Saturday, June 15, 2013

Viklund and Paananen in Vigiliae Christianae

I've been very busy for the past week or so, and I managed to miss this, but I was surprised and rather pleased to see Roger Viklund, with Timo Paananen, publish his findings in VC on the mistaken analysis of the Mar Saba handwriting that Carlson undertakes in The Gospel Hoax. Congrats to Roger and Timo.

Viklund's analysis now enters the published, peer-reviewed literature. This is great news for defenders of Smith's honesty.

And I absolutely must add (and IMHO this is a little ground-breaking) that this seems to establish a precedent for scholarly publication of findings originally published on the web. Viklund originally posted these findings on his blog back in late 2009. We now see those findings, or at least a succinct summary of them, published in a scholarly setting.

It would seem, then, that blog material can in fact be re-presented. What it takes to pass peer-review, I guess, is a meaningful revision of that material. The fact that we now have an effective standard for this seems like kind of a big deal to me. I think everyone in the discipline should be paying attention to this--I can't think of another example of this type of blog-to-journal publication (or a better one, at any rate) in the field of biblical studies. However, I would be happy to be proven wrong and pointed to other examples.


  1. For a parallel in progress, Goodacre is preparing his ideas on the "crucified one" in the original text of the Gospel of Peter for publication.

    For a (mishandled, in my opinion) precedent, see the review of Goodacre's blog post in a scholarly journal...

  2. Hey Peter, good to hear from you :) I'm a little slow to notice comments...

    Fair enough, that is a parallel in progress, though Viklund and Panaanen got there first :)

    The Foster example is a little complicated, since the reference to the Web was not to his own original research, but to that of someone else, hence there is no formal barrier at all for Foster to publish on the subject. (And the idea had been developed not just on the Web, but also in conference.) I suppose it stands as a kind of "intermediate form" between the old publication world, and the new one we are apparently entering.

    And you know, I'm not even sure it was mishandled. While it would be pretty great to think that blog publication entitles a blog's author to invited articles anytime anyone else wants to use or refer to their ideas (!), I have a hard time justifying the notion.

    While Goodacre didn't get an article out of it, he did get a citation. And I have little doubt he will get his own article out of his current efforts. The fact that it won't be two articles seems a little unimportant.