April DeConick has some interesting things to say about obtaining tenure at a university and how blogging probably is counter-productive. She’s probably right.
But the future of the knowledge train does not run through the academic journal: it takes too long to disseminate knowledge. Turn around time can be up to a year and a half, and the journals and ‘professional societies’ are dinosaurs holding on to an outdated model just to survive. The tenure process feeds this old lion, while also leading our smartest people towards over-specialization and avoidance of big, important, and even vital problems.
People should post results as soon as they have them, getting feedback now instead of in half a year. Posts can be transformed into longer, more formal papers, also posted on-line and submitted to journals. Journals should be printouts of on-line collections. The rule that a work cannot have been submitted before or posted publicly should be eliminated, as should the rule against posting after publication.
And the rules of tenure must be rewritten, taking into account on-line measures of reputation.