Fembot grew out of the work of a research interest group within the Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS) at the University of Oregon. Seed funding for organizing the collective and jump starting the blog came from CSWS and the University of Oregon libraries.
Fembot is a collaboration among faculty, graduate students, media producers, artists, and librarians promoting research on gender, new media and technology. The Fembot community presently spans North America and encourages interdisciplinary and international participation.
Fembot aims to seize the means of scholarly production by creating an open access journal, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, with a re-envisioned model of peer review and tools for multi-modal publication, community and promotion. Fembot has developed a framework for a two-level review process that includes an open editorial peer review and a community level of review for works in progress. Valuing both the scholarly works and participation in the community of review, Fembot will provide metrics on article views/downloads and the usefulness of comments. These metrics will be aggregated into a portfolio, which is conducive to forming an incentive to participate in the community and support an argument for value toward promotion. Not solely creating a means for traditional scholarship to appear online, Fembot seeks to redefine what scholarly communication means in a digital environment by transforming the concept of “article” and embracing multi-modal technologies for production and distribution. Built using WordPress and with a commitment to open source, the tools created by Fembot will be shared with the community. Fembot is in its initial phase of development with its first issue of Ada in progress.