Writing and Publishing in the Boundaries: Academic Writing in/through the Virtual Age

Peterson, Patricia Webb

Increasingly, online publications are vying for prominence and acceptance in the academy. Questions about their validity and quality are raised alongside debates about the effects that these publications will have on academic scholarship. Despite all the hype around e-journals, few have carefully analyzed what differences actually exist between online journals and print journals. In this article, I undertake a comparative analysis of two key journals in the specialty field of computers and composition—Computers and Composition: An International Journal for Teachers of Writing, primarily a print journal, and Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, an e-journal. While Computers and Composition does maintain a web presence, historically it has been a print-based journal and continues to be for a variety of economic and scholarly reasons. Kairos, on the other hand, originated as an online journal and presents itself as an alternative to traditional print-based publishing.

Although it may seem simple to compare the two journals given the different media they appear in, developing evaluative criteria that cut across print and hypertext is a project in and of itself. The focus of this article then is twofold. First, I argue for the use of particular criteria to evaluate the two journals, creating a rubric/heuristic that we can use to evaluate the impact computer technologies are having on our conceptions of what scholarly publishing is and should be. Second, I then use these criteria to compare the two journals in order to point out similarities and differences that can be used to explore the ideological shifts in our field in order to identify and analyze the ways in which our definitions of what it means to be a scholar in our field are shifting and being contested. The rubric and analysis is useful for writing instructors as they teach students to evaluate online writing sources as well. Having students compare traditional characteristics of print to characteristics of online writing can help them map out key differences in rhetorical presentations in various media.

The debates and battles that are being waged right now in our field can be seen through the reading of the over-determined differences between the presentation of scholarship in two different media. So, what is at stake here is not simply print versus online work, but, rather, who gets to define what it means to be a scholar in the university. Throughout this article, I resist the move to create simple dichotomies between the two types of journals; instead, I trouble and complexify the distinctions because it is in that process that we can determine the core issues we need to be paying attention to right now. [1] I conclude this webtext by exploring the pedagogical implications of the issues addressed here.

A note about how to read this text: I've designed it so that it can be useful to two audiences: 1) theorists/practitioners in the field of rhetoric/composition who are exploring issues of how technologies are changing print-based assumptions; and 2) writing instructors who want to teach their students how to analyze the differences between print and online writing. This webtext is structured around three key criteria that are intended to guide such evaluations. Under each criteria are three main sections: "Justification for the Criteria," which provides the theoretical background for the criteria along with a series of questions/ideas we need to consider as we address the issues; "Comparative Analysis" in which I use the questions/ideas listed in the previous section to compare the two journals; and "So What? Evaluation" in which I focus on the significance of the comparisons in reshaping our definitions of writing and writer. Beyond the theoretical relevance, the article was written to be practically and pedagogically useful. I encourage writing instructors to pull the questions/ideas and use them in their courses to get students started thinking about these issues. The questions/ideas would be a good handout to help students address audience issues in multiple media.

Criteria #1: Histories and Current Purposes of the Journals

Justification for the Criteria. Why history? Given that I'm analyzing online journals, i.e., the wave of the future, why should we look back? Why should history be an important criterion when comparing the two journals?As Marshall McLuhan suggested in 1964, the future is always told from the vantage point of the rearview mirror. In other words, we see what is possible in the future through the possibilities that we conceive of in the current moment. In their 1999 book, Remediation, Understanding New Media, Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin call this process “remediation.” The process of remediation rests on the belief that “new digital media are not external agents that come to disrupt an unsuspecting culture. They emerge from within cultural contexts, and they refashion other media, which are imbedded in the same or similar contexts” (19). [2] Studying the history of print journals and online journals helps us to see the ways online journals are currently troubling traditional definitions of disciplinary knowledge.

Given that our construction of our histories shapes our current conceptions of a thing, it is difficult (especially for me) to leave history in the past. It always seeps into the present. This fact—the slippages between now and then—is the reason I contend that histories and current purposes should be linked in our analysis of journals’ roles in our field. The purpose(s) of a journal is (are) presented in various explicit and implicit places throughout the journal and say(s) much about what kinds of scholars and scholarship are encouraged or allowed. For example, when a journal identifies a specific list of topics that it is looking for (part of its purpose, certainly), it designates what is acceptable scholarship. Further, when a journal lists the formats the articles/submissions must take, it privileges certain research methods, certain ideological frameworks, etc.

Scholars and researchers in the field also help to shape, further, or challenge the journal's purpose in two significant ways: through the types of articles they submit to the journal and through the comments and evaluations they make when they serve on editorial boards. As authors themselves, scholars interpret the journal's purpose and publication requirements through their own ideological, cultural, and political lenses. By pushing the boundaries (in content and form, or what I'll call here, rhetorical presentation), scholars play an integral role in creating a journal's purpose. Further, as researchers we sit on editorial boards and complete blind reviews. Through this activity, we have a direct impact on how other authors revise and reshape their articles, what types of sources and research are privileged, as well as what styles of argument are accepted.

A journal’s purpose, then, is to advance a particular conversation, a specific set of views, and a certain kind of identity. All of them are grounded in its historical roots, and so it is integral to the project I lay out here for us to examine both histories and purposes together.

An analysis of this kind, then, could/should examine the following:

  • who publishes/sponsors the journal?
  • when and how did it start?
  • who is constructed as the primary audience?
  • what is the journal’s position/reputation in the field?
  • what impact does the medium have on its message?
  • what is the purpose of the journal, historically and currently?
  • what are its submission guidelines?
  • what kind of research is privileged?
  • how does its format express its purposes?
  • how do scholars and researchers in the field perceive the journal?

In the next section, I use these questions to compare the two journals to illustrate what can be learned from using this criterion.

Comparative Analysis

The roots of Computers and Composition date back to the first conversations about computers and writing held at 4C's. It began in November 1983 as a newsletter and has since changed its presence to a journal which presents “more substantial articles” written by “specialists who [have] something important to say about computer use in English classrooms” (Hawisher, et al. 92). In their history of the field, Gail Hawisher, Paul LeBlanc, Charles Moran, and Cynthia Selfe contend that the journal played an important role in professionalizing the field of computers and composition by offering scholars an intellectually sanctioned space to publish their research. As Selfe comments in a personal e-mail,

The publication thing was so important [. . .] because a lot of computer folks were doing non-traditional projects anyway—looking at topics most academics wouldn’t look at, using methods that others might not use, talking about technology in a humanist field, doing highly interdisciplinary work, merging teaching and scholarship. Because of this fact, they were always having trouble making cases for tenure [. . .] These folks, it was clear to us, needed a way to balance their cases with more conventional print publications so that the cases would seem credible to committees, to department chairs, and to T&P committees. In this context, C&C’s print presence was essential.

