Academic publishing: A minefield or Garden of Eden? A researcher and editor's perspective
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Academic publishing: A minefield or Garden of Eden? A researcher and editor's perspective

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Presentation at the Young Academics Programme 2014, University of South Africa

Presentation at the Young Academics Programme 2014, University of South Africa

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Academic publishing: A minefield or Garden of Eden? A researcher and editor's perspective Academic publishing: A minefield or Garden of Eden? A researcher and editor's perspective Presentation Transcript

  • Academic publishing: A minefield or the Garden of Eden? A researcher and editor’s perspective By Paul Prinsloo, Research Professor in Open Distance Learning (ODL) & Editor: Progressio, South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Presentation to the Young Academics Programme, Unisa 30 July 2014
  • Kate Bowles – Life turns to beige… Kate Bowles – On, on, on Richard Hall – On academic labor and performance Claire Shaw and Lucy Ward Dark thoughts: why mental illness is http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Lucas_Cranach_the_Elder_- _The_Garden_of_Eden_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Circle-style- warning.svg
  • Overview of the presentation • Some disclaimers • Understanding the field of being a researcher and publishing research (1), (2) • Factors shaping being a researcher and publishing research • Some paradoxes, current trends and issues • What does an editor want…? • Some dos and some donts • (In)conclusion
  • Some disclaimers • I cannot and don’t speak on behalf of all researchers or editors • I provide some personal thoughts regarding being a researcher (predominantly in the field of education) and as Editor of Progressio, South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice • All the images used in this presentation have been sourced from Google labelled for non-commercial reuse. The links are provided at the end of the presentation • This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Lic
  • Understanding the field of being a researcher and publishing research Image retrieved from http://www.allstaractivities.com/images/soccer-positions.gif • Boundaried site • Players have set/ predetermined positions • Rules are predetermined • Players have different skills • What players can do is determined by their position on the field/rules • The physical condition of the field impacts play
  • The “field” is not a benign, pastoral space, but rather le champ – a battle field, where players have set positions, predetermined paces, specific rules which novice players must learn together with basic skills (Thompson, 2012). “What players can do, and where they can go during the game, depends on their field position. The actual physical condition of the field (whether it is wet, dry, well grassed or full of potholes), also has an effect on what players can do and this how the game is played” (Thompson, 2012, p. 66). Understanding the field of being a researcher and publishing research (2) [(habitus)(capital)] + field = practice/agency (Maton, 2012, p. 50)
  • My dispositions - how my past and present (and my understanding thereof) shaped and still shape me The capital that I have acquired in the process (or not) The field – the context in which I find myself in. This is not a neutral space, but is, itself, shaped by various structures, and agencies of individuals and collectivesMy practice/agency and my understanding thereof… We are not “pre-programmed automatons acting out the implications of our upbringings” (Maton, 2012, p. 50). Constrained agency in research…
  • “…where we are in life in any one moment [is]… the result of numberless events in the past that shaped our path” (Maton, 2012, p. 51). Research agency is understanding that the choices we have in any particular moment and time in a specific context, are shaped by the positions we have in that particular social field at that moment in time, and the choices we (can) make… Complicating matters is the fact that the context we find ourselves in (at that particular moment in time), has itself been shaped by and is shaped by other contexts, individuals in an evolving power play. Being and doing research…
  • F I T Tenacity Progression Positive experience THE (SUCCESS OF THE ) RESEARCH PROCESS Multiple, mutually constitutive interactions between researchers, institutional context and disciplinary contexts Curiosity Scan the environment Plan & formulate Execute & collect Analyse & interpret Write up Submit F I T SHAPING CONDITIONS: (predictable as well as uncertain) BEING AND BECOMING A RESEARCHERIDENTITY, ATTRIBUTES, HABITUS TRANSFORMED RESEARCHER IDENTITY & ATTRIBUTES Habitus, dispositions, identity, skills & attributes Inter & intra- personal domains Modalities: • Attribution • Locus of control • Self-efficacy F I T F I T F I T F I T THE FIELD: DISCIPLINARY CONTEXT, INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT, RESEARCH REGIMES & CRITERIA CHANGES IN PROCESSES, VALUES, REGIMES, & CRITERIA Institutional policy and support Disciplinary context Rankings, journal foci, regimes, & criteria Regimes Institutional Disciplinary Journal Modalities: • Attribution • Locus of control • Self-efficacy SHAPING CONDITIONS: (predictable as well as uncertain) F I T F I T F I T F I T F I T F I T F I T F I T Adapted from: Subotzky, G., & Prinsloo, P. (2011). Turning the tide: a socio-critical model and framework for improving student success in open distance learning at the University of South Africa. Distance Education, 32(2): 177—19.
  • Factors shaping being a researcher and publishing research Macro context shaping research •Broader discourses of publish or perish (or increasingly publish and perish) •The politics and practices of rankings, citations •Discourses on intellectual property rights and open scholarship Micro context shaping research •Changing academic identities •Teaching versus research •Performance contracts •Promotion criteria The role, rewards and penalties of being a researcher in a particular discipline & contextBeing a researcher Doing research
