Journaltalk is the brainchild of George Mason University economist Daniel Klein, built by web developer John Stephens, and developed in consultation with Kevin Rollins, an editor and MA in economics from George Mason University.
[Photos of each of us]
We created Journaltalk to enable people to comment on articles in scholarly journals. Your quality commentary can enhance learning and make researchers and editors more accountable.
Each discussion at Jt pertains to a specific article. By opening up the discussion to all, readers with special knowledge can inform and correct understandings of the subject.
Jt is where you can contribute a different angle on the subject treated by a published article. People come to Jt to comment on articles.
Jt is community-driven. Anyone can input article info to open a new discussion. Anyone can comment.
In journal coverage, Jt is universal. The user can open up a discussion about any article in any scholarly journal — be it arts, humanities, social sciences, or hard sciences.
We hope that Jt will become the focal point for online commentary on journal articles.
“Where does one find commentary on a journal article?” — At Journaltalk!
“Where does one go to comment on a journal article?” — To Journaltalk!
Jt aspires to be the focal point of discussion for the universe of scholarly literature.
Types of Users:
- Readers of journal articles, including researchers
- Authors of journal articles
- Editors and publishers of scholarly journals
A reader may use Jt to follow up on readings. After reading a journal article, the reader can consult Jt to see what others say about it, or to post thoughtful comments about the article. For example, health experts and patients may wish to comment on research articles published in medical journals.
A reader may be a researcher working in the field treated by an article. By reading or posting comments on an article, the researcher may advance his own knowledge of the field.
An author may use Jt to solicit feedback on his or her article. The author can create a discussion page and then share the page link with colleagues and students and encourage commentary on the article. Once a discussion gets started, the author may wish to alert others of the discussion.
The editor or publisher of a journal may use Jt to encourage commentary on the articles published in the journal. If the journal publishes electronic files of its articles, it can stamp each article with a hyperlink that goes directly to the Jt discussion page specific to the article. Such a portal is a courtesy to readers and will generate interest in the journal’s articles. The portal will open up the articles to dialogue—a stimulation to readers.
A teacher can assign an article as course reading and then use Jt to assign students to post comments about it. The students will learn how to formulate a thoughtful comment for public viewing. Jt provides a simple and convenient forum for creative class assignments.
A student in a field may consult Jt to see what others say about a course reading or a seminal article. Reading the discussion may make it easier to understand the article. It may help one to read in a motivated way.
Avoiding Junky Comments
We all know that comment fields can be the sewer of the internet.
To avoid glib and frivolous comments, we require user registration to post a comment. The registration form asks that the user use his or her real name—requiring a first and last name. Commenters, too, should be accountable!
“Impulse” commentary is discouraged via a verification email sent to the user. The verification email will contain a password enabling the user to make comments at Jt.
By building an ethic of authentic user identities, we hope to avoid junky comments.
Our Agenda: Advancing Knowledge by Open Discourse
Jt is offered in the same spirit as Wikipedia and other user-driven platforms. It will thrive best if users determine the content. There is no agenda other than to maintain the platform as a cultural and educational resource. Although frivolous and abusive comments will be removed from Jt, there will no vetting or editing of comments.
Just Getting Started
It will take some time to populate Jt with valuable discussions. The start-up period may take 6 months or a year. We hope that Jt eventually takes off, because it offers great promise as a cultural and educational resource.
If Jt gains recognition as the focal point for discussing journal articles, it may take off in field after field. Jt has been built for high altitude performance.
We have devised four rankings of discussions: Most active, Editor’s Choice, Most recently updated, and by rating of the article.