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Why Podcast? A publication by the Amplify Podcast Network, an open scholarly podcast initiative

Stacey Copeland (Arts)

Open Research objectives/practices

“Why Podcast?: Podcasting as Publishing, Sound-Based Scholarship, and Making Podcasts Count”(McGregor & Copeland, 2022) is an open access research output of the Amplify Podcast Network. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Amplify Podcast Network aims to encourage collaboration and experimentation via the medium of scholarly podcasting. We’re committed to growing the capacity for new forms of scholarship by building the infrastructure that will support that scholarship. In working toward publication with Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, we explored key open research objectives and practices outlined in our larger Amplify project. As a diamond open access journal rooted in inclusive and experimental digital commons, Kairos’ editorial team supported our use of podcasting and .html as alternative online tools for sharing our research, participated in an alternative open peer review model, and made “Why Podcast?” a freely accessible open platform publication.


 "Why Podcast?" is a three-part podcast miniseries and webtext that asks: Why does podcasting lend itself to the communication of scholarly knowledge? And what new possibilities does podcasting open up, especially for those of us interested in publicly accessible or community engaged scholarship? Given the research questions of this work, we approached Kairos about publishing an open peer reviewed podcast with them that would also include transcripts and scholarly references. We worked with a web developer on the .html webpage hosted by Kairos to create an accessible and intuitive design. In the spirit of our work, we invited the peer reviewers to engage in a roundtable audio recording rather than a traditional written review. The podcast style open peer review is included in the appendix of the publication.


The Amplify Podcast Network is invested in the creation of scholarship that contributes to collective, public knowledge. This investment has taken various forms in the lifespan of the network through practices in open educational resource creation, public talks, and developing our own long form podcasts. In this case, producing a small-scale podcast with Kairos allowed us to explore what publishing scholarship as an audio first multimodal text can look like at the academic journal level. Additionally, Kairos already had in place diamond open access and open peer review practices that enhanced our own understandings of multimodal publishing and experimental forms of open review. Publishing in this open multimodal form, our aim is to make our work accessible to various educators, students, and researchers across the social sciences and humanities. We hope this work stands as a model for others interested in exploring podcasting as a form of scholarship and looking to demonstrate its credibility and potential in the academy.

Lessons learned

A main barrier in developing “Why Podcast?” was finding a supportive academic journal with the digital platform to engage in multimodal open access publication. Through Amplify’s broader research on open science and alternative publishing, we began building our relationship with Kairos as a potential publishing platform. Both authors came into this work with robust podcasting and audio production knowledge which helped support the development of the work overall. Working with .html was an additional barrier where funding for a web developer helped make this work a reality. Additionally, engaging in open peer review for podcast scholarship is still a relatively new endeavor and as such provided a challenging and exciting opportunity for us. Once we received our open peer review, we worked to revise the project and developed an episode 0 to further introduce the series to the Kairos community as requested by our reviewers.

URLs, references and further information

McGregor, H., & Copeland, S. (2022). Why Podcast?: Podcasting as Publishing, Sound-Based Scholarship, and Making Podcasts Count. Kairos, 27(1).

Last modified:01 November 2023 11.35 a.m.