  • Some paradoxes, trends and issues • Who/what qualifies/determines what is regarded as research? The role of networks, regimes, traditional metrics for measuring impact, disciplinary context, etc. • How does research differ between a teaching-intensive institution and a research-intensive institution? • How differently do we value, reward, & celebrate research done as ‘lone (but celebrated) hero’ or as collaborative research? • How do we measure researcher impact? Citations? Different metrics/Altmetrics/digital identities and footprints – see the work by Laura Czerniewicz - Academics’ online presence: A four-step guide to taking control of your visibility. Also see Hitchcock (2014) - Twitter and blogs are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.
  • Being and becoming an editor…
  • My own context: Some statistics re Progressio • A small but only South African journal dedicated to open, distance and e-learning practice • Accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training since 2011 • 2 issues per year (± 28 articles) plus a special issue • Print run of 500 copies, articles on SABINET after a period of 3 months • During 2013 received 100 articles for review, rejection rate of about 40% • Required ratio of 51% outside of Unisa:49% Unisa authors
  • Being an editor: Images and metaphors http://openclipart.org/image/300p x/svg_to_png/183011/WANTED %20POSTER.png http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co mmons/d/dc/Saint_Peter_the_Aleut.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Pest-Aids- Projekt.jpg If your article is accepted the editor is a… If your article is rejected you want the editor … If you must revise and rework the article, the editor and reviewers are ….
  • One morning when I woke up… http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs33/i/2012/056/6/6/were wolf_by_jinkies36-d1l24xh.jpg Parker, M. (2004). Becoming manager: Or, the werewolf looks anxiously in the mirror, checking for unusual facial hair. Management Learning, 35, 45-59. Very little research on becoming and being an editor… [Freda, M.C., & Nicoll, L.H. (2011). The Editor’s Handbook: An Online Resource and CE Course. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins]
  • Being an editor: What do editors find difficult? (e.g., Gladding, 1982 – note the date…) • Time to be an editor and meet other professional duties (8-12 hours per week) • Finding journal space for quality articles • Managing correspondence • Meeting publication deadlines • Sending letters of rejection • Selecting appropriate reviewers
  • As an editor, what do I look for…
  • An editor’s wish list… 1. The “fit” with the journal – see the list provided at http://academicjournalpublishing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/choosing-right-journal- no-1-reason-for.html 2. To what extent does the article present an original contribution to the field, address a gap, contest previous research, break new ground? (Indicate it as early as possible…) 3. How clear are the objectives/the research problem of the article and the line of argumentation? 4. How thorough and current is the literature review and to what extent does the literature review support the objectives of the article and line of argumentation? 5. How appropriate to the inquiry is the research design and methodologies? 6. To what extent does the presented evidence (whether empirical or conceptual) support the article’s main argument and objectives? 7. How satisfactory does the article in its conclusion/recommendations describe implications for the field? 8. Technical requirements: language, referencing, etc.
  • Some dos and don’ts 1. Ask for the evaluation criteria/metrics 2. When asked to rework the article, provide an overview of how you addressed the concerns and issues raised by the reviewers. (Note: You don’t always have to agree with them, but provide evidence or the rationale why you don’t) 3. Make sure of the technical requirements and adhere to them. Yes, I know it is a schlep… 4. When the article comes back, you have probably moved on. Stop everything else and start immediately… It just gets harder the more you postpone… 5. If it is rejected, look at the comments and resubmit (somewhere else?). Illegitimi non carborundum 6. First things first – feed your curiosity, make lists, network, share ideas… 7. What keeps you going? Why do you do this? If you cannot provide the answer, there possibly, is none… 8. Understand the field (see slides 4-9).
  • (In)conclusion Image retrieved from http://www.allstaractivities.com/images/soccer- positions.gif
  • Paul Prinsloo Research Professor in Open Distance Learning (ODL) & Editor: Progressio, South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice College of Economic and Management Sciences Office number 3-15, Club 1, Hazelwood P O Box 392 Unisa, 0003, Republic of South Africa +27 (0) 12 433 4719 (office) +27 (0) 82 3954 113 (mobile) Skype: paul.prinsloo59 Personal blog: http://opendistanceteachingandlearning.wordpress.com Twitter profile: @14prinsp This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
  • References (excluding those referred to with hyperlinks) Gladding, S.T. (1982). Who becomes a journal editor? A composite picture of APGA journal editors. The Personnel and Guidance Journal, 219—221. Maton, K. (2012). Habitus. In Michael Grenfell (Ed.), Pierre Bourdieu. Key concepts. Durham, UK : Acumen Publishing, pp. 48—64. Subotzky, G., & Prinsloo, P. (2011). Turning the tide: a socio-critical model and framework for improving student success in open distance learning at the University of South Africa. Distance Education, 32(2), 177—19. Thompson, P. (2012). Field. In Michael Grenfell (Ed.), Pierre Bourdieu. Key concepts. Durham, UK : Acumen Publishing, pp. 65—82.