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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | In which I post a dance number while working on something longer »

August 10, 2013

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Jseliger.wordpress.com

Unlike some of the academics to whom Katherine Firth links in her post about the "Academic Purity Cult," I've never received any professional pushback for blogging (well, aside from the people who don't like something I've blogged, but that's a different issue).

I have—a lot of it, in fact, at conferences and from professors. That may be in part because I'm a grad student or because of my department, but pretty much everyone who has deigned to comment on the issue has disparaged blogging or any writing whatsoever that doesn't entail peer-review.

To me, the revealing thing is what academics in math, physics, CS and other fields do: post to arXiv.org, say, and let the peer-review and publication catch up to the cutting-edge research. If a science-based academic learns something new, it's imperative to get it out there as soon as possible!

By contrast, most humanities profs appear at best indifferent and at worst hostile to those kinds of open processes, and they're willing to endure months or years of delay between finishing a piece and seeing it published. Peer-reviewed journals won't accept work previously published on blogs or other online forums. Evidently what we're doing isn't sufficiently important to others to be worth publishing in a timely manner.

Miriam

I get far more pushback--in the form of sheer bafflement--about my actual research from literary scholars than I do about blogging, even though there's more interest in religious fiction (thanks to book history, interestingly enough) than before. So I can easily believe that I'm having a niche experience.

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