Realizing the Power of Extelligence: A New Business Model for Academic Publishing

By Robert Friedman, Brian Whitworth and Michael Brownstein.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The limitations of traditional academic knowledge exchange systems such as conferences and peer-reviewed journals result in discipline-based scholarship that is feudal in nature and can only dissipate as cross-disciplinary research expands. The next evolutionary step is democratic online knowledge exchange, run by the academic many rather than the publishing-oligarchic few. Using socio-technical tools it is possible to implement an academic publishing business model that maximizes the power of “extelligence”, or knowledge realized through the collective gifting of information. Such a model would change the roles of journal editors and peer reviewers from knowledge gatekeepers to knowledge guides, and change the competitive yet conforming behaviors of academic researchers seeking publication to behaviors that reward collaborative activity that engages research communities in the act of knowledge exchange. We argue that socio-technical systems, social systems sitting on a technical base such as the Internet, can provide effective ways to motivate people to increase knowledge that research communities can share. By employing a hybrid of wiki, e-journal, electronic repository, micro-commenting and reputation systems for readers and writers, along with other socio-technical functions common to social computing such as social book-marking and reader recommendation, we can move from our traditional print publishing model in which prestige is established through publication in slowly produced, expensive and virtually unread journals to a vibrant, online knowledge exchange community built upon the foundations of legitimacy, transparency and freedom.

Keywords: Academic Knowledge Exchange, Academic Publishing, Socio-Technical Systems

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.105-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 799.003KB).

Dr. Robert Friedman

Associate Professor, Science, Technology and Society, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, USA

Rob Friedman is Director of the Science, Technology and Society Division in the College of Science and Liberal Arts at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark NJ, USA. He holds graduate degrees in American Studies and Information Systems that inform research interests in information and communication technologies, literary ecology, socio-technical systems and technology innovation management. He has recent publications in First Monday, International Journal on E-Learning, Technovation, and E-Learning and Advanced Assessment Technologies: Evidence-Based Approaches. Books include Principal Concepts of Technology and Innovation Management: Critical Research Models. Hershey, PA: Idea Group International, with Desiree Roberts and Jonathan Linton, co-authors, 2008, and Hawthorne’s Romances: Social Drama and the Metaphor of Geometry. London: Harwood Academic Press, 2000.

Dr. Brian Whitworth

Instructor, Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Albany, Aukland, New Zealand

Brian Whitworth is a Senior Lecturer at Massey University (Albany), Auckland, New Zealand. He holds a B.Sc. (Mathematics), B.A. (Psychology), M.A. (neuro–psychology), and an Information Systems Ph.D. He has published in journals like Small Group Research, Group Decision & Negotiation, Database for Advances in IS, Communications of the AIS, IEEE Computer, Behavior and Information Technology (BIT), Communications of the ACM and IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics. Topics include generating online agreement, voting before discussing, legitimate by design, spam and the socio–technical gap and the web of system performance. He, with Aldo de Moor, edited the Handbook of Research on Socio–Technical Design and Social Networking Systems (Hershey, Pa.: Information Science Reference, 2009). See

Dr. Michael Brownstein

Assistant Professor, Science, Technology and Society, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, USA

Michael Brownstein is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. His work focuses on unreflective behavior and tacit forms of understanding. He is currently writing a series of articles exploring conceptions of unreflective behavior at work in contemporary philosophy of action (in theories of agency, moral evaluation and intention), in phenomenology (in accounts of engaged coping, embodied know-how, motor intentionality, nonconceptual content and phronesis), in psychology and social psychology (in studies of implicit processing, automatic behavior, intuitive and holistic judgment, subliminal processing and nonconscious processing) and in the popular press (in writings about snap judgments, gut feelings and intuition). He has published articles on the relevance of unreflective behavior to many domains of social practice, including political discourse, practical reasoning and the internet.


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