What’s left?

What a week – busy but fun too. Now I wonder what I can find for you today.

The final topic that I would like to raise from the Guardian live discussion is based on just one comment.

“The way research is published is a contentious issue to a lot of academics. The concept of academic reputation keeps coming up again and again,and on the whole it seems that using web 2.0 tools to disseminate your work and to create a dialogue are frowned upon, and that the majority of academics never ever use social media and web 2.0. This appears to be due to the ingrained impact of the peer review, and why aren’t academics particularly when the research is in digital things, utilising online publishing? Eprints, institutional repositories are one thing, but ‘new technologies’ are on a whole are a no go area. Why? Well a central problem is how success and more importantly failure are determined in the academic environment. Until that changes we are stuck with traditional methods of publishing.” from Claire Ross PhD student at UCL

I couldn’t agree more Claire. Is this one of the challenges we should target? Could we get academics sharing their work more. At our University some academics put their papers in the repository but then advertise them in Facebook and Twitter – excellent. What about all the stuff we haven’t had published in a peer-reviewed journal? We know there are ways of getting articles published in peer-reviewed journals – which journals like what and how they like the article written. Some good research just doesn’t get published. There’s a lot of research going on and it’s not always the “best” stuff that gets published. We need more academics publicising the accessibility of their latest publications but we also need to be sharing our progress in our current research. Why are we not simply doing it like Alan Winfield, so enjoyable to see all this science shared. Why are we not joining in more things like Open Humanities Press, wow how great to see that some people believe in practicing what they preach.

We obviously have to improve the digital literacy of academics but I think we also have to provide them with a sort of half-way house. Here’s an original idea 🙂 may be we should ask them what they would like and then try to create it for them. I’d love to know your thoughts on tackling this academic publishing issue.

Have a good weekend – you never know the sun might shine and we’ll have some decent warmth at last!


3 responses to “What’s left?

  1. Mark Childs

    I don’t; see it as an either/or thing …. you can publish early drafts and thoughts through social web stuff, and then go for the official peer-reviewed thing later. The fear of plagiarism is a bit of a nonstarter. Published is published. If you can show your work is already out there as a tweet or an upload to slideshare then your ideas are already laid claim too. I would say to anyone (whether we’re talking academia or not) don’t wait for the system to lay down the rules you want – make your own rules.

  2. Mark Childs

    Probably should add that you and I, TIm, are perhaps lucky in that the field we work in runs quite opposite to the statement by Claire here. I would say that NOT publishing through web 2.0 is frowned upon if you’re one of the elearning community. But I’m sure everyone else will be catching up with us soon.

  3. timjohnson

    Thanks for the comments Mark. I do hope the others will be catching up with us soon. It is quite difficult still to convince *all* university staff that Web 2.0 especially things like Twitter and Second Life, are to be trusted for use in teaching or any other form of communication. I do think it has to come from the top – those universities where social media are used effectively all have someone at the top who has given it all the green light.

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