Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wow, long timelines

Sometimes I am amazed at how long journals still take to get articles and reviews into print. Given how quickly things get posted online, I would have thought they would all be changing their practices in order to not get left behind entirely. I mention this by way of introducing the following review. i wrote it for the European Journal of cultural studies and have just learned they expect to publish it in 2010. It's a book review, not a 20 page article requiring peers to read it. But anyway, I don't care that much, except I think the book really deserved more attention sooner, so I'm re-posting the link to my review (which I blogged a couple of months ago) here.

I also just learned that a chapter I proposed on the FB stuff has been accepted for publication in the Handbook of Digital Research (at least the proposal has been accepted meaning, I can send a full chapter, which I think will be also be reviewed), so that's cool.

On the downside, My NEH grant proposal has been rejected. I asked for the feedback, but haven't yet received it. I was approved for an internal grant of a few thousand dollars, but our school is so broke at the moment, there is no money to actually fund that grant program. Unless they find money somewhere in the next 2 weeks, it seems I will not be able to make the trip I had planned to the Netherlands in late January. I'm pretty discouraged about that because it will delay my work on my book projects by at least 6 months and they have already been held back by the fact that I can only visit each time for 1-3 weeks, have only been able to afford 3 visits in the last 2 years, and have such a heavy workload the rest of the time that (like almost all of my colleagues) I have almost no time for research anyway.

Lack of funding and too much work would be problems for any academic, but when you actually love your research like I do (as opposed to just doing it because your school requires some amount, and I personally know several people who take that approach) this is especially awful. If all I cared about was meeting a requirement, I could argue that the requirement was unreasonable under these conditions and have a powerful case, but I love the research. So much so that I've been doing it on my own time and out of my own pocket. --My school doesn't have a really good internal grant program to support junior faculty, nor are any time or money allotted to everyone just to support research.

So it boils down to my work being accepted by my peers for publications and presentations, but if I want to do the work and travel to present it, I have to pay for it myself because academic research is not sufficiently valued by the public to support it (not just mine, but most scholars') generally. Maybe I need to just leave the country. :P


Paytard said...

Saw your recent comment on nettime.

Must be nice to have a moral blank check:
If one author gains success from free book distribution, then it's OK to distribute music/software/films/books without consent from their copyright holders

Need I point out that libraries have a license to the materials they *LEND* to the public?

It's freetards like you that give Dutchies a bad name.


K said...

No, I don't necessarily think it's ok, but in fact many libraries, including my own university library, are being so over-charged by publishers that they can't afford many journal subscriptions or books. I would very much prefer to get books and articles from my library, but many are not available--the best I can hope is that they could find them through inter-library loan, which would take about 3 weeks, and then allow me access for only 2 weeks.

I think many publishers are going to bring about their own demise through the outrageous prices they charge institutions. Further, when it comes to academic publishing, most authors I know who have released books online as well vs only through a publisher gained far more benefit. --This is what has led to some schools like MIT trying to create an open archive.

I think there are other problems with the model used for popular movies/books/music. I'll try to post something about that in the next day or so rather than cramming it into this comment.

Though we disagree, thanks for taking time to reply.

Paytard said...

Though we may agree to disagree, I fail to see how you can so openly defy the 'spirit' of copyright.

By arguing that the publishers overcharge, you are claiming that it's OK to deprive the authors of their entitled compensation.

I'm working on the assumption here that you aren't sending the creators of said works a cheque to compensate them for the lost income, correct?

It's a hollow argument: if you want to use a copyrighted work, do so within the legal framework that entitles you to do so.

If you don't, you are depriving yourself of any legitimacy when complaining about the publisher's fees.

By the same token, the pirates of the amazon plugin is not 'art' - it's an interface between p2p networks and a legitimate busuiness. Cramer's feeble, self-righteous attempts to label it otherwise have given me my first "maybe we should reduce art subsidies" moment. Which is a shame, because the only financial instrument left the arts then will be copyright

The Ruffian Post said...

I've often thought about how long ago current journal articles were written. It almost seems like the publishers are determined to become yesteryear's academic merit badge.