It has been almost five years since I’ve written about Sam Stamper, the young Assistant Professor who was taken to task by one of the most senior full professors in his department following a classroom observation. We left Stamper as he ran off to teach.After class, he contacted his union representative and filed a grievance … Continue reading Discussion in a Faculty Office, Part II
One of the biggest frustrations for me, as a scholar, is continual denigration (by certain academics) of my work as addressing only a "general audience." I can't be a "real" intellectual, you see, unless I write so that only a few specialists can parse my sentences and unearth my meaning. [It's also frustrating that I … Continue reading The Return of the Public Intellectual?
As David Gosser's comment on my post yesterday indicates, there are already a number of possibilities online that can be used by and for new types of academic journals--and people are taking advantage of them. The problem lies in finding an audience, in getting the necessary eyes and necessary responses, the two things that make … Continue reading Remodeling Academic Journals
Over the past decade, newspapers have learned that they need to change to survive. The deaths of papers all over the United States made that quite apparent, and the journalism industry, though hating to do it, learned to adapt. Today's newspapers aren't merely print, but are intertwined with other media, including television, radio, and websites … Continue reading Why Keep Academic Journals As They Have Been?
One does not become an academic to get rich. Even the most successful, those who end up owning a patent or writing a best-selling book, earn paltry amounts when set against any real standard of wealth. The reasons one does become an academic are myriad, from passion for teaching and/or research to desire for a … Continue reading Boycott Elsevier? Yes, But the Real Solution Lies Elsewhere
Peer review has long been something of an unexamined black box. Something is peer reviewed? We accept that it has been checked and re-checked, examined and tested. Just look at the way it is used in the popular media--"peer review" is accepted as reflecting a process of rigorous vetting. In situations of promotion, re-appointment and … Continue reading The Myth of Peer Review–And Helping Make Academic Gatekeeping Work in Digital Environments
This is a talk I gave at the Modern Language Association annual conference in Seattle 1/5/2012:When I was opening my café in the early nineties, I redid the plumbing for the entire space. This meant, at the time, that a New York City plumbing inspector would have to sign off on the work before we … Continue reading The Bearable Light of Openness: Renovating Obsolete Peer-Review Bottlenecks
One of the impacts of the digital revolution should be the breaking down of barriers even in academia, making it more and more possible for scholars to move out beyond their specialties, to collaborate, and to bring into their own concentrations work by others that might, at first, seem far removed from one's own area … Continue reading Field of Dreams: Academic Edition
Via Blogging Brande, I discovered Nick Montfort’s post on Grand Text Auto concerning open access and academic journals.Let me start with a sober and analytic reaction: “Yippee!”That out of the way, the battle between those of us who believe that the “commons” benefits everyone (in part, through what I call “the Grateful Dead effect,” from … Continue reading Academic Commons [Updated]
There's a real lack of professionalism alive in our academic departments, an atittude that cares more for the nicety of bureaucracy and its rewards than for our academic goals.So?What's so startling about that?Nothing.But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be fought, or that it doesn't deserve the pointing out.Two of the problem areas, release time and … Continue reading An Old Plaint, Renewed