Santayana would likely approve
June 14, 2009 6:08 AM   Subscribe

History and Policy UK-based collaborative project by noted historians, offering free-to-view history papers on topics relevant to current policy issues.
posted by Abiezer (5 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I see they require the papers be based on peer reviewed work rather than peer reviewing them themselves. They also have links to external "papers" (like that Guardian article) which are far from scholarly in any academic sense. I wonder if this will work.

You would have to have written something already published and then re-write it for this site. That would be a lot of work for today's "publish or perish" academics with little or no academic reward. I can't really see this model working.

If I'm right, and I might well not be, it's a bit of an indictment of modern academia. It will be worth watching though, if only to see if that cynicism is warranted.
posted by GeckoDundee at 6:05 AM on June 15, 2009

Good points, GeckoDundee - none of which occurred to me as a non-academic. The Guardian article on the BNP (current top external link) was pretty poor all round IMO, with several non-specialists making pointless parallels, but I found the site via their article on the Peckham Health Centre, which is excellent.
posted by Abiezer at 6:35 AM on June 15, 2009

Yeah, this doesn't sound very promising. When I first glanced at the post I thought it would be historians linking to already published papers on topics relevant to current events, which would be excellent (is there such a site?); expecting them to write new papers for the site strikes me as kind of silly.
posted by languagehat at 7:40 AM on June 15, 2009

In defence of it (since I posted the bugger!) they seem to have managed to accumulate a good range of writing and have kept it going for a couple of years now. The other paper I looked through on policing was thought-provoking and informative, and with the sources listed at the end points you in the right direction to look further. If they can keep at it, should go at least some way to serving its stated purpose of providing background to non-specialists.
posted by Abiezer at 7:58 AM on June 15, 2009

On re-reading, I probably sounded more down on this site than I'd intended. I also didn't notice that it had been around for so long. So, thanks for posting it and I should really have a proper look at it before prophesying its imminent collapse. There's certainly a lot there worth reading, if the paper on policing you linked to is indicative of the general quality. Also, if anyone does know of a site like the one languagehat describes, I'd like to hear about it too.
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:48 PM on June 15, 2009

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