  
> the humanities towards ensuring  the articles submitted are of the  
> highest standard possible. I cannot see that the possession or not  
> of a high ERA ranking will change this. Indeed, it is my hope that  
> authors will take this opportunity to resist the corporatisation of  
> intellectual output in line with the powerful ideas of critique  
> that we follow and espouse, and continue to support and sustain  
> independent journal publication in Australia by continuing to  
> submit material and offer to referee submissions and the other  
> things that make for a rich, critically minded intellectual culture  
> offering opportunities for all (a fair go) that one assumes the  
> CSAA supports wholeheartedly.
> Regards
> Warwick
> Dr. Warwick Mules
> General Editor  Transformations             http:// 
> www.transformationsjournal.org/
> English, Media Studies and Art History
> University of Queensland
> Brisbane Qld
> mobile: 0412292541
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