The ASO Digital Library includes substantive material (articles, reviews, essays etc) that is in most cases provided by our own Authorised Contributors. The Digital Library is capable of storing a diverse range of article types at various stages of development.
Status of material
The material published by ASO can be ascribed any one of three positions within the life-cycle of material of "scholarly record":
- pre-publication: discussion articles made available for review by our Contributors which may or may not subsequently be published in a final form by ASO
- published by ASO: original material published for the first time by ASO, where it becomes the "version of scholarly record"
- re-published by ASO: material previously published elsewhere but now re-published by ASO, possibly in amended form, with due credit to the original publication.
For the implications of the above for authors and other publications see Guidelines for Contributors [forthcoming].
For Review: Discussion Articles
The ASO platform offers the opportunity for authors to submit pre-publication material for review, i.e. Discussion Articles.
The peer commentary process involves ASO Contributors feeding back freely on submitted material via the ASO website comment system. Authors can respond. The peer commentary is accessible only to recognised ASO Contributors who are required to treat the discussion as confidential.
Material submitted as "For review" may be no more than an outline (for example to solicit co-authors) or may be an approximately final version of an article that the author wishes to obtain feedback on. Pre-publication, Discussion Articles are accessible only by authorised ASO contributors and may not be reproduced elsewhere at any point. Post-publication handling of Discussion Articles by ASO is variable and is discussed in more detail under Guidelines for Contributors [forthcoming].
Importantly, the Discussion Article framework can encourage the development of material for the Alexander community's print journals. ASO has no plan to produce a print journal (as clearly indicated in the "Online" in the ASO name), but we recognise that both authors and readers prefer print versions. Authors can use the Open Review process to produce materials of higher quality than would otherwise be the case, featuring concepts and terminology that have been refined in the light of feedback from ASO Contributors. Both authors and journal publishers can proceed with greater confidence as to the merits of the material being published.
To distinguish Discussion Articles from final published versions, titles will always start with the phrase "For Review:" this is integral to the title, which should always be cited in full.
Pending the implementation of a full double-blind peer review process, open review will be mandatory for most material "Published by ASO" (see next section).
Published by ASO
Alexander Encylopaedia Entries
The Alexander Encyclopaedia is envisioned as a body of reference material, covering a wide range of topics associated with the Alexander Technique. Encyclopaedia entries can be anything from detailed reviews of key concepts through to relatively brief biographical entries that discuss relevant individuals connected with the Alexander Technique. They are aimed at the more specialist audience
As the term "reference materials" implies, the intention is that the materials have a strong factual basis. Where there are competing interpretations, the expectation is that an Encylopaedia entry would as a minimum review the different positions of offer, whilst not shying away from adopting a particular one of them with justification provided.
Encyclopaedia entries may be original materials developed for the ASO library or may be have been developed in other contexts and be contributed by the author or copyright holder.
ASO Original Material
ASO offers authors a platform for the publication of high quality contributions to Alexander scholarship. Whilst we expect most authors to seek to publish such work in a print format and therefore via channels other than ASO, some authors may prefer for the version of scholarly record to be published via ASO, for one or more of the following reasons:
- because the interactive nature of ASO facilitates a dialogue with the readership
- because ASO can provide better integration with multi-media resources
- because ASO can accommodate longer articles
In addition, the ASO project will benefit from hosting some original materials to build the profile of the platform: this in turn can help energise and encourage the international Alexander community in developing its capacity for disciplined enquiry.
The diverse range of ASO Original Material includes, potentially:
- Research papers
- Research proposals
- Monographs, essays, commentaries and other original articles
- Resource guides
- Review articles
- Reviews of individual papers, books or other material
- Case studies
- Case series
- Letters to the Editor*
- Internal ASO documents*
* These materials would not be subject to a review process but the comment system would allow feedback post-publication.
Republished by ASO
The Phoenix Series
The Phoenix Series presents material of a high quality and relevant to the aims of Alexander Studies Online but which has previously been published elsewhere. Full credit is always given to the original publisher and the material is republished only where the necessary permissions from the copyright holder (normally the author) exist.
Phoenix Series articles are reformatted in the ASO house style, reflecting the importance that ASO assigns to materials published in this series. Author biographies are also included.
The ASO Digital Annex
The ASO Digital Annex comprises miscellaneous downloadable material, generally of lesser status than that identified above, that might otherwise be hard to find or unobtainable, or might be peripheral to the Alexander Technique but is considered by the Editors to have some relevance.
ASO will aim to publish relevant materials in any of the above categories that are in multi-media format.
Original ASO contributions to the Digital Library will normally be subject to peer review either using a traditional double-blind approach or via peer commentary as described here. On the other hand, material that is being republished by ASO rather than being original might be selected by the Editors and be made available for comment post-publication. This is discussed further in our web-page About Collaboration.
1. For relevant discussion, refer to The Evolving Scholarly Record : (Brian Lavoie, Eric Childress, Ricky Erway, Ixchel Faniel, Constance Malpas, Jennifer Schaffner, and Titia van der Werf. 2014. "The Evolving Scholarly Record". Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2014/oclcresearch-evolving-scholarlyrecord-2014.pdf)
2. For an interesting review of some aspects of the Discussion Article concept see the summary of a Forum Discussion available from the Committee on Publication Ethics website here (274Kb PDF file). The ASO framework avoids some of the pitfalls identified in the discussion.