The journal, then, helped to create a professional image for computers and composition scholars. Today, it still stands as the premier journal in the field and continues to offer a space for researchers to publish scholarly pieces.

As the journal changed from a newsletter to a journal, its format and its purposes changed. First, the size of the journal changed when Hawisher and Selfe stopped self-publishing the journal. As Hawisher pointed out in a personal e-mail message, “when we moved from publishing the journal ourselves to Ablex, Walter Johnson at Ablex recommended the size change.” The impact of this shift, which the editors described as “a distinctive, redesigned format” which was “trim” and “distinctive” (Vol. 11, No 1-2, 1994, 1), suggests that the journal was trying to achieve a more professionalized image for the journal and hence for the field of computers and composition. At the same time, its purpose shifted to include a broader focus. The editors explained in “From the Editors” in Volume 11, No. 1-2, 1994: “With this inaugural issue of Volume 11, we begin a new adventure as the only international academic publication focusing on the use of computers in writing instruction and dedicated to bringing together, within its pages, a worldwide community of teachers, scholars, and technology users” (1).

Kairos was introduced on January 8, 1996. Sponsored by the Alliance for Computers and Writing (ACW), this journal was designed to be a web-based journal that, as the first assistant editor Elizabeth Pass states, "explores all aspects of the pedagogical and scholarly uses of hypertext, and is published entirely in a hypertextual format" (Qtd. in CMC Magazine). The term kairos highlights the realization that "'in hypertextual environments, writers are not only learning to strike forcefully in the traditional sense of presenting the correct words in the proper manner, but are also learning to weave a writing space that is more personal than the standard sheet of paper'" (CMC). Cited extensively in print journals as well as linked to in online courses, articles, references lists, and bibliographies, Kairos has become widely known and respected in the field of rhetoric and composition as the premier online journal.

Like Computers and Composition, Kairosformat also changed, but its shifts were driven by scholars' and researchers' growing familiarity with hypertext rather than publisher’s input. If we compare the most current issue of Kairos (at the time of my writing, the most current issue was Kairos 6.2) to the first issue of the journal, we can see quite a few differences from the journal’s earlier issues. First and foremost, the graphics and layout of both the journal itself and the articles are more sophisticated—technologically and visually. The picture on the homepage is reminiscent of a scene from Bladerunner whereas the picture on issue 1.1 is definitely a computer-generated image that appears like a cartoon-esque character rather than a more “real” picture. [3] Likewise, the layout of the table of contents is more professional in the later issue. Issue 6.2’s Table of Contents (which is not called “Table of Contents,” but instead is simply the first page a user comes to when logging onto this issue) is laid out very much like a print journal’s would be, supporting Kenneth Arnold’s assertion that the basic journal format is easily transferred to an online environment (386). In this case, Kairos has adopted print-based, traditionally accepted strategies for structuring the table of contents. One reason, perhaps, is that we are used to reading table of contents in that way. The information is more easily accessible than the “At a Glance” section of Issue 1.1 which is structured around key words arranged next to small, cartoonish icons. In the earlier format, the user must click on the key word to get a list of the articles in that particular section. While this earlier format may seem to be more consistent with hypertextual style, the format of issue 6.1—a long, single list of articles broken up by bolded headings—is more user friendly. [4]

Just as Kairos tries to balance tradition and innovation in its format, its purposes try to achieve the same goal. On the opening page of the journal’s site, it is stated “our goal at Kairos is to offer a progressive and innovative online forum for the exploration of writing, learning, and teaching in hypertextual environments like the World Wide Web. At the same time, we hope that our balance between the cutting edge of the Web and the traditional academic need for juried publications will help electronic scholarship earn a stronger and more valued place in our field.”Clearly, this journal identifies its purpose as both conforming to while still challenging traditional disciplinary definitions of scholarship and scholars.

So What? Evaluation

Why should histories and purposes be one of the criteria used to analyze journals? What conclusions about the ideological shifts in what counts as scholars and scholarship can be drawn from the above analysis? As was pointed out in my brief overview of the two journals above, a key difference between the two histories is that one journal started as and continues to be primarily a print-based journal and that the other started as and continues to be only online. The significance of this fact lies in the journals’ different responses to disciplinary constraints. The print-based journal helped to create a field by solidifying and reifying a number of disparate but connected scholars and research agendas. The online journal challenges traditional disciplinary definitions of good scholarship in that already created field by creating a space for unconventional projects—both in terms of topic and presentation. That the online journal is still respected despite their unconventionality suggests that the print journal’s publication of alternative projects has helped to expand the boundaries enough so that more scholars are now acknowledging online work as rigorous scholarship. While Jean-Claude Guedon contends that, to date, online journals begin by riding on the tails of discipline-specific print journals rather than starting through the creation of a new discipline, it is clear from a study of the different histories of the two journals, we cannot clearly label the print journal as “old” and the online journal as “new.” Both journals were created to challenge the status quo and to create institutionally acceptable yet still diverse spaces for publication. These seemingly easy distinctions do not hold.

Although print journals such as Computers and Composition may have helped to create disciplinary fields, electronic journals are creating their own niche by increasingly focusing on interdisciplinary studies and by encouraging innovative and expanding definitions of scholarly writing. As Guedon points out, the globalness of the problems and issues we’re studying today require that scholars from different disciplines work together to arrive at workable answers. These kinds of projects require flexible, fluid flows of information and conversations across belief systems, i.e. the kinds of discussions that the Internet is supposed to provide. At the same time, print journals are becoming increasingly static, according to Guedon. “Due to greater and greater delays in publishing, learned journals act less and less as communication tools. Their major roles have more to do with legitimizing knowledge and archiving it. Meanwhile communication goes on in a rather improvised way” (345). One of these ways is for print journals to use online spaces to expand their content and create more immediate connections with audiences. Another way to overcome the delays of print is to publish articles in online journals.

