This week has already included two major life milestones for me, and one more is coming on Friday:

  1. Texas Tech University officially approved the final, corrected version of my dissertation (“Impact Analysis of Phonecasted Lecture Summaries“) for publication in the Texas Digital Library. Today’s notification email indicated I should be ready to wait up to two months for it to be linked and indexed, but that fortunately doesn’t preclude me from directly publishing it now.
  2. I passed the oral and written examinations this evening to become an elder in our church. (The formal ordination and installation ceremony will follow soon!)
  3. This Friday at 7 pm CDT, I’ll walk across a stage in Lubbock, Texas, wearing a black, monastic robe and be “hooded” in a medieval ceremony as the formal culmination of a decade of graduate studies and research.

For the past several years, I’ve wanted to create a “professional digital archive” to collect and share articles, papers and books I’ve written and will write in the future. This will include the 30+ articles I wrote for TCEA’s TechEdge from 1997 to 2008, the four papers I wrote in Mexico City in 1992-93, and other articles listed on my CV which I both have electronically and have the rights to redistribute. This is a significant project to undertake in my discretionary evening time, however, and I’ve put it off with the idea that once my dissertation is published, then I’ll create it. With this blog post, I’m officially publishing my dissertation (via DropBox) so tonight was the time to build a new website! (docs.wesfryer.com)

Larry Lessig‘s old website (lessig.org) was one of the first I encountered with a robust and well organized digital archive. Dr. Lessig, as a former law professor, has his publications organized as articles, columns, books, unpublished work, testimony, litigation, and audio/video. I plan to migrate my 2004-vintage Dreamweaver site on wesfryer.com to WordPress with a custom logo and unified theme connecting to speedofcreativity.org at some point, but that is an even larger project which I’m not ready to start yet. For now, I’m ready to start an article archive which can connect to those other sites and eventually be ‘themed’ to match. I noticed with interest when Will Richardson migrated his blog last summer from weblogg-ed.com to willrichardson.com. This is post #5,170 on speedofcreativity.org, and although I understand the rationale for hosting a professional blog on a personal domain, I think I’m going to keep “splitting” my digital footprint between several domains. My plan at this point is to use / keep using:

  1. wesfryer.com as my main, professional website for largely static, non-interactive information (bio, vitae, contact info)
  2. wiki.wesfryer.com (a Google site) as my presentation / keynote / workshop / breakout session handouts space
  3. docs.wesfryer.com (a new site I started tonight) as a professional digital publications archive
  4. twitter.wesfryer.com (a Tweet Nest-powered archive of all my Tweets since Nov 2011)
  5. Various other sites I have linked on about.me/wfryer and claimid.com/wfryer

In considering my options for creating a digital publications archive, I admit I’m highly biased toward using WordPress. WordPress is a hugely popular and free content management system, with millions of users worldwide. I’ve been using WordPress since 2005 and am a big fan. It’s not only well supported by lots of smart folks, it’s also highly extensible. Digital Commons is a hosted IR (institutional repository) solution, and is philosophically on the same page I am but not open / freely available. I want to create and provide a useful, online archive of my writing so a variety of individuals can utilize as well as interact with the ideas in the articles as well as with me in accessible, digital formats.

'I Love WordPress' photo (c) 2008, Sicos - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I’ve considered using Anthologize, Edit Flow, the Extricate theme, Digress.it, Annotum, CommentPress, the Arras theme, and Omeka. Of these choices, Digress.it and Annotum are my favorites. I first learned about Digress.it reading the 2010 and 2011 “web versions” of the Horizon report.

I decided to go with Annotum for my publications archive because of its explicit support for academic publishing conventions. At this point in my professional career, just completing my Ph.D., I’m not sure if I’ll secure employment as a tenure track assistant professor, take a full-time position in a K-12 school district, continue my work as a full-time, independent digital learning consultant, or do something else. Whatever job title I have, however, I’m confident I’ll want to maintain and update this professional digital publications archive.

See my March 2012 post, “Open Access Crimes,” for more of my thoughts about open access and open academic publishing.

What are your thoughts on creating a similar archive of publications? What examples of sites like this have you seen and do you like? Would you recommend going with a platform other than Annotum?

Publications Archive of Wesley Fryer, Ph.D.

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