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The proliferation of books

From Merchants of Culture, by John Thompson, pg 238. In the United States: The number of new books published in the US each year prior to 1980 was probably under 50,000. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the number of new books published greatly increased, reaching nearly 200,000 by 1998. By […]

Bounded autonomy in the workplace

In John Thompson’s Merchants of Culture, he describes what might be termed the bounded autonomy enjoyed by some editorial teams within publishing houses. From pg 128: the devolution of editorial decision-making to small editorial teams operating with a high degree of autonomy within certain financial parameters is the best way […]

What is ‘the literature’?

My experience of watching the literature on asexuality spiral from a handful of papers ever through to new ones each month has left me fascinated by how quickly ‘the literature’ can become unmanageable. Within a relatively small and nascent field, it’s possible to grasp ‘the literature’ as a totality. But […]

The Vertigo of the Accelerated Academy

From Sustainable Knowledge by Robert Frodeman, loc 1257: I feel like I am drowning in knowledge, and the idea of further production is daunting. Libraries and bookstores produce a sense of anxiety: the number of books and journals to read is overwhelming, with tens of thousands more issuing from the […]

why are we not boycotting academia.edu?

Via Nick Mahoney. How good does this event look? Why Are We Not Boycotting Academia.edu? Coventry University Tuesday 8th December 2015 3:00-6:00pm Ellen Terry Building room ET130  With: Janneke Adema – Chair (Coventry University, UK) Pascal Aventurier (INRA, France) Kathleen Fitzpatrick (MLA/Coventry University, US) Gary Hall (Coventry University, UK) David […]

Using blogs to publish working papers

The potential role of blogs in helping disseminate working papers and other grey literature is something that has fascinated me for a long time – I’m curious about all the interesting unpublished work that is sitting in people’s filing cabinets, either to one day be worked up into a formal paper […]

Fast capitalism and peer review

The public debate concerning ‘scare stories’ about statins is an interesting case study for the politics of peer review. It’s an important reminder that these seemingly technical issues of scholarly communication can have important public consequences. The case seems to be framed in the media as calling into question the ‘gold […]

The academic blogosphere, scholarly craft and the end of ‘pluralistic ignorance’

One of many useful discussions in Howard Becker’s Writing for Social Scientists concerns ‘pluralistic ignorance”. He argues that this social psychological effect manifests itself in academia in relation to writing. Academic writing is a private and isolated endeavour, in which adversity (rejections by journals, lacerating criticism, endless requests for revision) are […]

The Privacy of Public Sociology

I’ve spent the last couple of hours compiling a reading list for the book project about public sociology I’m planning. I’ve been using Albert Tzeng’s invaluable resource on Sociological Imagination as a starting point, extending it through google scholar and supplemented by the notes I’ve been intermittently taking over the last year. […]