But each of these solutions suggests a different definition of scholarship and scholars. Computers and Composition, which has chosen to remain a print journal with a strong online presence [5] and Kairos, which is a completely online journal, each provide different opportunities for scholars in the field. Instead of competing with each other, these two journals complement each and expand the publishing options. The print journal enjoys and trades in the widespread acceptance of print journals as rigorous scholarly work. While some of their articles challenge traditional print-based assumptions, Computers and Composition tends to define scholarship in fairly traditional and specific contexts. In order to determine this, all one must do is read the “Information for Authors” at the back of the print journal that defines the topics and the formats for submissions. These guidelines suggest a specific page length, ask for a 200 word abstract, and require that authors use a slightly modified APA style—all traditional requirements. Its online space allows scholars to challenge those boundaries a bit more, but the journals reputation comes from its print journal and book series rather than its online presence.

While Kairos editors recognize the demands of the academy on journal publications, they are carving a different niche for themselves than Computers and Composition does. In “From the Editor:Hitting Reload,” Mick Doherty, the first editor of Kairos, contends that “there are demands from the traditional academy and its grizzled tenure-promotion process. What counts? Has it been peer-reviewed? Where was ‘it’ (the final text) ‘published’ (where can it be viewed)?” (1). In an attempt to address those demands, the journal has archived its texts so that readers can access them at will anytime. Kairos tries to “nod to the demands of tradition” (Doherty 1) through archiving, peer review, and formal citation methods, but it also attempts to challenge the traditional conventions by offering a space where innovations can be practiced and tried out. While the topics they list on the “Submissions” page include fairly traditional foci—“empirical research reports [. . .] theoretical essays [. . .]” (1)—the journal “will only publish ‘native’ webtexts (i.e., composed in/for hypertext or the World Wide Web); any submissions which could be printed in a traditional paper-journal are not appropriate to this venue” (1). Achieving a balance between tradition and innovation seems to be at the heart of Kairos’ history, a fact that suggests that the physical (or virtual) medium directly influences the kinds of scholarship that is allowed/encouraged.

The dual purposes of reflecting what the field wants and creating new definitions of scholars and scholarship are certainly at work in Kairos, just as in Computers and Composition. Defining how we will use the Web, how it will shape our scholarship, and what academic scholarly work on the web will look like has been and continues to be an important function that both Computers and Composition and Kairos play. Print articles, however, tend to talk about the issue while online authors actually enact it while they discuss it.“What’s the point of reading on the web?” asks Jason Conrad Teague, the first Production Manager of Kairos.

Sure hyperlinks are cool and there’s lots of stuff out there to read. But is there any actual advantage to reading text on screen? Why not just print it out? Paper is transportable, more randomly accessible, and much easier on the eyes. However, the talmudic tradition aside, paper cannot dynamically display information from a myriad of sources. With frames, the web can do just that.(“What You See . . .”).

Given its acceptance in our field as one of the premier online journals, Kairos is an outsider/within because it is within the system but works to change that system, as Sibylle Gruber describes it. Computers and Composition serves both as insiders/within because it did and still does create the field of computers and composition using publishing methods that are acceptable to tenure and promotion committees and as outsiders/within because it represents a marginalized group of scholars within the larger field of Rhetoric/Composition, which is itself a marginalized field in English Studies, which is also marginalized in the larger university system. So, while Computers and Composition reflects part of a discipline within the university, it represents a marginalized one that works to critique and challenge traditional disciplinary conventions.

By studying the histories and purposes of the two journals, we can begin to identify some of the core issues which are affecting our field. The different, sometimes conflicting, sometimes complementary agendas of Computers and Composition and Kairos highlight these key struggles and tensions in our field and in the larger field of English Studies and within the university structure itself. Analyzing the criterion of history and purpose allows us to see that not only are the two media asking for different formats, but they are actually creating different notions of scholarship and scholars. Scholars publishing in Computers and Composition must abide by more traditional definitions of writing and research while those who publish in Kairos must find a balance between traditional research methods and innovative topics and presentation styles. The effect that the online journals may have on the print journals has not been determined yet, but it is certainly an issue we need to pay attention to as we move forward. Paying attention to those issues and historically examining the ways that our specializations are addressing them is no small or insignificant feat. Knowing where we’ve come from can help us to decide what we’re really struggling over now.

Criteria #2: Rhetorical Presentation

Justification of the Criteria. What is rhetorical presentation and why is it important? I focus on rhetorical presentation to argue for a reconceptualization of two entities—the visual and the verbal—which, traditionally, have been separated and analyzed using different sets of strategies. As a criteria for comparing print and online journals, rhetorical presentation helps us to study the ways in which texts work. Examining the layout of the text and the flows through the texts allows us to look at the ideological and political nature of journals by studying the ways that these agendas get defined through both the visual and the verbal. The experience of an article, whether in print or online, then, is shaped by the work that both graphics and words are made to do. Comparing the different rhetorical presentations of Computers and Composition and Kairos highlights the ideological shifts in our field.

Taking heed to Ann Wysocki's in "Impossibly Distinct:On Form/Content and Word/Image in Two Pieces of Computer-Based Interactive Media," published in a 2001 issue of Computers and Composition, I revised my original idea to discuss these two pieces of the whole in separate sections. In her article, Wysocki gives "examples of how the word/image distinction—with its supporting architectures of content separated from form, writing from the visual, information for design—loses its distinction in two pieces of interactive computer-based multimedia" (210). By comparing two CD-Rom presentations of Matisse's paintings, she carefully and thoroughly proves that "the differences between the visual presentations of these CDs are not then differences simply of form or theme or emotion or assistance to memory [. . .] the differences between the visual presentations of these CDs are differences of assertion and thought" (224). Through her analysis, we see that one CD never shows the piece of art by itself, always incorporating some sort of text around it. Through a combination of constant motion and text/picture blending, it does not privilege the piece of art by itself (225). The other CD, however, forces the reader to stop and study the art, much like the stereotypical sense of the "appropriate" behavior in an art museum. This CD takes readers/users linearily through the exhibition of works and uses text only as an incidental explanation of details that are less primary than the art itself. Clearly, the visual aspects and the verbal content of the CDs work together to create the experience of the reader/user.

