Bright is the old gray

Reading Walt’s latest Cites and Insights this jumped out at me:

I believe that gray literature—blogs, this ejournal, a few similar publications and some lists—represents the most compelling and worthwhile literature in the library field today. [Cites & Insights 7:9 – On the Literatyre]

Gray? Gray! Blogs, reports published on the web, web journals: these are brightly colored and shining. They are connected to the life of the web – link and search – and are visible, referencable and available.
In contrast most of the formal library literature is a very dreary affair. Dull publications, hidden for the most part from the web. Determined not to have any influence outside their niche. Gray, Gray, Gray ….
I think we need to revise our terms 😉
The web has shone a light on the formerly gray; the formally published seems to want to stay in the shadows and become the new gray.
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3 thoughts on “Bright is the old gray”

  1. Thanks for the comment. I agree with you…but here’s the thing. My columns in American Libraries (back in the day) are indexed in various reputable A&I sources. So are my unrefereed columns in Online and EContent.

    Cites & Insights, on the other hand, is not. And inquiries about that result in either the “it’s not refereed” line (which covers LJ, American Libraries, etc., etc) or, more realistically “…and it’s just on the web, so it doesn’t really count.”

    [Whereas a startup refereed ejournal that lasted all of two issues was, of course, immediately indexed: It was Scholarship.]

    So gray as in “considered to be ephemeral ” still counts. One reason I wrote the essay…

  2. While I haven’t actually seen the result, even though I’m one of the early adopters, remember that EBSCO claims to be including selected blog content within traditional database search results. Sure there’s still some heavy filtering (only selected blogs, unknown if all content is included), but is this a step towards the mainstreaming of this type of content?

  3. I guess I see a tension between the now (where the library literature and associated apparatus is difficult to use, while web stuff is accessible) and the record (where we don’t have professional practices and services to ensure continued access for the ‘blog’ and other web literature). So what Paul describes is a step in this direction. Of course there are also issues of continued availability.
    I have an entry on the back burner about some of this stuff. I need to finish it!

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