Faculty opinions of new communication technologies,

In “Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An In-depth Study of Faculty Needs and Ways of Meeting Them” (Harley et al. 2008 ) (via Suber’s OA News) a group of researchers from Berkeley provide a preliminary report on their study of how new communication technologies are viewed by faculty. I almost worried my research might be redundant (not that it matters at masters level?) but then I started reading and realized they didn’t include much from an anthropological perspective, and instead cover numerous disciplines to explore differences between them as well. It’s a really well put together report, with revealing statements about the academic hierarchy. I’m looking forward to hearing more from their research!

“As we found in our planning study, peer-reviewed prestige publications are the “coin of the realm” in tenure and promotion decisions.”

this next one is really great – considering I plan to do my research at Concordia if its approved.

“Another observation is that every institution and department can have different traditions and standards. It was suggested by some that standards at second-tier institutions vary significantly from those in the top tier (less selective journals and presses, fewer publications, more emphasis on teaching, etc.), but that anxiety about getting published in what is described as a “competitive” market can be much higher.”

now is when the news they are reporting gets REALLY bad

“Finally, the advice given to pre-tenure scholars was quite consistent across fields: focus on publishing in the right venues and avoid too much time spent on public engagement, committee work, writing op-ed pieces, developing websites, blogging, and other non-traditional forms of electronic dissemination (including courses).”

lol! ouch! Is it April fools? Nope, its May. This study reveals a faculty bent on maintaining the status quo! I am honored to be studying at such a progressive school – where I’ve met incredibly dynamic teachers who blog and encourage blogging! Thanks to Max Forte and Alexandre Enkerli who have encouraged, and inspired the use of blogging in academics. I’m also encouraged with the line of investigation I proposed.


One response to this post.

  1. Thanks for the ping!
    What you quote in the end is actually very common in academia. Part of it is simply the common advice not to get too distracted (by teaching or service), as “research” (they actually mean “publishing in the right journals”) really is the only thing which counts for tenure, at most institutions.
    But there’s also a deeper issue about the very meaning of “publishing,” in the “publish or perish” system for PTR (promotion, tenure, reappointment). Though blogging serves all the manifest functions of publishing, it cannot be accepted as part of academic work.
    Those academics who do get some PTR traction out of blogging are still submitting themselves to “publish or perish” standards. Their blogs need to be acknowledged by the right people, much of the writing should be of “peer-reviewed quality,” and the notion is still that blogging “doesn’t really count.”
    Yes, it’s a sore issue, for me. Not that I’m even tenure-track, of course.


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