Like Wysocki’s article, Patricia Sullivan’s 2001 Computers and Composition article, “Practicing Safe Visual Rhetoric on the World Wide Web,” warns against a simple separation between the visual and the verbal when analyzing both print and hypertexts. “Because print is absorbed visually, we can hardly avoid the fact that even when the text is the focus, as it is in print literacy, visual conventions carry meaning” (108). Hence, print is always already visual and so the separation of the two is more ideological than practical. Historically, we've wanted to privilege print over the visual. In order to do so, we needed to establish the two as separate and distinct. [6] Sullivan insists that while hypertextual documents share some characteristics with print ones (118), hypertexts raise different kinds of questions and issues. For example, when we compare the stability that print text has versus the stability that a hypertext has, certain issues arise. Also, when we examine the amount of control that an author or reader has over a print text versus a hypertext, we begin to see the key differences between the two media. Researchers and scholars in the field are the editors, guest editors, and editorial board members for both journals. As such, they are the ones determining and shaping the ways that the visual and the verbal play out in the journal.

Others who have published in venues besides Computers and Composition have reached similar conclusions about the newly defined relationship between the visual and the verbal. For example, in "Visual and Verbal Modes of Representation in Electronically Mediated Communication," Gunther Kress argues that "the focus on language alone has meant neglect, even repression, of the potentials of representational and communicational modes in particular cultures; a repressive and systematic neglect of human potentials in many of these areas; and a neglect, as a consequence, of the development of theoretical understandings of such modes" (75). He contends that privileging language over visuals represses expression of certain beliefs, values, and intellectual investments. And as Johndan Johnson-Eilola points out in Designing Effective Websites: A Concise Guide, teaching people to create effective websites is more complex than simply "handing them a guide to HTML codes" (xiv) or putting up "single long nodes of dense text" (xiii). Instead, creating sites that work involves an awareness of how the visual and the verbal work together to create a rhetorical presentation.

The differences discussed here can be used to explore the ideological shifts in our field, to identify and analyze the ways in which our definitions of what it means to be a scholar in our field is shifting. The debates and battles that are being waged right now can be seen through the reading of the overdetermined rhetorical presentation of scholarship in two very different media. At the heart of my analysis of rhetorical presentation is Wysocki's heuristic:

the visual + the verbal = the assertion/thought

The specific areas of inquiry that I use to guide my analysis of the different rhetorical presentations of Computers and Composition and Kairos are as follows:

  • In what ways do the visual and the verbal work together to create a certain experience of the articles/journals?
  • How stable are the texts?
  • Who controls the meaning of the texts?
  • What work do the pictures/graphics do?What is being privileged by them?
  • What do the layouts of the page tell us about the message of the piece? Consistency? Change? Meaning/Layout links?
  • How are the symbols of authorship, ownership, readership, and scholarship arranged/presented?
  • What topics are covered? What ideological definitions of scholar and scholarship are represented in/through these topics?

Comparative Analysis

Because one of the journals is print-based and one is online, certain basic differences in rhetorical presentation exist. Computers and Composition's layout is traditional and standard. Very few pictures or graphics are combined with words on the pages. The majority of the articles are presented in standard paragraph format with typical amounts of white space in the margins. The names of the authors are prominently featured on the opening page and also included on every left-handed page. The font used for the words is a formal sans-serif one that bespeaks professionalism. Bolded and centered headings section off portions of the article, spatially foregrounding the arguments of the articles clearly. Long source quotations are visually set off according to traditional APA style requirements, which has the effect of separating off and highlighting others' research that is cited in the essay. This method makes it clear both verbally and visually who "owns" which words. The use of APA also clearly highlights the publication date of the research. As rapidly as computer technologies change, so does the field's research about and positions toward that technology. Knowing when something was researched and written is extremely significant, an importance that is both visually and verbally reflected through the presentation of dates. The editors of the journal, however, have made one significant adjustment to the standard APA formatting: inside the text and on the references page, authors are instructed to include the first name of the author and not simply the first initial. This change was made because they did not want to allow the citation method to erase the gender of the authors. Thus, while both a visual and verbal element in the text, this revised citation method clearly expresses a social and political critique of scientific gender bias inherent in the APA method.

The author's credentials are listed at the end of the articles in a box that appears between the last paragraph of the text and the references—again, traditional formatting that lends professionalism to the article. Each article is laid out exactly the same way, all using the same font, title page structure, citation methods, author identification format, references page layout. When flipping through the journal, it is not visually clear when a reader is in one article versus another because of this uniform formatting. This format emphasizes scholarly tradition constructed by/through our learned expectations of print journals. Privileged here are traditional definitions of scholarship and scholars.

The topics discussed in Computers and Composition echo this formality. The issues raised are ones that are widely accepted as "scholarly" in the university. While case studies and personal narratives, which are traditionally "suspect" research methods in the university at large, are acceptable in this journal, the tone in the articles that foreground these methods is still a formal, academic one. Along with these somewhat marginalized methods, the journal also includes studies that use empirical and quantitative methods. Examples of the kinds of topics that have been discussed are as follows:uses of software in specific classroom settings; collaborating through networked technology; methods of research; computer-mediation in the workplace writing environment; tenure and promotion of computers and composition scholars; changes in teaching and learning; and intellectual property in distance learning courses. These topics do not extend beyond the journal's stated focus on teaching and learning with computers; rarely do the physical structures of the arguments go beyond traditional print boundaries for articles. Michael Spooner and Kathleen Blake Yancey published an article on e-mail that experiments with style and Anne Wysocki recently published a piece that integrates visuals with texts in a unique way [7] , but more often than not, the format of the articles reflect the scholarly expectations that are present in the writing itself.

Because the possibilities offered by hypertext technology have greatly expanded in the last few years, it makes sense to analyze the latest issue of Kairos to determine what its rhetorical presentation is today. In Kairos Volume 6, Issue 2, Fall 2001 [8] , images and words mix almost seamlessly to convey a particular view of the topics presented. While there is some regularity to the layouts of the articles in terms of headings, ways of moving through the articles (directional arrows and other markings that help users navigate through the text), general page layout etc., each article integrates words and visual elements in different ways, depending on the argument of the article.

Erin Smith's "Reading and Mis[s]reading the eneriwomaninterface," opens with a black screen with the traditional red Kairos logo on the left-side. Slowly, the words "but if you do not even understand what words say . . ." materialize out of the darkness and then just as slowly fade out as another set of words emerge into the lines between the previous words: "how can you expect to pass judgment on what words conceal? —H.D., The Walls Do Not Fall." Readers then have a choice: they can move the mouse over the quote as the first set of words re-materialize and click to enter the article, or they can simply wait and the article will appear out of the blackness. This example is an instantiation of Wysocki's assertion that we cannot separate a discussion of the visual and the verbal because they work together to create meaning. In the opening of Smith's article, we see moving words as a visual picture in the article that is doing work that we would usually expect a picture or sound to do. The opening represents an innovative use of the technological possibilities that are now available to online publications. We see pictures and words combining to create the meaning of the article, for setting the mood of the article, and for announcing both a scholarly tradition and change. The quote is, after all, a traditional way to begin an article and the quote is by H.D., a modernist poet who is featured in many canonical anthologies. Using pictures as moving images, however, is new to a scholarly publication and creates an artsy feel that is echoed in the style of writing. The reader can move linearly through the text, but even when read that way, the article echoes the experimental writing of French Feminists, such as Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray.

