Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Keeping Current in Your Field

ARL (the Association of Research Libraries) recently came out with a report entitled Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication. Among other findings, there is a list of the most popular websites for scholars to stay current in their fields. In the Humanities, one of the most important of these sites is called Humanities and Social Sciences Online or H-Net.

H-Net is "an international interdisciplinary organization of scholars and teachers dedicated to developing the enormous educational potential of the Internet and the World Wide Web." It carries peer-reviewed essays, reviews, and announcements for upcoming events. The site is divided into many individual lists and, as with all such lists, some are more active than others.

Another section is H-Net Reviews. This section provides book reviews--including in-depth ones--of books found of interest to those in the list. There is also the possibility of others' comments to the book review, as well as to any post on the list.

One example of a book in the AUR collection is The Italian legacy in Washington, D.C. : architecture, design, art and culture / edited by Luca Molinari and Andrea Canepari -- Milano : Skira, 2007. with this online review.

Finally, if there is a list you would like but it is not there, you can start one yourself! The ARL report gives many other new and interesting ways that scholars can communicate. One of these is what they term the "academic hub" which is a portal for a scholarly society or professional membership organization. these attempt to be a "one-stop shop" for the most important information. One example is Poynter Online, created by the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists and teachers of journalists.

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