The dissemination of misleading or biased information is not a new phenomenon. Nor is it new for politically motivated forces to drive public misinformation. But, in the era of the internet, the intensity, scale, and global flow of rhetorically skewed messages raises new challenges with real implications. In the fields of scientific knowledge there are planetary implications for the future of human life. In the fields of social or cultural knowledge, the cohesion of peoples and societies is at stake. We are experiencing a fragmentation and polarization of a social life, in part media driven. A move away from principles of mutual trust and shared assumptions about the empirical verifiability of reality are at the very base of existing knowledge structures.
This year’s special focus seeks to ask: what is the role of scholarly communication in this ‘truth’ landscape? What is the role of the scholar in public discourse, and the responsibilities of the scholarly publishing system? Are there qualities that make this domain of information production uniquely suited as a mechanism for intervention? If ‘mainstream media’ and the ‘digital sphere’ are caught up in the battle for the ‘truth’ landscape what role can the scholarly author, funder, librarian and publisher play in building trust? What is the role of their systems for assessing validity, ensuing accessibility, and guaranteeing public discoverability of scholarly work?
"What does Publishing Have to Do with Post-truth?"
Jayson Harsin, Associate Professor, Department Chair - Global Communications, The American University of Paris, Paris, France
Dr. Phillip Kalantzis-Cope, Research Network Chair, Chief Social Scientist of Common Ground Research Networks
With the rise of Publishing Studies programs in universities, there has been a “search for a discipline” (Murray 2007, 2–35). But why consider Publishing Studies in and of itself? Does the social practice of publishing need its own disciplinary frame? Or do conceptual models adequately live in other disciplines, from Information and Library Sciences, to the Sociology of Culture or Literary Sociology, or Communication and Media Studies? Or is Publishing Studies more suited as vocational training, rather than an academic, disciplinary practice, where training of professional practice is subsequently siloed and normalized into sub-categories, genres, and dynamics of practice? With this journal, and the larger Research Network, we seek to offer a framework to approach the question of what makes this domain of social practice unique. We have a twofold aim. On the one hand, we set out to consider the conceptual frames—a social theory of publishing. On other hand, we are equally concerned with considerations of practice—how Publishing Studies shapes the development of a professional community that “lives” in cultures, and societies.
For each conference, a small number of Emerging Scholar Awards re given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active academic interest in the conference area. The Award, with its accompanying responsibilities provides a strong professional development opportunity for early career academics. The 2020 Emerging Scholar Awardees are listed below.
Virtual Presentations are grouped by general themes. Each presenter's formal, written paper will be available to participants if accepted to the journal.