links for 2007-08-21

3 thoughts on “links for 2007-08-21

  1. You have a great point regarding the Cutter Call for Papers. We academics find ourselves in a bit of a bind when it comes to publishing. Universities, and in particular tenure committees need some way to establish the scholarly qualities of a professor applying for tenure. The way this is traditionally established is through peer-reviewed publications, preferably in highly rated journals. In my discipline (Information Systems), those are MIS Quarterly and Information Systems Research, among others. So, we write papers, submit them, get scathing reviews, and occasionally one gets accepted and published. These papers tend to be very rigorous, and have very little impact in practice.

    Self-publication is frowned upon in academia, as it does not contribute to your career progress. That’s why this whole new world of collaborative editing, community blogging etc. clashes with the established processes of how academics work. Balancing rigor and relevance is an interesting balancing act, and not many people manage it well.

    That said, for a consulting company to solicit research to benefit their clients without providing a return for the participating researchers leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

  2. Michael, the last time that I wrote an academic paper was 1985, but I can feel your pain!

    I understand the necessity for peer-reviewed publications in professional journals; I’m an IEEE member and benefit from reading the papers published there. IEEE charges for those journals, of course, but I see them as more of an educational organization whose mandate it is to provide a platform for such publications. As it seems we agree, having a consulting/analyst company attempt to put themselves in the same position doesn’t seem like fair play.

  3. IEEE is a good example for publications that may be able to bridge the gap between industrial and academic research. Actually some standard makers (Marc-Thomas Schmidt and Keith Swenson) wrote about the standard specs (CORBA Workflow Facility and SWAP/ASAP) in IEEE Internet Computing:

    James G. Hayes , Effat Peyrovian , Sunil Sarin , Marc-Thomas Schmidt , Keith D. Swenson , Rainer Weber, Workflow Interoperability Standards for the Internet, IEEE Internet Computing, v.4 n.3, p.37-45, May 2000

    I think having people go out and argue for the merits of their specification in a venue other than a standards group (meaning a peer-reviewed conference or journal) might help bring much-needed feedback to the table and improve the quality of the specs. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, as it probably doesn’t sell more software – but it would educate a generation of students that will go into the marketplace with more than a scant knowledge of the standards that are out there…

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