Browsing the archives for the News category

Introducing new managing editor
Posted by Linda Levitt

Flickr_-_paul_bica_-_celestial_lightGreetings PhD2Published community! I am excited to join the site as managing editor here at the beginning of Academic Writing Month. Charlotte Frost and the team have fantastic plans for the month of November, when all of us will see what epic results we can gain by making a commitment to our writing. You’ll also have a whole community of support and enthusiasm to help you meet your goals.

Admittedly, I’ve set a tiny daily goal for AcWriMo, based on my struggle to meet my more ambitious word counts last year. A post on my experience—and why I’m looking forward to trying again—will be forthcoming.

A bit about me: I’m a communication and media studies scholar and earned my doctorate at the University of South Florida. My dissertation was a critical study of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, and how this unique commemorative space is used for cultural events, performances, and celebrations. That project took my research interests in various directions, but all of my work focuses on the intersection of media and cultural memory.

After finishing my doctorate, I published journal articles and book chapters building on those existing interests, but managed to always put other commitments between myself and the book project I still have in mind. As other projects were completed and time passed, the idea of the book became even more elusive and mysterious. I came to PhD2Published in my quest to better understand the path to publishing a book.

I became an avid reader of PhD2Published as part of my summer reading and work on learning more about academic publishing, the writing process, writing groups, procrastination, and organization. I built my Twitter community, participated in Twitter chats, and even enrolled in a few MOOCs where I ended up having great collaborative experiences with people in various places in the world. As managing editor, I plan to bring some of this collective (and collected) wisdom to PhD2Published to help demystify the publication process. We might also find new collaborators, colleagues, editors, and companions along the way.

I have a friend and mentor who is brilliant about bringing people together. As such, she is not only able to set ideas and projects into motion, she is also surrounded by creative, thoughtful, productive people. She inspires me, along with Charlotte, Anna, and Sarah-Louise, and I am already in extraordinarily good company.

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Society for Research in to Higher Education Conference 2012: Some reflections
Posted by atarrant

In a previous post for PhD2Published, I mentioned that I would be talking in a symposium at the Society for Research into Higher Education Conference 2012.

I went last Friday (14th December 2012) and really enjoyed the experience. Professor Pat Thomson started with a really interesting talk about her project with Inger Mewburn (aka The Thesis Whisperer) about analyzing blog spaces for academic purposes, followed by Dr Jeremy Segrott who presented our talk about #acwri. Andy Coverdale spoke next about the use of social media and the way in which it aids the research process for PhD students, and then I concluded the session with discussion of how PhD2Published is an empowering space (for me in particular as Managing Editor) and one outside of institutions that is transforming academic knowledge production.

We seemed to get a good response to our papers from a really engaged audience, which was encouraging and we all commented on the strangeness of meeting face-to-face having ‘known’ each other on Twitter for so long (there is proof in the slightly blurred photo in the Storify below!). The symposium was the first real opportunity to meet up directly as a group and to share our experiences and reflections on social media use as academics.

Below is a Storify of some of the Tweets from the day that we Tweeted directly from the symposium to give an idea of what the papers were about and what we discussed:

 

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Introducing Our New Managing Editor: Dr Anna Tarrant
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Introduction to Me

Hello everyone,

I am delighted to announce that I am the new Managing Editor of phd2published! Just by way of introduction, here is a bit about me and my intentions for this role:

Anna 2011: Questions galore!

I am a human geographer by training and my thesis examined the social geographies of contemporary familial identities in a British context. I completed my PhD in July 2011 and have since realized my ambition to stay in academia. Currently I am a Senior Teaching Associate at Lancaster University, teaching a broad range of topics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This is a short term, 10 month post and I view it as my opportunity to fill in the gaps of my knowledge, to get established as an academic and to develop my networks. So how do I asked? Continue Reading »

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“The Time Has Come” The Walrus Said …
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

To write my last post for phd2published. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as the managing editor of this site but it is now time for me to move on to new things. When Charlotte offered me this opportunity just after my viva last year I wasn’t sure what I could contribute or whether it was a good idea but I have always taken every opportunity that has come my way so I said yes and saw it as a fabulous learning curve, and that’s exactly what it has been.

