Blogging as academic scholarship

Professor Martin Weller expounds the benefits of blogging for scholars:

In terms of intellectual fulfillment, creativity, networking, impact, productivity, and overall benefit to my scholarly life, blogging wins hands down. I have written books, produced online courses, led research efforts, and directed a number of university projects. While these have all been fulfilling, blogging tops the list because of its room for experimentation and potential to connect to timely intelligent debate. That keeps blogging at the top of the heap.

But blogging won’t get you tenure, no matter your impact on the world through your writing. That’s a shame.

Academic journals are dying, however, and the idea of publishing in academic journals that no one reads — and are very expensive to read if you do want to read them — is better than sharing information freely with the world seems silly to me. The Web has disrupted book, magazine and newspaper publishing. It seems that it will begin to disrupt scholarly publishing.

What should academic publishing be like? Should professors be encouraged to freely share their work on the Web for anyone to read and comment on? Perhaps the worst part of publishing in journals is that you can’t share your writing on the Web; the journal now owns the writing (you can rewrite your findings if you really want to, but that doesn’t seem like a good use of time).