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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Does Academic Publishing Need To Be Revised?

Okay, so a while ago (i.e., last March, April, and May) a bunch of us (i.e., Johannes, Nate, Heather, myself, and a few others) were having a conversation about the need to reform how academic publishing currently operates. In January I tried to revive this conversation, and the momentium that we had for some of the ideas, with my entry entitled Picking Up on an Old Idea. While none of my original colleague did pick up on their end of the conversation this time around, I discovered a few days ago that someone had.

It seems that a few days after my last post on this topic, Vegreville added his/her own contribution to the discussion with Slow academic publishing. It is interesting, because unlike the participants in the original conversation, Vergreville doesn't seem to mind the time that it takes for the publishing process to be completed. In the comments to his entry, one individual feels that he made a good point, while the lone editor in the commens section seems to be the main one concerns with the time it takes.

Are we, as technology people, simply spoiled by the speed of what is possible? Is it that the rest of the world accepts the, as Vergreville puts it, the ability to "see many good papers at seminars and conferences long before they are in print.... [and the fact that] working papers are so freely available on the web that you do not need to wait for publication to see the paper anyway"?

Tags: AECT, blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education


Anonymous vegreville said...

I am rethinking my reaction to your first post—-at least a bit. It certainly is true that the informal conference/semimar circuit makes the speed issue somewhat less relevant for researchers in my field. But, it also provides a ‘barrier to entry’ for researchers at smaller, out of the way, and poorer ploaces. That certainly is a cost that could be alleviated by speedier publication. On the other hand, as soon as things are accepted, they appear on journal web sites, which are pretty easy to find...

5:37 PM

Anonymous Johannes Strobel said...

It's certainly an interesting comment and the speed of publishing can easily mean to reduce the quality of the published work and is not really an desired by-product.
As I was one of the persons earlier involved I would point out that speed is one aspect - maybe an unwanted - but speed also means earlier discussions (what is possible through pre-prints at the web-sites). But more importantly, a different way of publishing would alow more avenues of publishing, it would take the notion of being finished of products (when is a publication really done?). An open dicourse could also prevent the power differentials in academia, when reveiwers just push their policy/assumptions, what should not be confused with quality control.

11:17 PM

Blogger MKB said...

Thanks for joining the conversation again Johannes, good to have you back.

I'm going to have think about your comments about power differentials some and come back to it.

BTW, how are things in Montreal?


4:39 AM


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