Smith's rhetorical presentation questions our usual perceptions of control and stability that we have come to take for granted in print-based scholarly articles. She clearly knows her theory and can "talk the talk." She is drawing upon theoretical concepts to organize the presentation—through the interaction between words and images and words used as images. Given that the text itself moves and the user can chose different paths through the text, Smith's hypertext doesn't hold, doesn't stay steady. And yet her work is clearly located in the academic realm, as evidenced by her topic, her citations, her tone, and her theoretical knowledge. The presentation of the hypertext challenges traditional definitions of authorship and authorial control because the reader is given may options. When we pick up a print journal, we expect the words to stay put. But Smith's text highlights that words can move and words can be images, and the article/argument can still make sense to us, academically. In this way, a scholar's creative design can shape the ways in which scholarship in our field gets defined.

Smith's article is by far the most experimental in the issue. Other sections rely upon more familiar rhetorical strategies. For example, the section which presents abstract summaries of papers given at the 2001 Computers and Writing Conference use a standard paragraph format, with the entire abstract included on one website accompanied by links to outside texts. In these abstracts, the sources are cited at the end of the paper, just like we see in print sources. The background is white, the text is black. In the general introduction to the abstracts, "C&W 2001 "A Cyber Odyssey" Metaweb," the background is covered with pictures, presumably take at the conference. Yet, the writing is presented linearly. The pictures combine with the inclusive language in the article to create a sense of "being there" at the conference. Projects in Progress also use plain backgrounds with black text.

There is some pattern to the differences in the articles' layout. The featured articles tend to include more snazzy graphics and words. Smith's article is one such example. Robert Yagelski's "Computers, Literacy, and Being: Teaching with Technology for a Sustainable Future" is another example. The pictures included on each page tie directly into the theme of the page. A section called "Harry Potter and Global Warming" features a picture of a Harry Potter cover. A section called "Interconnectedness and Being in the World" includes a ying/yang picture. The other articles vary in terms of how the links to other sections of the articles are included on the page visually, how complex the organization of the pages is, and how many possible ways through the article there are. The abstracts, Projects in Progress, and Reviews, however, are far less complex and offer fewer options for readers. These differences suggest that the journal's rhetorical presentation suggests different layers of significance and use.

So what? Evaluation

So, are there any easy distinctions to make about the rhetorical presentation between print and online journals? No, absolutely not. Are there some interesting and useful connections to think through? Yes. For instance, what does it mean that print journals are taking on hypertextual styles? And is it important that words move in hypertext articles? Yes. Starting from a reworked definition of the relationship between graphics and words can help us to analyze the key differences and similarities between the two types of journals. But what does all of this really tell us about our field? Let's explore this a bit further.

Some view online publishing as the direct antithesis to the traditional definitions of publishing that a journal such as Computers and Composition supports and reifies. For example, Teresa M. Harrison and Timothy Stephen write:

The introduction of hypertext, networking, and multimedia computing has made it apparent that much of the way we think about research and education, even the way that we define knowledge, is predicated upon the medium of print. Until quite recently, it has been possible to take print-based conceptions of knowledge for granted as natural, necessary, and objective; what other form could knowledge take in most disciplines but as journals or books? But as electronic alternatives stimulate our imaginations and offer ways to supplement print and avoid or transcend its constraints, we are now beginning to recognize how arbitrary indeed are the print-based conventions that have structured our view of the academic world. (31)

I quote Harrison and Stephen at length because they highlight the prevailing claim that online technologies are causing us to question print's privilege in our scholarly worlds. As is evidenced by articles such as Erin Smith's "Reading and Mis[s]reading the eneriwomaninterface," online writing is indeed challenging print conventions. It is, in some cases, being used to challenge traditional definitions of scholarly method and presentation. The dualisms between the visual and the verbal are being challenged in hypertextual documents, a challenge which is spilling over into print articles as well—both in content and form.

But with these challenges comes dis-ease. In a 2000 special issue of Computers and Composition, Sibylle Gruber argues that

authors who try to transform accepted conventions in their work and who try to create an oppositional and experimental voice are faced with serious publishing problems, especially if they do not yet have the name recognition [. . .] Similarly, scholars working on innovative online publishing publications, even if the scholarly work is published in peer-reviewed online journals like Kairos, have to justify their decisions to retention, tenure, and promotion committees that are often resistant to innovation and change. (49)

Many times, scholars who do publish online write in a format that is fairly traditional so that they do not meet as much resistance. Gruber contends that this demonstrates that

the authors use computer technology to create an oppositional message, a message intended to transform inequalities. At the same time, the above authors work within an established system marked by restrictive guidelines. They create a position for themselves as outsiders/within who know how to use the system for their oppositional purposes. (50)

According to Gruber, these authors act like cyborgs, or “boundary-crossers who do not use the conventions to accommodate, but instead use them to recode and subvert traditional meanings and uses of language" (50).

Print's priority—and all the rhetorical concepts that are attached to it— is clearly being challenged, which is no small feat. Comparing the rhetorical presentation of Computers and Composition to a recent issue of Kairos clearly demonstrates the changes that are portended by the realizations that the juxtaposition of print and hypertext are allowing/creating/forcing. For writing instructors and students, recognizing that what counts as writing is significant, given the impact it will have on what we are supposed to be teaching and learning.

Criteria #3: Peer Review Comparisons

Justification of the Criteria. Academic rigor is an important issue in an age of online scholarship, and the final criteria, peer review structures, is at the heart of that debate. The research methods, the style of writing, the peer review process—all of these shape the perceived intellectual value of a journal and of specific articles. Of these, however, the peer review process has been given the closest scrutiny by those who argue that online publishing is not as intellectually valuable as print publications. Many authors are concerned that because the Internet frees publishing from the traditional gate-keeping systems that the quality of online work will not match that of print. In a 1997 web article entitled “Web Journals Publishing: A UK Perspective,” Steve Hitchcock, Leslie Carr, and Wendy Hall argue that although it is commonly believed that “materials published on the web lack integrity,” it is not actually true, given that “online biomedical journals are among the best supported” (19). Because anyone can publish online, the argument goes, we can't be assured of the value of what's there. There are, the argument continues, no standard review procedures for the online world like there are for the print one. Therefore, the argument concludes, online writing is not as intellectually valuable.

