‘New’ is the new ‘thorough’

This essay by Stephen R. Barley is a very nicely written commentary on the changing motivations of academic journals and institutions, and the effect it has on the disciplines they represent. Recommended for anyone involved in academic research, whether or not you’re in his particular field.

I rarely receive any comments these days on my findings, my data, or my analysis. In fact, I am usually complimented on these before being told why the paper can’t be published as is. Instead, the vast majority of comments focus on the theoretical or substantive frame of the story I want to tell. The logic of such comments boils down to this: “You say your paper is about X, but I think it is really about Y.”

Thanks to Paul Dourish for the link.

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