Winter 2010: Features

Virtual Vitality

A Sampling of Digital Publications at Emory

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Journal of Family Life

Founders: Candler Professor of Psychology Marshall Duke as editor, Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology Bradd Shore as director of the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life (MARIAL)

Definition: Founded in 2009, The Journal of Family Life offers scholarly and general-interest articles and creative works about the ways modern families make and transmit meaning in their lives through story, myth, ritual, and celebration.

Sample content: “Behold, Your Mother,” an essay about two roommates in a nursing home, one black and one white; “Life is Good,” a live recording of a song written by a cancer survivor, musician, husband, and father.

Creators say: “It became clear that an e-journal would be far less expensive, and more flexible and impressive, than anything we could do in print. The whole is really more than the sum of its parts.”

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Methodist Review

Editors: William R. Cannon Distinguished Professor of Church History Russell Richey; Associate Professor in the Practice of Historical Theology Rex Matthews

Definition: A peer-reviewed journal that began in 2009, Methodist Review publishes scholarly articles about all areas and eras of Wesleyan and Methodist studies; it is sponsored in part by Candler School of Theology, where its editorial office is based, and is hosted in the Digital Systems Division of the University Libraries.

Sample content: “What Makes Theology ‘Wesleyan’?”; “John Wesley and the Twenty-First Century: A Realistic Future.”

Creators say: “The electronic format was purposely chosen for the journal to best serve an increasingly global Methodist/Wesleyan academic audience by allowing for more timely delivery of articles and lower production costs.”

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Molecular Vision

Editors-in-Chief: Jeff Boatright, Robert Church, John Nickerson, faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Emory Eye Center.

Editor: Stephen Cristol 94MPH

Definition: A journal dedicated to biology and genetics in vision research and written “by scientists for scientists,” Molecular Vision began in 1995 as the first peer-reviewed health sciences web-based journal. The site has won several web awards, including “cool science link” from the National Academy Press.

Sample content: “The membrane proteome of the mouse lens fiber cell”; “Molecular characterization of retinitis pigmentosa in Saudi Arabia.”

Creators say:Molecular Vision is ranked in the top 13 percent of all journals and No. 2 in its field (print or online) by impact factor; it is ranked in the top 5 percent by number of articles published. It is indexed by all major services and is entirely free to the world.”

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Practical Matters

Cofounder: Associate Professor of Christian Ethics Liz Bounds

Definition: Produced by the Graduate Division of Religion, Practical Matters began in 2009 and is supported by a Lilly Foundation grant, the University Libraries, and the Laney Graduate School. Pushing the boundaries of both the study of religious practices and the discipline of practical theology, Practical Matters “illuminates the intersections of religion, health, and healing.”

Sample content: “Religious Idealism: Serving Others in the Name of Faith”; “Vernacular Abstinence: Teenagers, Purity Rings, and Rites of (Blocked) Passage.”

Creators say: “Online, we’re able to reach a broader audience than we would through a print publication. Clergy, lay leaders, students, and scholars can all contribute to the conversation and share rich intellectual reflection on the work they’re doing.”

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Religion Dispatches

Executive Editor: Professor of American Religious History and Culture Gary Laderman

Definition: A daily online magazine offering analysis and commentary on religious forces, Religion Dispatches was launched in February 2008 and recently received a grant of $870,000 from the Ford Foundation—one of the largest single grants to the humanities in the history of Emory College. Giving emphasis to the progressive voice, the magazine’s site has passed the two million page view mark; its Facebook fans total nearly two thousand.

Sample content: An article on gay marriage, “A Marriage Manifesto—of Sorts”; “Evolution and Creation Fight to the Death: What emerges from the ashes?”

Creators say: “We are driven by what’s happening in the world now. Part of the nature of this beast is to be fast on your feet and be constantly ready to change.”

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Southern Spaces

Senior Editor: Associate Professor of American Studies Allen Tullos

Definition: A peer-reviewed, multimedia, open access journal exploring the “real and imagined places” of the U.S. South, Southern Spaces started in 2004 and accepts essays, videos, short documentaries, photos, and interviews; it has tens of thousands of visitors each year from around the world. The Woodruff Library maintains the journal’s archives as part of its Digital Library Research Initiatives.

Sample content: “Crosses, Flowers and Asphalt: Roadside Memorials in the U.S. South”; “Dirty Decade: Rap Music and the U.S. South.”

Creators say: “We function as a digital press and archive. We’ve had a great reception from scholars around the country and outside the U.S. both in sending submissions and providing peer review. And we’re putting up new pieces all the time, an average of two or three a month.”

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Winter 2010

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