The purpose of academic journals is to promote conversations between scholars, to record research that has been done, and to open up new fields of discovery. Given the time it takes print articles to be published, it seems that the web would actually be a benefit to accomplishing these goals because online articles have a tendency to be published more quickly. Also, unlike print journals, online journals have the ability to invite readers to directly respond in writing to the articles in the journal by including a comments section and other interactive features. Given that online journals can bring added value to our experience of current scholarship, why, then are there concerns about them?

One of the predominant concerns about online publishing is the rigor of the review process that each article/project is put through before it is published. Traditional print journals have established a widely accepted method of peer review that is discipline-specific and focused. Those who critique online publishing argue that these standards are important in order to insure the validity and usefulness of an article. Peer review processes are certainly a key part of the development of the conversation between scholars and quite frequently the published articles are stronger because of the peer reviews. Unfortunately, traditional print publications along with online journals that base their structures on print-based qualities have a tendency to mystify the peer review process. While guidelines for authors are typically formalized and described both in the journal itself and on any corresponding website, the actual review process that articles undergo is not always clearly explained. Peer review in print journals, then, can become a form of unexplained, mystified process of which authors themselves are not apprised. Something larger is at work in the insistence upon print-based peer review processes. Something ideological and political this way comes!

By analyzing the peer review processes of Computers and Composition and Kairos , we can begin to see the ideological work these procedures embody. Definitions of scholar and scholarship are in a Wizard of Oz-like fashion carefully constructed and maintained—not within the actual pages of the journal, but behind the scenes by unidentified review processes undertaken by unidentified reviewers. Scholars and researchers tend to be the ones who complete the reviews, and hence have a significant impact.

The criteria I'll use to compare the two journals are as follows:

  • How are rigor, good scholarship, and appropriate writing defined in the journal?
  • How is the review process explained in the journal?
  • How is the review process actually completed?
  • In what ways does the review process encourage conversation around definitions of scholar and scholarship? Or does the review process impose definitions?
  • What ideological beliefs are evident in the process?
  • Why is this review process in place, and how is its presence explained to readers/authors?

Comparative Analysis

On the back cover of Computers and Composition, the editors state that the journal “welcomes articles, reviews, and letters to the editors that may be of interest to readers” and that “manuscripts are accepted for review with the understanding that the same work has not been and will not be published nor is presently submitted elsewhere.” The only information on the actual review process, however, is scanty: “Review: Since manuscripts are submitted for blind review, all identifying information must be removed from the body of the paper.” The Computers and Composition Online site offers the same review guidelines as are published in the back of the print journal, along with specific author guidelines for submitting texts to the online version of the journal only.

In the discipline of rhetoric and composition, however, this is not an uncommon way of presenting information for authors. If we examine the guidelines given by CCC which are listed on the front cover of the journal, we find a clear description of the kinds of articles the journal is interested in, along with a brief description of the review process: “Articles will be read blind by outside reviewers, so please make sure that your name does not appear on the title page or first page and that you do not identify yourself in the text or in the list of works cited.” On the other hand, some journals do explain the review process in more detail. Research in the Teaching of English (RTE) provides very brief guidelines and explanations in the print journal, but provides one of the longest descriptions of the review process on its website. The editors explain:

The external reviews are critical factors in our decision to publish or not publish a manuscript. Each manuscript goes out to three established reviewers and one graduate student reviewer. Our cohort of established reviewers originated with reviewers who have worked with previous RTE editors; to this cohort we have added researchers from schools, universities, and other institutions whose expertise we value in reviewing articles. Our graduate student reviewers have been assembled from both self-nominations and recommendations of university advisors.

But even in this extensive discussion, the actual review process itself is not discussed: how many reviewers receive an article? what kinds of guidelines are given to them? how long does the process take? what kinds of materials will authors receive back from the reviewers and editors? These things are not addressed in any of the journals’ guidelines that I investigated. So, clearly, there is a mix of ways to discuss the peer review process, but typically less information is given rather than more.

Is this the same for online journals? Have they adopted the disciplinary convention of minimal information about the review process carried over to the new medium? Postmodern Culture (PMC), an online journal which describes itself as “an experiment in scholarly publishing on the Internet,” offers author guidelines that helps one submit an article, but the site provides no information about the review process other than a list of editorial board members. This journal is published by Johns Hopkins University Press and is part of Project Muse, a consortium of academic publishers. These two features—that it is published by a traditional print-based press and that it is involved in a consortium of other scholarly online publications—bode well for its success. Calling itself “the leading electronic journal of interdisciplinary thought on contemporary cultures” and identifying its goal as one of combining “high scholarly standards with broad appeal for nonacademic readers,” this journal, however, does not reveal anything about the review process itself.

Kairos, on the other hand, seems to view an unveiling and challenging of traditional review processes to be part of its mission, given the amount of description it offers and the attitude it takes toward peer review. Teresa M. Harrison and Timothy Stephen suggest that this is one of the important functions of online journals, pointing out that "scholars are also using electronic journals to reconceive traditional peer review processes as well as to recover the ancient dialogic character of scholarly communication, which has always been poorly reflected in print publication" (28). Through clearly explained and theoretically informed review processes, Kairos is challenging traditional scholarship on both of those fronts. In a link called “Editorial Process,” which is featured prominently on the homepage, the editors offer their theory of peer review and offer a new type of review: “Unsatisfied with the possibility of simply transferring the peer review process from paper publishing to hypertext, we have developed a layered collaborative system of editorial review. It can be described as a Collaborative Hypertext(ual) Peer Review Process.”

This new process is basically a two-tier one. In the first tier, all of the editorial board members of the journal engage collaboratively and collectively in an online discussion about the article. In this first level of conversation about the text, the editorial board members decide, in collaboration with the editors, if the article will move onto the second tier in which the article is assigned to two editorial board members who then work closely with the author in revising the project into a publishable piece. The process is not blind because the author could always access the list of editorial board members (and they are all involved in the first-tier review process), but the comments sent to the authors are blind because no names are attached to them. The authors do not participate in first-tier evaluation. During the second tier, however, the process is collaborative, not blind. The author knows with whom s/he is conversing and the reviewers know who the author is. Kairos’s description of the editorial process is one of the most extensive and one of the most theoretical presented by journals—either online or print-based. The details given help authors to determine the exact process that their article will undergo. In this way, the Editorial Process section on the website could serve as a teaching tool, as a way to introduce new members of the field to the mystified process of review. It also allows tenure and promotion committees to fully understand the process so that they can determine if the journal is reputable and truly a peer-reviewed one.

