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and other grey literature is something that has fascinated me for a long time – I’m curious about all the interesting unpublished work that is sitting in people’s filing cabinets, either to one day be worked up into a formal paper […]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

Perverse Incentives in Scholarly Publishing

These luxury journals are supposed to be the epitome of quality, publishing only the best research. Because funding and appointment panels often use place of publication as a proxy for quality of science, appearing in these titles often leads to grants and professorships. But the big journals’ reputations are only […]