I have learnt a great deal about academic publishing and academic career development over the last 9 months and a great deal has happened for me on the back of being here thus, I shall use this last post to review my achievements through giving you my top tips:

Put Some Thought into Your Journal Choice and Don’t Be Scared of Top Ranked Journals:

For a variety of reasons I came to the end of my PhD not having published anything as a sole author. I had contributed to a number of policy reports but I had not got any peer reviewed publications out. this was a conscious decision which made sense at the time but at the same time when I got to the end of my PhD I was playing catch-up and this does impact upon your ability to get a post-doc position. Academic departments in the UK are now looking at what potential new staff can or will be able to offer toward the REF. For early-career researchers this is two publications in ‘good’ journals. ‘Good’ generally relates to impact factor and many early-career researchers are scared off from aiming at the top ranked journals in their field. One of the key messages from the Royal Geographical Society Post Graduate Forum Annual Conference Training Symposium (PGF-ACTS) was that if you have a piece which you think is relevant to that high ranking journal you should go for it! they treat everyone the same, even the big names get rejection letters! Continue Reading »

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Charlotte Frost on Academic Blogging
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/2965186113/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Leonard Cassuto said in the Guardian: ‘If a graduate student asks me, “Should I blog?” my answer, at least right now, would still be, “Probably not “’. Just weeks ago I gave a talk at the British Library saying very much the opposite. Cassuto is a more established academic than myself, but I still think I have a point – and so did the people who invited me to give that opinion.

To discuss the fact that I came across Cassuto’s article and talked about it on Twitter would be to open another – if related – can of worms. Suffice to say that engaging with twitter for this type of academic commentary is the way I work. I’ve said time and again that Twitter and blogging allow me to usefully interact with so many academics – and non academics I hasten to add – whose opinions I value. I stand by this method of working as it helps me find great new people and ideas on a daily basis and this regularly directly informs my work.

I do recognize that my subject area lends itself particularly well to this type of information exchange. I’m currently writing a book on art mailing list culture and social media and my area of expertise is in art forms that thrive in these networks of sharing. I have had many people point out to me that they themselves aren’t working in a field where social media is considered appropriate and/or they are handling sensitive data that can’t be shared. However, I still take issue with much of what Cassuto says and I still think online discussion platforms have their place in academia.

Like Cassuto, I will divide my response into two sections. The first deals with form because I would argue that he doesn’t credit blogging or any other type of online communication with being anything other than ‘unpublished’, ‘unedited’, ‘unofficial’ writing. There is much about his tone that indicates he sees it as a lesser form of writing and I take issue with that. Continue Reading »

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We Ask Ken Wissoker: Do We Need to Rethink Academic Publishing?
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pumpkincat210/with/3416918382/

Continuing to gather responses to the Guardian article by George Monbiot on the broken model of academic publishing, we asked Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director at Duke University Press, to wade into the debate. Here’s what he had to say:

I thought Monbiot’s article was very valuable for getting the word out about how the big publishers – especially Elsevier – but also Taylor and Francis and Wiley-Blackwell have extracted as much money as possible from university libraries. Elsevier pioneered this, coming up with big packages of journals that universities needed and pricing them as high as possible.  Universities with researchers in those areas (mostly science and medicine) had to pay or they weren’t supporting their professors. Since every journal was unique intellectual property, there was no competition and no market. If a library wanted to cancel a journal, Elsevier didn’t lower the price of the collection. This really was wealth extraction in a frightening and damaging form. So the article’s account of all that was a good wake-up call for those, including many academics, who were not aware of these changes over the last ten or fifteen years.  He is totally right about the infuriating way these arrangements cut out anyone without access to a university library. Continue Reading »

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We Ask Martin Paul Eve: Do We Need to Rethink Academic Publishing?
Posted by Charlotte Frost

In his Guardian article, George Monbiot makes an excellent case against the existing academic publishing industry. Knowing that Martin Paul Eve would have much to say, we asked if he’d like to address Monbiot’s points in advance of his talk at the UKSG next year.

