"Five years from now, professors won't need to be convinced that some academic blogs can be considered scholarly sources. And in ten years? Educators won't be relying solely on university libraries to find an article that has been peer reviewed. By then, the educational academia will have caught up with the professionals who work in law, politics, and journalism."
Peers and I are in phase two of our action research proposal for one of our Educational Technology graduate classes. We are to "[L]ocate at least 5 references (e.g., published papers, book chapters, reports, other documents) that speak to the problem you are investigating." Three of these references must be scholarly resources, a.k.a. peer reviewed. Today in class, I asked my professor if an academic blog could be counted as scholarly. A long discussion ensued, and the answer is still "no."
And thus I embark upon the murky waters of the blogosphere to find out if other people have run up against the same opposition to the use of academic blogs as scholarly sources.
Check out the following excerpt from "The Chronicle of Higher Education: Research and Publishing" from issue dated June 6, 2003 Scholars Who Blog: The soapbox of the digital age draws a crowd of academics By DAVID GLENN
...blogs might actually offer an antidote to academic posturing. Blogging "has some of the best aspects of peer review built into it"....Scholars' entries "are instantly monitored and responded to by others as well-informed as they are." Also, because blog entries can be as long as the author likes, there's little tendency to fall into "the scholarly sound bite -- the public career built on offering quick juicy quotes to the press." And finally, he noted, "At least so far, there are no financial returns to blogging. Much bad public-intellectualism seems to come about because of the temptation to (to put it bluntly) sell out.
Last year, an interesting article appeared The Guardian entitled "Inside the Ivory Tower: Blogging is allowing academics to develop and share their ideas with an audience beyond the universities. But as Jim McClellan reports, not everyone is convinced" which discusses the use of blogs in academia and states, "Some of the blogosphere's biggest names work in academia." The article also proposes:
Over the past decade, academics have used mailing lists, discussion boards and learning journals, but these have usually existed behind university firewalls. In contrast, blogging can invite the rest of the world into the common room - and some believe that can only be a good thing.
I haven't found an academic blog that I would like to use as a scholarly source for my action research project, and maybe, in the end, I won't .
But my gut feeling, for whatever it's worth, is that five years from now, professors won't need to be convinced that some academic blogs can be considered scholarly sources. And in ten years? Educators won't be relying solely on university libraries to find an article that has been peer reviewed. By then, the educational academia will have caught up with the professionals who work in law, politics, and journalism."
P.S. If you're interested in more, check out the following directory links of professors who blog: (these aren't necessarily academic blogs)