Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Sergio Figueiredo


Letizia Guglielmo


This capstone navigates the changing procedures and expectations of scholarly publishing within English Studies, focusing on the new mediums of digitally born scholarship and open-access scholarship. It does this by presenting a heuristic through which scholars can weigh various options for publication within academia. The goal of this heuristic is to guide today’s scholars to publish their research in formats that align most thoroughly with their research without sacrificing quality (and even improving it), with their eventual tenure and promotion reviews in mind.

Included in this capstone is a thorough explanation of the background information required to understand the current state of academic publishing within English Studies (defined in this capstone as literature and film studies, communication studies including the use of new media, linguistics studies, and composition and rhetoric studies), delving into topics such as digitally born texts, the open access movement, the pressure to “publish or perish,” scholarly metrics, and changes that are taking place in tenure and promotion guidelines within the field of English Studies as a result of digital scholarship’s influence. That is followed by a history and contextualization of these movements, which outline the margin of confusion this heuristic helps alleviate.

Following these introductions is an argument for the need of this heuristic within English Studies, along with a detailed explanation of its contents and how to best utilize it. The final chapter predicts how digitally born scholarship and the open access movement are projected to grow based on current research, as well as what that means for the field of English Studies and the usability of this heuristic in the future.