February 23, 2014 1 Comment
Last week I gave a lecture (Professors and their publications. War techniques in the web 3.0 environment) in a private university on scientific publications within a seminar series on research. Though this is not the purpose of this post but one of the interesting topics discussed or that raised interest.
It was the attitude of the most senior or more experienced professors towards everything that had to do with the requirement of academic publications: they were quite critical of the current system of publications in indexed journals in assessing the quality of research, and by extension of academic accreditations and their impact on teaching skills.
But by now you know my position about the demands of publications for professors and scientists, which can be summarized in the Media Markt slogan “I’m not stupid”, but referring to publish in academic journals and to improve the research part of the curriculum:
- What is important is the research activity, so to improve as a professor; but of course you can be a good teacher without having a PhD or publishing your research in journals, although it’s more difficult.
- The quality of scientific research is currently assessed almost exclusively by the publication record in academic journals.
- This system of publications in indexed journals (mainly in ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus) is the one we have, which is pretty good by the way, you just have to know it a little, without obsessing.
- You also have to know how editors and journals work, their needs and objectives.
- Finally, social networks used wisely can also help to improve the chances of publishing in journals and that our papers are known, and then obtain citations.
The other related topic was h-index, which I don’t even remember most of it because nobody seems to demand it at my university or in the academic job posts that I see on the web, and that I will write about soon, not so much on how it’s calculated which is well-known, but on who calculates it or how I can get it, and about its advantages and disadvantages for professors as an alternative for assessing the quality of our research and prestige.
And what about your academic career? Do you care about your research activity?