November 17, 2013 2 Comments
Last week was the presentation of my book ‘Publish in Journals 3.0’ and attended as speakers one of the foremost authorities in Spain on accreditation, the President of ACAP; the Director of the Corporate Finance Department at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and the Library director of the Faculty of Business and Economics; who brought their different views on the future of scientific research dissemination.
In the later discussion, there were addressed two issues of particular relevance, which I found interesting to comment here for its reflection.
1. We were wondering if it makes sense for a centralized agency to evaluate professors, and somehow tell the universities which of them could recruit.
- It would be something similar to university admissions, there is now a centralized evaluation to be replaced in the near future by the specific of each college, American style.
- Accreditation agencies would focus then to certify program studies and not to professors, seen as a private subject, of its quality and vision of teaching.
- Many professors present at the event, as me, were slightly perplexed since we are working very hard on our accreditations, and because this new scenario would put it much harder for their foreseeable lack of transparency and equality of criteria.
- But this change in evaluations doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take care of our academic curriculum, on the contrary, the requirements will not be lower.
2. The other interesting point is that probably the future of quality of research dissemination is not in the Platform (journals, repositories or even peer-reviewed books and conferences), but in the number of citations.
- Although the results of the last poll I conducted on this topic reflected the opposite, which was the opinion of researchers about their current situation; in the future more emphasis will be given to citations obtained than to the relevance of the journals in which research is published, both closely interrelated.
- Moreover, publish papers in journals is not the only thing that measures the impact or quality of research, but there are other important activities, such as patents and transfer of knowledge to society through the creation of start-ups.
That is, the conclusion I draw is that the important thing is to do research, publishing is its result, not the goal, or the system become perverted. Either way, we professors expect troubled times (you know: life is change, change is life), but not necessarily for the better academically and for the future of society. It is the vision of radical liberalism that now prevails, I guess.