Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Teaching History: A Journal of Methods

Teaching History: A Journal of Methods. This journal was designed for history teachers at all levels who wish to read about, or contribute to, innovative methods of teaching history.

It is a good journal. I have read several articles from it and liked them. They were helpful to me in designing lesson plans and having new ideas for teaching history.

Unfortunately, this journal is virtually invisible on the Web. Even though the information economy has shifted to the Web, this journal has no articles (not even some sample ones!) online. This means that search engine spiders do not find the content of this journal, people do not find it when searching online for history topics, and no one can link to journal content. Good articles are read by few when the potential exists for these same articles to be read by multitudes.

I understand that a journal needs to protect a revenue stream. However, can it consider some alternate routes to reflect the reality the information world? How about giving full-text access but placing Google ads which would probably generate more revenue than subscription fees? How about giving away a significant number of notable articles to generate Web traffic which might get more subscriptions? At least give out the table of contents of each issue with abstracts...

I have no doubt that this journal (like many others history journals in the field suffering from Web phobia) will either get a real Web presence or vanish into oblivion. I hope this excellent journal will choose relevance and survival.

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