Why I won’t try to publish as I move towards tenure — by Brad King

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A growing number of faculty, including myself, have begun to reject that road to tenure.

The reason: the academic publishing system is built around a 1-2 year publishing process that requires the best and brightest minds to turn over all of their intellectual property without any compensation for that work.

For years, academics had no other option. If they wanted to distribute their research, they had to go through the academic journal system. Thanks to the Internet, the Web, and the mobile Web, there are now have alternate ways to distribute their work.

The California Universities are encouraging faculty members to only publish in open-access journals, which make the dissemination of information the priority over the construction of lucrative business models.

Getting published in a prestigious scholarly journal is a big deal in academia because it’s one of the ways that universities decide who will be promoted and receive tenure.

But in this traditional publishing process, authors usually sign away exclusive first publishing rights to the journal. The journal makes its money by charging subscription fees to university libraries and others, and doesn’t allow the research to spread outside of its publication for a year or two.

The reason for this switch: faculty are tired of being held hostage by these journals that use the system of tenure as a way to hold academic hostage. Harvard University faculty have said that “major publishers had created an ‘untenable situation’ at the university by making scholarly interaction ‘fiscally unsustainable’ and ‘academically restrictive’, while drawing profits of 35% or more.”

 

 

 

Scientific articles accepted (personal checks, too) — from the nytimes.com by Gina Kolata

Excerpt:

The scientists who were recruited to appear at a conference called Entomology-2013 thought they had been selected to make a presentation to the leading professional association of scientists who study insects.

But they found out the hard way that they were wrong. The prestigious, academically sanctioned conference they had in mind has a slightly different name: Entomology 2013 (without the hyphen). The one they had signed up for featured speakers who were recruited by e-mail, not vetted by leading academics. Those who agreed to appear were later charged a hefty fee for the privilege, and pretty much anyone who paid got a spot on the podium that could be used to pad a résumé.

 

Excerpt of some recommendations/suggestions from Mr. Steve McMullen, Assistant Professor of Economics, Calvin College:

  1. Only publish in journals that you know are legitimate and long standing.
  2. Only go to conferences hosted by an institution or association that you respect.

These two rules immediately rule out all the suspect journals and conferences, but they do so by granting power to the traditional gatekeepers. I recognize that if everyone behaves this way, it might be difficult for the open-access movement, which is sometimes laudable, to take off in our field.

Another observation:  It is probably important for departments to have some statement written into their scholarship statements/guidelines that indicate the sort of journals that count and those that don’t, and a process for evaluating publication outlets.

 

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Also see:

 

From DSC:
I’m also reminded of what I’d like to see in a digital textbook — a series of “layers” that people — with various roles and perspectives on the content — could use to comment on and annotate an article:

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NEW -- Journal of Learning Spaces - Volume 1 from December 2011

Tagged with:  

The Scholarly Kitchen - What's hot and cooking in scholarly publishing

 

Also see:

When the dam breaks… — from learning with ‘e’s by Steve Wheeler

Excerpt:

Publication of research is one of the most important facets of academic life. I can’t stress enough how important it is for good research to be as widely and swiftly disseminated as possible. Without it, our practice is less likely to be informed, and more prone to repeated errors. As a researcher myself, I take this challenge very seriously. Along with other educational researchers, I attempt to identify key issues for investigation and then spend considerable time and energy examining as much of the terrain that surrounds my research question as I can. Once I have analysed the data, I am usually able to arrive at some conclusions and write some form of report, which is likely to include a set of recommendations that I hope will benefit my community of practice. Such findings should be published widely to inform the entire community. This is the way it should be. And yet often, sadly, it just doesn’t happen.

From DSC:
Steve, I was unsuccessful in leaving a comment on your posting here…but I celebrate your walking the talk on this and for pushing the envelop on the proliferation of open access journals. And thanks for making some recommendations in your reports — for taking some stances. I was greatly disappointed in my ID Master’s Program to find how few scholarly articles took any sort of stand and asserted much of anything to move their communities of practice forward.

 

 

This Visible College — from Educause (Vol. 34, No. 2, 2011) by Bryan Alexander

Excerpt:

In this column we’ll explore another part of higher education using only one scenario — but it’s a doozy.

“Class begins when the classroom door closes.” This image is enshrined in many practices, much popular memory, and even campus policies. But the concept may well be turned inside out in the near future as several trends coincide, altering the ways we teach and learn. That shut door is about to be wrenched open and our closed classes drawn into a global, visible college (compared to the invisible college described by David Staley and Dennis Trinkle1).

None of these supporting trends is mysterious or surprising:

  • Social media
  • Mobile computing
  • Open content

When these three trends combine, though, the synthesis surpasses each individual trend. What they do is turn the classroom inside out.

Everything I’ve described is happening now. What happens when these trends continue to grow and cross-pollinate?

 

Future of Higher Education — from Educause (Vol. 34, No. 1, 2011) by Bryan Alexander

Excerpt:

What does the future hold for higher education? How is American academia changing under the impact of continuous technological transformation?

The Future of Scholarly Publication
Scholarly publication is one of the most vital parts of higher education.4 Publications are in many ways the acme of faculty assessment: publish or perish. Our articles and books are the visible, enduring record of academic work, outlasting the lifespans of researchers, staff, and students. An entire industry both depends on and supports this output. Research output is deeply interwoven into many aspects of campus life, from hiring policies to library budgets and admissions materials. It is also a field in crisis, hammered by the Great Recession and torqued by ongoing technological revolutions.

PressForward: A new project aims to rethink scholarly communication for the age of new media journalism — from niemanlab.org by Tim Carmody

Excerpt:

How journalists communicate has been radically changed by the Internet. Is it time for the academic world to catch up?

Today, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University launches PressForward, a new discovery portal and publishing platform for scholarship and intellectual discussion on the web.

The big idea of PressForward is to create a digital-first alternative to the cumbersome mechanisms of traditional gatekeepers — academic journals — while keeping main benefits of print publication and peer review: their ability to concentrate a community’s attention around the best emergent writing and research. The project is bankrolled through a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Digital Information Technology program.

Addendum on 6/28/11:

© 2017 | Daniel Christian