Clearly, scholars and scholarship are defined differently when the review process is collaborative and visible than when the process is hidden and unexplained. Scholarship becomes a negotiation, rather than appearing as a "given." And the constant construction and reconstruction of what counts as "scholar" and "scholarship" is made visible through online processes like Kairos's. Academic rigor and intellectual usefulness are still very much a part of this new process, but the community of scholars that are invited into the conversation about these issues is larger, more collaborative, and definitely more visible.

So what? Evaluation of the Differences

So, why the difference between the journals in the level of information about peer review? Clearly, we cannot make a print versus online journal distinction because PMC was particularly vague with its review process while Kairos was particularly explicit. And RTE was more explicit on its website, even though it is a print-based journal, but Computers and Composition offered exactly the same information on their website as in their print journal. There are no hard and fast rules about how the review process will be discussed in these two media. However, I do think that some political questions could be/should be raised about potential contextual differences, differences that offer some answers to the “why?” question I posed at the beginning of this paragraph.

First of all, we return to the fact that print journals are traditionally accepted as sound scholarly sources. We have reified journals into a category labeled “academic,” and we teach our first-year writing students that print journals are more scholarly and trustworthy than magazines or newspapers. Disciplinarily, we have placed them in a category that is not necessarily questioned or challenged. Granted, some journals are more valued and more highly regarded than others. When I was a graduate student, I was told which journals were Tier 1 journals and which were Tier 2 as part of my training. But generally, print journals published by university presses or academic presses carry an authentication with them, a seal of approval, so to speak. Their authority draws less scrutiny by our profession. Hence, they need to defend or explain themselves less. Given the common perception of online journals as lacking in integrity (see Hitchcock, Carr, and Hall), there may be more need for them to establish their authority.

But how, then, can I explain the discrepancy between Kairos and PMC? The distinction is simple and two-parted: First, PMC is a more traditional, scholarly representation of an online forum, and it is more squarely situated in the more privileged field of Literary Studies. It publishes people with whom literature scholars and literary scholars alike are familiar with. It has also been around longer than Kairos and features well-known literature scholars on its editorial board. As Sharon Crowley, Robert Connors, and James Berlin have all pointed out, rhetoric/composition has always been perceived as the second cousin to the flashy literature component in the English Studies field. Hence, PMC trades on that flashiness, on that acceptance while Kairos squarely situates itself within the framework of the discipline of rhetoric/composition.

Second, and I would assert more importantly, Kairos is deliberately and actively trying to challenge the traditional scholarly conventions that have defined what a publishable article is, while PMC has merely adopted an “add-on” model of criteria to evaluate its submissions. The core scholarly criteria of high theory, literary engagement, and rational organization are still present in the PMC pieces; the bells and whistles of the Internet are added to this already existing framework in a liberalist way, i.e. the structure of publishing criteria are okay, we just want to expand the kinds of do-dads we can include in our articles. The types of articles and the topics presented therein are consistent with traditional publications such as PMLA. Kairos, on the other hand, has tried to draw on the unique possibilities that the medium of the Internet provides and publish pieces that challenge the very structure of scholarly publishing by pushing against usual constraints of topic, form, and presentation. I've discussed the ways this occurs in the journal in the other sections of this article.

Comparing descriptions of the review process highlight important considerations that are being discussed about online writing and demonstrate the ways in which online journals might change disciplinary standards. By demystifying the review process, Kairos truly uses the medium to make the field more collaborative, a move that could be replicated in print journals, if they chose to follow.

Conclusions: So, Where Are We Now?

What is the future, then, of publishing—both print and online? And what does publishing's future predict about our own field? Instead of providing a hard and fast answer in this article, I have instead offered a series of criteria that might be used to analyze the issues that arise when thinking through this debate. Clearly, there is a link between disciplinary struggles and our interpretations of online publishing. Studying traditional print guidelines and comparing them to newer online journals is one way of heeding Selfe's call to pay attention to technology and how it is shaping our profession. But, as Teresa M. Harrison and Timothy Stephen contend in "Computer Networking, Communication, and Scholarship,"

networking technology alone will not determine particular changes in the academic world. The transformations that we casually attribute to new technologies are more accurately viewed as the emergent products of negotiations among social actors and groups over time, through which questions such as how the technology will be used, who will use it, and what groups will benefit eventually get answered. (9-10)

While their article was published in 1996, the issues they identify are still being considered by scholars as we analyze where publishing is heading. The who, what, and how of online publishing's impact on print journals in our field has started to be written, but we still can have a say in how this all turns out.

What are the pedagogical implications of the heuristic/evaluation I've presented here? First, as I've mentioned before, writing instructors can pull the questions/issues from the end of each "Justification of the Criteria" section and create a worksheet for their students. This sheet could be used either individually or by groups to engage in a critical evaluation/comparison of online journals, print journals, or a combination. Students could also read the individual sections to see this strategy modeled.

Second, teachers can use the issues discussed in this article to rethink the kinds of assignments they give. If our notions of what writing/writers and scholarship/scholars are changing, then we need to change the way we envision writing in our classrooms. This re-visioning doesn't necessarily mean that we have to assign our students to create web pages. But it could mean that we rethink the types of topics we discuss, the ways we discuss sources and source evaluation, and the writing methods we invite our students to participate in. For example, instead of seeing a paper as having to make a point and support it, perhaps we can ask our students to explore the multiple, conflicting definitions of a term such as "educated" or "knowledge." This project could involve them interviewing people over the Internet and writing a multivoiced project, instead of a standard five-paragraph essay. This kind of project would embody the intersections between print and online writing, much as the journals I've discussed here do.

Third, teachers can use the questions/issues raised in this article to rethink their traditional or usual grading methods. Our grading criteria are driven by the same assumptions that have driven print-based journals. If we reconceive the perceived separation between content and form, for example, or begin to examine how we should evaluate visual designs and layouts of texts, we must stretch our current conceptions of what it means to be a "good" writer.

