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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2007

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2007

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Subject:

Re: Another publishing comment (the 'right' journals)

From:

John Briggs <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 22 Oct 2007 17:13:11 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Research has also shown that it is always possible to get anything published 
somewhere - there is a hierarchy for the scholarly and scientific 
literature.  (Researchers testing referreeing mechanisms tend to do 
unsporting things such as submitting articles to the journal which 
originally published them under different titles, and watching what the 
referrees say. This imposture is rarely detected.)

John Briggs

Maureen A. Tilley wrote:
>
> Concerning the question of how universities decide what the right
> journals are, there are several criteria that are normally used:
> 1. Is this a refereed journal? Who are the referees? One cannot
> always find the names of the referees but the list of the advisors to
> the editors, usually found inside the front matter of each journal
> issue, is a good guide. Are those editorial advisors known for the
> quality of their work?
> 2. What is the ratio of submissions to articles published? For
> journals of learned societies, this factor is obtained through the
> annual report of the journal editor(s) to the membership of the
> society, an item usually not published but delivered orally unless
> the minutes of the society's annual meeting are published.
> 3. Over the years, what had been the quality of the articles in the
> journal? Have they been useful to specialists in the sub-field? Are
> articles in the journal often cited in bibliographies?
> 4. Another measure of the quality of a journal would be the number
> and quality of university libraries which subscribe to the journal.
> Helpful information on this point is easily available through the
> WorldCat database available at most university libraries.
> 5. Finally a key to the quality of a journal is whether it is widely
> indexed. This information is available by consulting Ulrich's
> Periodicals Directory.
>
> I do not know of any institution with an official 'approved' list. At
> the level of the university promotion and tenure committee, members
> rely on comments on the quality of a journal from the members of
> departmental promotion and tenure committee and the letter of
> recommendation of the chair of that committee, usually the chair of
> the department recommending the person for tenure or promotion.
>
> Regarding the issue of publishing in 'popular' journals and other
> non-scholarly outlets, more and more universities are beginning to
> see this as a factor which cannot be ignored. If that is the person's
> only venue for publication, promotion/tenure might be a problem.
> However, many schools have ways to count this sort of publication. It
> may be counted under teaching or service to the (non-university)
> community along with public lectures to non-academic audiences.
>
> The public role of universities and professors are growing. More and
> more universities are seeing the value of having their professors in
> the public eyes, whether that is simply for the prestige of the
> university or as a serious contribution to the formation of public
> policy. The American Academy of Religion, one of the premiere
> academic associations in the field of religious studies, even has a
> committee to promote public awareness of religious issues. See their
> website http://www.aarweb.org/ and click on 'Public Affairs'.
>
> Maureen A. Tilley
> Visiting Professor of Theology
> Fordham University
> 113 W. 60th Street
> New York, NY 10023
> 212-636-6369
>
>
>
> -----medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious
> culture <[log in to unmask]> wrote: ----- 
>
>
>   To: [log in to unmask]
>   From: Ann Ball <[log in to unmask]>
>   Sent by: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval
> religious culture <[log in to unmask]>
>   Date: 10/22/2007 10:03AM
>   Subject: Re: [M-R] Another publishing comment
>
>   medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
> culture
>   From one who sits on the other side of the publishing world, this
> thread is fascinating.  How do the universities decide what is the
> "right journal" -- do they have an "approved" list?  What do the
> journals give as their reason for not paying for the hard work you
> do?  I understand the request for "freebies" occasionally -- I do it
> too sometimes for charitable publications who are totally non-profit
> (although at this stage I usually offer them the right to publish
> reprints of previous articles), but someone mentioned that these
> journals cost those who read them soooo...
>
>   Certainly I have heard the old "publish or perish" for many years.
> And I suspect the original intent was to gain publicity for the
> institutions which needed the publicity to attract high quality
> students, funding for programs, etc.  I suspect Catherine's comment
> about the tag to applications reading 'ability to attract significant
> research funding' falls into this category.
>
>   However, if one of your academics published a book with a
> non-academic press (or an article) would that not be a plus point at
> all?  Granted, most of the academic writing I have read is "heavy"
> and the paid kind is "light" it seems to me that if a work was
> accurate, even if not expressed in academic terms, and becamse
> popular, it would naturally attract good attention to the institution
> involved.   And judging by the wit and wisdom of some of the notes on
> this list I suspect there are people there who could do a good job in
> the non-academic world, too.
>
>   In the meantime I'll wish you the same good luck my friend Celia
> just had, albeit in a different discipline.  She just took a new job
> and something was brought up about the possibility of starting a new
> class.  She had learned on a previous job that the U.S. government
> had set aside funding for innovations dealing with this subject and
> mentioned it to her department head.  Shortly thereafter, she was
> brought in, told to design the class and told she had a budget of
> half a million dollars!  Whoopee!  May you all be blessed with that
> type of luck.
>
>   Best,
>   ann
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>   See what's new at AOL.com and Make AOL Your Homepage .
>
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John Briggs

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