Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Academic Writing

Academic writing is a very particular form of writing, with strict rules about how you can write and what you can write about. It also tends to rules the lives of academics (if you’ve ever heard of “publish or perish”, you know what I’m talking about), even though our writing is only one part of what we do (teaching, admin work, supervision, engagement, enterprise, outreach, and so on are also important aspects of our jobs).

So it’s interesting to see that there are some tentative moves afoot to challenge the system. I’m personally not convinced that it really makes sense for there to be just a few top journals per field and for the system to be such that if you don’t get your articles published there, it is hard to get tenure and/or promotion.

Check out this piece and this one to learn about a possible academic strike and some of the greater issues there are with this system.

With the Research Excellence Framework looming over us and scaring many, perhaps it’s time to rethink the system.

1 comment:

david fradis said...

The question of who can provide a good QA process to save us, academics, the time of sifting through all the data available for each field is a very valuable question.

It is impossible to read all the material out there and if we loose the focus of our research we will spend most of our time scrolling through useless pages. This is quite unacceptable.

However, it stands to reason that there can be more than a handful of journals that can provide this service. And a think tank should be established to formulate a review process based on online open access models and the use of the almost unlimited resources of the WWW.