The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: June 22, 2018
Douglas Adams said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Do you like that sound? As the official start of summer is upon us, we hope that you are finding time to work on your writing projects and are better equipped to meet deadlines or to finish work on projects whose deadlines may have passed during the academic year.
Our collection of articles from around the web this week begins with some strategies for writing for publication, conducting qualitative interviews, and conducting interdisciplinary work. It continues with concerns regarding “business-as-usual” confidentiality in a growing state of research openness, unreported editorial misconduct, and the value of literature reviews. Finally, we have found some discussions on peer review, expanded access to ProQuest through Google Scholar, and a new community-controlled open access publishing platform – the Free Journal Network. Enjoy and happy writing!
I’ve gathered together some strategies that work well with a group that’s up for a bit of serious messing around. The strategies are ways of setting yourself up to write a journal article. They are designed to help you to clarify what you want to say before you start the really serious head down text work.
This month we are excited to launch a new opportunity to expand research methods learning through free resources provided by SAGE Research Methods: #MonthlyMethods. Each month we will be opening up free resources such as case studies, videos, and book chapters from the SAGE Research Methods platform focusing on a different research method each month. June’s method was qualitative interviewing.
I see earth scientists working in anthropology; computer scientists working in chemistry; historians working in business; economists working in population health and so on. Super cool work, yes – but I fret about their future. Interdisciplinary work is a bit like fusion cuisine: amazingly tasty and addictive when done well, but it’s so easy to make something… weird.
Research is becoming more and more open. Open journals, open data, open everything. As administrators, we remain steadfastly closed. Grant applications are confidential. Research contracts are confidential. Even our emails are confidential. There are good reasons for this confidentiality, in some instances. A lot of the time, though, confidentiality in administration is business-as-usual atrophy. An all-pervasive attitude that we don’t even think about anymore.
All COPE cases are public, however, the texts are carefully edited to preserve anonymity. COPE is an industry advisory group, not a court of law. The purpose of publicizing cases is to educate, not adjudicate. We can only hope that the summary of actions provides a clear path of action for future staffers and editors dealing with similar cases of misconduct. Still, it makes me wonder just how common is editorial misconduct and whether the vast majority of cases, like similar power-abuse misconduct, goes unreported.
In a recent Impact Blog post, Richard P. Phelps proposed that journals drop their literature review (LR) requirements. While I agree that most LRs bring little value, I am afraid that, given the cumulative and replicative nature of science, such a drastic measure would do more damage than good. When done well, LRs can be very useful to researchers, readers, and meta-researchers. A more principled approach is now available.
As a midcareer associate professor with 10 peer-reviewed publications, you’d think I’d have the publication process all figured out by now. Well, I don’t. Dealing with journals and peer reviewers is, by far, the least rewarding and most difficult part of my job. I categorize peer reviewers into three types.
Innovation in peer review is a hot topic, with major efforts focused on streamlining or changing a publication’s version of the traditional process so that reviews are more transparent (signed or published) or speedier or less difficult to transfer for authors whose manuscripts are rejected. An interesting experiment has been going on for a half-decade, yet isn’t front and center in conversations about peer review innovation. This is the BMJ’s approach to inviting patients and caregivers (called “carers” here) dealing with particular health conditions to review relevant manuscripts.
ProQuest has added support for two new Google Scholar features, giving academic researchers round-the-clock access to scholarly full-text articles and graduate works from anywhere in the world. Now, researchers who use Google Scholar can more easily discover and access the scholarly journal articles, dissertations and theses in their library’s ProQuest databases.
Discontent with the scholarly publishing industry continues to grow, as the prevailing subscription model appears increasingly unsustainable and open access big deals, one mooted alternative, unlikely to lead to optimal outcomes either. The Free Journal Network was established earlier this year in order to nurture and promote journals that are free to both authors and readers, and run according to the Fair Open Access Principles. Mark C. Wilson describes the progress the network has made so far, why community ownership is a crucial and underappreciated issue, and what research libraries can do to help.