Monday, 2 April 2012

Brutal truths about academia continued ...

I received an (unexpected) email from someone (Ted Dove) who'd actually read my previous posts - something that didn't necessarily occur to me would happen. That is, that someone would actually read what I'd written here - which in itself is pretty weird of me considering I actually wrote it in the first place and it would therefore seem that I wasn't expecting an 'audience' so to speak. That aside....

Ted suggested a recent issue of The Hedgehog Review (a brilliant journal title if ever I saw one) as a good read - it's focus is the 'Corporate Professor'. All the articles in THR look relevant but I briefly Googled the one titled :"Pressured and Measured: Professors at Wannabe U" by Gaye Tuchman - who I think I've randomly come across before for some reason - and found some resources on her work, see here, and a recent article by her in Inside Higher Ed.

All very interesting and reminded me of a piece of software I have installed on my computer called Publish or Perish, which is an horrific tool in that it helps you work out your personal H-Index. This lovely device provides the means to work out how 'important' your work is and is a great way to discipline (in the Foucauldian-sense of the term) yourself as an academic. It's basically a more sophisticated form of citation checking on Google Scholar - itself a a pernicious and addictive activity (or at least I find it so). 

In the Antipode 'intervention' I mentioned in the previous post we discussed how to go about subverting citation-counting and suggested that scholars could actually drop direct citations to specific articles and simply refer to the overall work of individual scholars. There are obviously issues with this that need teasing out (e.g. established scholars may benefit more), but it's one way to avoid the continual disciplining that impact factors, H-Indexes, citations counting and so on entail, encourage, embody etc.

Anyway, another digression from more pressing matters ....

[UPDATE (11 April 2012) - in case anyone was wondering (and I'm largely thinking they're not), my personal H-Index is 9 which is pretty good according to this link ... well, for a social scientist at least]

[UPDATE (10 May 2012) - just gone through the process on Google Scholar to work out my personal citation count and H-Index, see link here]

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