It is clear from comparing the two modes of journal publishing that we're not only talking about journals; we're talking about who we are as academics and what it means to do research. At the heart of our debates, then, are larger disciplinary questions that can both be studied and addressed by focusing on the specific issue of scholarly publication—both in print and online.


[1] In Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century: The Importance of Paying Attention, Cynthia Selfe urges scholars and teachers to pay attention to the carefully constructed relationship between technology and literacy that has become ubiquitous in our current culture. She writes:

Literacy professionals and the organizations that represent them need to commit to understanding the complex relationship between literacy and technology and to intervening in the national project to expand technological literacy [. . .] we need to acknowledge the economic and political goals that policymakers have identified as the end product of technology expansion: the effort to maintain and extend American privilege, influence, and power within an increasingly competitive global marketplace, ostensibly for the benefit of all citizens. (160-61)

Thus, studying technology and paying attention to the issues we discuss when we’re discussing around/through technology can have a greater impact than making us better/more informed teachers and scholars; it can change the world. Okay, so that’s a large claim, but each move we make can have an impact that results in change.

[2] Bolter and Grusin outline three types of remediation: “Remediation as the mediation of mediation” (55), or the process of new media “commenting on, reproducing, and replacing each other” (55); “Remediation as the inseparability of mediation and reality” (55), which is based in the assertion that “all media remediate the real” (56); and “Remediation as reform” (55) in which remediation reforms both other media and reality.

[3] As Bolter and Grusin point out, the current drive in technology is to have such sophisticated technology that the technology becomes invisible and the image it presents becomes “real.” In this instance, then, both pictures are pixels, but one feels “real” while the other feels like a cartoon.

[4] Overall, the format of later issues of Kairos have shifted to be more user friendly than earlier issues. Partly, this is because there are more standardized hypertextual “rules” in circulation; partly this is because the earlier articles were hard to read. It seems that the journal is now balancing the “gee whiz, look what technology can do” with “this is most practical.”

[5] The volume 13, numbers 1-3, 1996 issue of Computers and Composition introduced the online companion website for the journal. “From the Editors” describes the purpose of the site in the following way: “The purpose of this online Computers and Composition is to provide a rigorous forum for the submission and publication of electronic texts on the topic of computers and composition that go beyond traditional print formats to include audio, sound, video, and hypertext” (1).

[6] See Dale Spender's arguments about the primacy of print in Nattering on the Net.

[7] Wysocki's article seems to draw upon principles from online writing to shape her print piece. She integrates visuals directly into the text, but does not given them the usual print markings. In other words, she just places the picture directly next to the part of the text to which the picture refers. Readers, then, are engaging with both text and pictures at the same time, rather than having the text refer them to the picture. When this standard referencing is used, the picture or figure becomes secondary to the words themselves. But in the way that Wysocki integrates words and pictures, both are a significant part of the article and are significant in a balanced way, if that's possible in print format.

[8] This issue was the latest one published online at the time of this writing.

Works Cited

Arnold, Kenneth. “The Body in the Virtual Library: Rethinking Scholarly Communication.” Harrison and Stephen. 383-97.

Blumenstyk, Goldie. “How a Publishing Empire Is Changing Higher Education.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 47.02 (Sept. 8, 2000). http://chronicle.com/weekly/v47/i02/02a04301.htm (19 October 2000).

Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1991.

Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1999.

Bridwell-Bowles, Lillian. "Research in Composition: Issues and Methods." An Introduction to Composition Studies. Ed. Erika Lindemann and Gary
Tate. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. 94-117.

CMC Magazine. "New Journal for Teachers of Writing on the Web to Launch Next Year." 1 December 1995. http://www.ibiblio.org/cmc/mag/1995/dec/kairos.html (1 May 2002).

Gruber, Sibylle. “Technology and Tenure: Creating Oppositional Discourse in an Offline and Online World.” Computers and Composition 17.1 (2000): 41-55.

Guedon, Jean-Claude. "Electronic Academic Journals: From Disciplines to 'Seminars'?" Harrison and Stephen. 335-50.

Harrison, Teresa M., and Timothy Stephen, eds. Computer Networking and Scholarly Communication in the Twenty-First Century University. New York: SUNY P, 1996.

—. "Computer Networking, Communication, and Scholarship." Harrison and Stephen. 3-36.

Hawisher, Gail, Paul LeBlanc, Charles Moran, and Cynthia Selfe. Computers and the Teaching of Writing in American Higher Education, 1979-1994: A History. Norwood, NJ: Ablex P, 1996.

Hitchcock, Steve, Leslie Carr, and Wendy Hall. "Web Journals Publishing: A UK Perspective." The Open Journals Project. November 1997. http://journals.ecs.soton.ac.uk/uksg.htm (14 August 2001).

Johnson-Eilola, Johndan. Designing Effective Websites: A Concise Guide. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2002.

Kress, Gunther. "Visual and Verbal Modes of Representation in Electronically Mediated Communication: The Potentials of New Forms of Text." Page to Screen: Taking Literacy into the Electronic Era. Ed. Ilana Snyder. New York: Routledge, 1998. 53-79.

Levinson, Paul. The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution. New York: Routledge, 1997.

McKnight, Cliff, Andrew Dillon, and Brian Shackel. "The Electronic Journal and Its Implications for the Electronic Library." Harrison and Stephen. 351-68.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: New American Library, 1964.

Olson, Gary A. "Publishing Scholarship in Rhetoric and Composition: Joining the Conversation." Publishing in Rhetoric and Composition. Ed. Gary A. Olson and Todd W. Taylor. Albany: SUNY P, 1997. 19-33.

Olson, Gary A., and Todd W. Taylor, eds. Publishing in Rhetoric and Composition. Albany: SUNY P, 1997.

Selfe, Cynthia. Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century: The Importance of Paying Attention. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1999.

Spender, Dale. Nattering on the Net. Toronto: Garamond Press, 1996.

Sullivan, Patricia. “Practicing Safe Visual Rhetoric on the World Wide Web.” Computers and Composition 18.2 (2001): 103-22.

Teague, Jason Conrad. "What You See. . . ." Kairos. (Spring 1996). http://english.ttu.edu/kairos/1.1/1c.html (1 May 2002).

Wysocki, Anne Frances. “Impossibly Distinct: On Form/Content and Word/Image in Two Pieces of Computer-Based Interactive Multimedia.” Computers and Composition 18.3 (2001): 207-34.

This text was accepted for publication after an anonymous peer review process.
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