Authority

This category contains 488 posts

Letter to a Change Agent

Organizations seeking change will often turn to an individual to bring about that change. The challenge for such a change agent is how to move the organization forward without breaking it. Continue reading

Meet the New Economy of Letters, Same As the Old Economy of Letters

Last fall in the New Yorker, Jill Lapore bemoaned the current relationship between intellectuals and the general public, which she feels is “more vexed than ever” — in part because of a system that rewards academics for outrageousness and for lousy writing. Does she have a point? Continue reading

Cascades and Volcanoes — Are the Problems of Science in Public Discourse Getting Worse?

Hysteria over a supervolcano leads to speculation about the eruptions of misinformation all around us. And, why exactly are we seeing so many recycled news stories in social media these days? Continue reading

Exhibition Prohibition — Why Shouldn’t Publishers Celebrate an Improved Impact Factor?

A trend toward shaming journals that promote their impact factors needs to be rolled back. Impact factors are journal metrics. It’s the other uses that need to be curtailed. Continue reading

When Crises Collide: The Tension Between Null Results and Reproducibility

Reproducibility of research results, and the lack of availability of negative results have both been deemed “crises” for the research community. But proposed solutions for each seem at odds with one another. Continue reading

Well, Blow Me Down — A Tale of Spinach, Citations, Nutrition, Epistemology, and Cognitive Ease

More and more studies are emerging showing how misdirecting and expanding citations can lead to long-term misconceptions and mistaken belief systems in the sciences. Continue reading

Instruction Junction — The Ballooning Lists of Editorial Policies, and the Burdens They Create

Long “Instructions to Authors” filled with ancillary policies and undifferentiated requirements don’t help authors, staff, or editors. As the graveyard for unmade decisions, they’ve only gotten longer and more opaque. Maybe it’s time to clean yours up! Continue reading

The Mystery of a “Partial” Impact Factor

The lack of an Impact Factor is one reason that new journals have difficulty attracting submissions. Some journals, such as eLife and Cell Reports, qualify for an Impact Factor based on partial data. This post explores how that happens. Continue reading

The Virtue of Rumor and Groundless Speculation

There is a rumor, based on no or scant evidence, that Google is preparing to launch a platform for scholarly communications, which could threaten established STM publishers. A publisher should react to this by reviewing its own internal operations and value proposition. In particular, the role in certification should be strengthened. Continue reading

In Science, Should the Majority Rule?

HBO’s John Oliver offers a numerically representative debate about climate change. While he accurately skewers how the media presents science, this “majority rules” approach may not be the best way to judge what’s right or wrong. Continue reading

Side Dishes by Stewart Wills

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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
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