George Monbiot builds a good case against the corporate publishing machine that dominates the academic world and his article has had portions of the Twittersphere buzzing. I am due to speak in the opening plenary of the UK Scholarly Group conference next year – the biggest gathering of librarians and academic publishers – to make a similar argument: we don’t need academic publishers. While I won’t reiterate every aspect of Monbiot’s piece, there are several aspects, here, that are worth unpicking, especially where I diverge from Monbiot’s stance.

Firstly, Monbiot approaches, but never directly engages with, the driver of prestige in academia. He mentions the necessity of publishing with high impact factor journals and states that we can “start reading” new OA journals, but can’t “stop reading the closed ones”. Actually, we can, but only if people stop publishing therein. This will not happen in the UK because of the Research Excellence Framework and its insistence that the higher “impact” band a journal, the more weight a piece will have. This is a delegation of the critical task of the researcher into the arms of a commercial entity. While peer review serves as a useful filter, merely trusting this, based on journals which achieve their prestige based on rejection rates, is a foolish move, driven by the equally foolish baseline of a research assessment dependent on corporations. The REF, alongside competition for academic jobs, drives this system.

Secondly, publishers are able to use institutional libraries as a shield to hide a researcher’s autosubversive behaviour. Consider that, by publishing in a closed, proprietary journal, a researcher actually limits his or her own access to material by constricting his or her own institution’s library budget. This is not how it appears to the researcher, though, because the spend is at one remove. Researchers publish for prestige and it is the library’s fault if material is not forthcoming. Open Access supported by commercial entities does make a researcher aware of the problems, because in this case they will be asked to pay up front. However, most reactions from researchers to this tend to be: “I don’t want to pay, let us revert to the model where I didn’t pay”. In this way, publishers have built a “command and control” system for an entity that functions, in its obfuscation, distribution and resilience, in a mode most akin to a piece of computer malware. Libraries must educate researchers of their own complicity in this web. Continue Reading »

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PhD2Published @ Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

As a Geographer I am very proud to say that today I will be representing PhD2Published at the Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference. I have been asked to be on the panel for the Postgraduate Forum Annual Conference Training Symposium (PGF-ACTS). The purpose of the postgraduate forum is outlined below: Continue Reading »

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How to get ahead in academic publishing
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Unfortunately I can’t be there in person to take part, but this Live chat: How to get ahead in academic publishing by the Guardian Higher Education Network will be really good. There are some great participants and Eliza Anyangwe always does a fabulous job of getting important questions answered. I’m going to really look forward to reading the archived session after the weekend. Enjoy!

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Postgraduates and the Privatization of English Higher Education
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Just found this great article by Casey Brienza and Ernesto Priego from last November called: Postgraduates and the Privatization of English Higher Education

It starts: “On November 3, British universities minister David Willetts announced a proposal to raise the basic tuition fee cap for all UK and EU citizens to £6000, or up to £9000 under certain conditions, as early as 2012. This announcement comes in the wake of the Browne Report, which proposes to eliminate the block teaching grant received by all English universities for all non-STEM subjects. This, argues Stefan Collini in the London Review of Books, constitutes a de facto forced privatization of the university system.”

It’s well worth a read!

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PhD2Published will be at InterFace 2011
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

InterFace is a new international forum to learn, share and network between the fields of Humanities and Technology.

Below is an outline for the conference and the call for participants the conference will be held at University College London between 27th – 29th July 2011:

The symposium aims to foster collaboration and shared understanding between scholars in the humanities and in computer science, especially where their efforts converge on exchange of subject matter and method. With a focus on the interests and concerns of Ph.D students and early career researchers, the programme will include networking activities, opportunities for research exposition, and various training and workshop activities. Continue Reading »

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PhD2Published Contributes to Digital Researcher 11
Posted by Sarah-Louise Quinnell

Digital Researcher is an interactive event run by Vitae and the British Library for postgraduate researchers and research staff to help researchers make the most of new technologies in their research.

The interactive event, which will be held at the British Library, is for postgraduate researchers and research staff. It will include presentations and interactive sessions on subjects such as microblogging, RSS feeds, social networking and social citation sharing.  Participants will explore and develop the skills needed for research in an increasingly digital world and gain ideas for managing information (DR11 site)

Phd2Published will be attending this event ‘virtually’ , contributing to the discussions and the DR 11 blog, see our first post here. We will also be tweeting using the hashtag #DR11

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