One must always make one's own decisions. My choice when faced with a
flawed or rigged game is not to play. This choice is not for everyone.
Why is the game flawed/rigged?
IMHO the system of ranking journals is part of the general push to
quantify everything, which doesn't serve the academy well at all. Sure,
people want a way to be able to compare academics when considering
employing them. But I don't think that a ranking system for journals is
the way to do it.
Why? Firstly because this quantitative method is used primarily because
quantitative research is more fashionable than qualitative and decisions
based on it take less time to arrive at. It seems as if counting things
and adding them up gives a picture of reality, but unless balanced by
qualitative considerations it is a very distorted picture. Lies, damn
lies and statistics. I feel it is relied on because people want to cover
their butts. If one can say that one chose a particular candidate based
on an externally mandated quantitative method then there is effective
Secondly, the ranking system is flawed. I am not familiar with the
English system, and it seems from other posts here that it is a bit
inscrutable. Such a system should be totally transparent. Consider this,
people already in academic positions have an interest in seeing that the
journals they are published in remain at a high ranking. The journals
have an interest in remaining highly ranked so they can sell copies.
This is key to this issue. Trying to reconcile the desires of profit
driven enterprises with academic integrity is a very difficult task. I
do wonder how academia got itself in the position of being beholden to
commercial publishing interests. History is replete with instances where
people couldn't get published because their research was so far from
established thought that neither publishers nor other academics would
assist them in getting their work out, even though they were proved to
be correct. Other academics are often the worst enemy of new research,
just consider the story of the cure for Yellow Fever.
Fourthly, because having published articles is not necessarily a good
indicator of one's ability to be a good teacher. At all.
Fifthly, because of the closed peer review system. IMHO the review
system should be open. At present people can sabotage work they don't
agree with because their review is never revealed. Moreover an open
system allows more eyes and brains to examine things and, has been shown
time and time again in open source software, the more eyes you have on
the code the more likely problems are to be identified.
Who sets the ranking for the journals?
Are for profit publishers the best people to control academic publishing?
School of Sociology and Social Work
University of Tasmania
On 7/12/2010 10:10 PM, toyin adepoju wrote:
> Thanks for this Margaret.
> What do you say to the fact that it seems that a good number of the
> most prestigious journals in the humanities are not OA? Does that not
> partly explain "Why one would publish with someone who is in the
> business of restricting access to one's work?"
> Can one afford to ignore non OA journals if one one wants to be promoted
> up the academic ladder?
> On 5 December 2010 11:02, Morgan Leigh <[log in to unmask]
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> Why one would publish with someone who is in the business of restricting
> access to one's work is a mystery to me.
> "Self-Selected or Mandated, Open Access Increases Citation Impact for
> Higher Quality Research"
> Articles whose authors have supplemented subscription-based access to
> the publisher's version by self-archiving their own final draft to make
> it accessible free for all on the web (“Open Access”, OA) are cited
> significantly more than articles in the same journal and year that have
> not been made OA. Some have suggested that this “OA Advantage” may not
> be causal but just a self-selection bias, because authors preferentially
> make higher-quality articles OA. To test this we compared self-selective
> self-archiving with mandatory self-archiving for a sample of 27,197
> articles published 2002–2006 in 1,984 journals.
> The OA advantage is greater for the more citable articles, not because
> of a quality bias from authors self-selecting what to make OA, but
> because of a quality advantage, from users self-selecting what to use
> and cite, freed by OA from the constraints of selective accessibility to
> subscribers only. It is hoped that these findings will help motivate the
> adoption of OA self-archiving mandates by universities, research
> institutions and research funders.
> Morgan Leigh
> PhD Candidate
> School of Sociology and Social Work
> University of Tasmania
> On 2/12/2010 11:54 PM, Margaret Gouin wrote:
> > Sebastian,
> > I published my doctoral dissertation through a 'reputable' academic
> > publishing house.
> > I regret it. Quite apart from the amount of time I had to spend
> > all the many totally unnecessary errors the 'reputable' academic
> > publishing house introduced into my original manuscript, they do not
> > seem to be at all interested in promoting it. It is priced at an
> > appalling and entirely unwarranted amount which puts it well
> outside the
> > reach of most people who might otherwise have bought it. My only
> hope is
> > that within a couple of years it will appear in paperback. Maybe.
> It is
> > highly unlikely that I will ever see more than a paltry sum in return
> > for all the work I put into it.
> > I should have gone through Lulu.com or something similar, and will
> if I
> > ever do another book.
> > Sincerely,
> > Margaret
> > 2010/12/2 Sebastián <[log in to unmask]
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]> <mailto:[log in to unmask]
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>>
> > I am currently struggling against my own ego in whether I should
> > liberate my graduation thesis which I have in pdf format or
> keep it
> > to myself until I manage to "publish" it.