Kristine Blair and Lanette Cadle’s article “Performing Feminist Community Amid the Politics of Digital Scholarship” provides wonderful examples of academic journals in the field that are living this ideal for “Building A Community Presence” in the digital age. Blair and Cadle’s discussion of Kairos (one of my absolute favorite journals in our field) is a perfect example of a journal that embodies the collaborative, feminist ideal of mentoring—encouraging interactive, multimodal, and team-oriented scholarly projects.
Kairos further has a three-tiered review process, not a two-tiered review process as this article suggests. Kairos is a refereed online open-access journal that publishes webtexts in the field of rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy. As an open-access journal Kairos is free to all users. Each submission to Kairos undergoes a unique and highly collaborative three tiered editorial review process. At the first tier submissions are evaluated for their quality and scholarly credibility. The second tier consists of a two-to-three week review by the entire editorial board in which an assessment is completed to decide whether a submission is a potential candidate to be published in Kairos. If a submission makes it to the third tier, the editors assign a staff member to work with the author to facilitate revisions as needed. After completion of the third tier the author is asked to resubmit their edited submission for a tier one review where the process begins again before a submission is accepted for publication.
Kairos contributors are also asked to employ a variety of creative and hybrid research methods which may include: theoretical, pedagogical, empirical, and historical research. Kairos contributors are provided the opportunity to publish in six different sections [Topoi, Praxis (including: Praxis Wiki’s), Inventio, Interviews, Reviews, and Disputatio] with six different focuses. This design challenges contributors to think outside-the-box and use innovative mediums and methods to propel reader reflection and enhance opportunities for online learning in the field.
The very nature of this Journal makes it an incredibly dynamic pedagogical tool for research in the field of rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy. For example, Jennifer Bowie’s webtexts concerning podcasting in computers and writing classrooms (Link) shows the heterogeneity of research methods employed in Kairos webtexts. Bowie’s treatment and goals for this research are clearly pedagogical in that she is explores the practice and implementation of podcast assignments in writing classrooms. Her research is also highly theoretical in that she inspects the controversy surrounding the term “podcasting,” its shared elements with other genres of media, its “rhetorical roots of spoken argument and texts,” and typologies for writing classrooms, including teacher-produced, student-produced, and externally-produced podcasts. We see there is also an empirical component to her research where she provides a review of limited empirical research on podcasting. Finally, we can also understand her research to be historical through the integration of the five cannons as an example for “how podcasting may be used in classrooms to help students rethink ‘old’ writing concepts” that would help bringing old concepts like the five cannons back into students print writing in new ways.
Finally, Kairos calls for very creative and collaborative digital authorship. Justin Hodson, Scott Nelson, Andrew Rechnitz and Cleve Wiese have produced a very compelling and interactive scholastic webtext about the importance of undergraduate multimedia (Link). Additional contributors that collaborated on this project include: Amanda Booher, Cate Blouke, Will Burdette, Anthony Collamati, D. Diane Davis, Marjorie Foley, Sean McCarthy, Lauren Nahas, Justin Tremel, Tekla Schell, & Victor J. Vitanza.
I agree with Blair and Cadle about the importance of implementing more collaborative, coequal, feminist peer-review processes in publishing. Journals like Kairos provide a model for how this can be done and help us to visibly appreciate the benefits of such collaborative, heterogeneous, and multimodal editorial processes.