The Old Scholar's Historical Thoughts

October 5, 2009

Communicating Research – don’t use the web

Filed under: Readings — theoldscholar @ 9:09 pm

I don’t know if you all had a chance to review the link Professor Cohen gave us on twitter concerning how people disseminate their scholarly research but the Communicating Knowledge Report had some interesting surveys. The surveys were taken from scholars and researchers in the UK on how and why they publish their research. Peer reviewed journals are very important to 94% of the respondents whereas Internet blogs and forums are either not important (70%) or not applicable (18%).  When asked why they considered peered reviewed journals important 74% said they needed it for career advancement. (18) But hidden in the numbers is the ironic statistic that “and more than one third of respondents say that open access repositories are important to their research.”(17)

So most of these researchers consider web self publishing as not important, but value “open access.” I guess it all goes back to the “trust and rigor” implied in being published versus putting on the web. Some of the initiatives talked about in the Bell article from the American Historical Association of providing peer reviewed web material may change some people’s minds. However, that article was written in 2005. Does anyone know the state of peer reviewed web publishing site?

I also found it interesting that people in the humanities put so much more emphasis on publishing a chapter in a book, than the other disciplines.

Also, for a truly misleading bar graph I highly recommend Figure 2 on page 17 which shows the importance of peered reviewed journals for the different fields. All other bar graphs in the paper have a scale of 0% to 100%. Figure 2 starts at 80% and goes to 100%. The impression of importance is very skewed.

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