When Reviewers Disagree (or at least contradict each other)

Karen Kelsky, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae explores the problem when two or more readers’ reports offer conflicting or contradictory suggestions for revision and resubmission. She advises: 1) You don’t have to accept every revision suggestion (though you need to address all of them); reviewers aren’t necessarily experts in your topic so you can disagree with them; and 3) letting go of ego, you can find revision suggestions helpful. The article is on line for subscribers: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/954-when-the-reviewers-disagree

Fail and Fail Often!

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Kenneth Womack and Nichola D. Gutgold advise junior tenure track faculty:

The best advice we ever received when we were on the tenure track was that to be successful, we needed to keep sending our research out. We needed to work feverishly to develop an audience. In short, you have to be ready to respond quickly — or fail fast. Because what is failure? Is it merely a temporary result or a protracted state of mind? Consider the words of playwright Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Full essay here: https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2015/04/01/essay-importance-sharing-work-and-facing-rejection-advance-scholarly-career


Scholarly Kitchen: Why Is Science Suffering in the Modern Age?

Kent Anderson writing for the Scholarly Kitchen (“What’s Hot and Cooking in Scholarly Publishing”) asks, “Why is science suffering in the modern age?” Among the causes of the crisis of public confidence in science:

  1. Political and societal dysfunction.
  2. Economic dysfunction.
  3. Mass media dysfunction.
  4. Scientific dysfunction.

Admitting the complexities of the first three, Anderson observes of the last: “Scientists need to become better communicators.”

The article is available on line: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2015/02/17/taking-our-eye-off-the-ball-why-is-science-suffering-in-the-modern-age/

Owning and Using Scholarship: An IP Handbook for Teachers and Researchers

Director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke University, Kevin Smith has published Owning and Using Scholarship: An IP Handbook for Teachers and Researchers. Published by the Association of College and Research Libraries and available in an open-access PDF version, the book provides scholars with a primer to intellectual property issues in the digital age:



Inside Higher Ed: Welcome criticism (Rockquemore)

Kerry Ann Rockquemore, writing for Inside Higher Ed, advises early-career researchers and scholars to welcome criticism rather than to become frustrated or dispirited by it.

It’s all about context, including the context of your reaction, as well as seeking out the advice of trusted colleagues: https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2015/01/28/essay-how-those-starting-academic-careers-should-respond-criticism

Chronicle: Really Obvious but Ignored Guide to Getting Published

Kirsten Bell, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Vitae, offers sage advice to authors seeking publication:

  • Know the journal to which you want to submit. (Hint: Actually read articles from several of the most recent issues and read the author guidelines usually found on the journal’s web site.)
  • Nominate reviewers if given the option.
  • Don’t make a prior rejection of the ms obvious. (Hint: In your communication with an editor, personal confessions are not required.)
  • Learn how to write a scholarly ms before submitting one. (Hint: Read and carefully study the genres, formats, structure, and language of your discipline’s articles.)
  • Be persistent.

Online for subscribers: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/566-the-really-obvious-but-all-too-often-ignored-guide-to-getting-published

Be It Resolved: Write!

In addition to losing weight, exercising more, and keeping in better touch with friends and family, have you also resolved to write more this new year?

In an editorial in Clinical Nursing Research, Pamela Z. Cacchione outlines some “Publishing Considerations for New Academic Faculty,” reminding us of the value of placing writing in our schedules, including cultivating a daily writing habit.

Writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Rob Jenkins advises readers on “Writing with a Heavy Teaching Load.” He suggests that faculty commit, organize and prioritize, schedule, be patient, and repurpose.


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