unjapanologist: (Default)
I was going to put these updates on my Tumblr only at first, but apparently people might like them here too. It always feels like these sorts of quick Tumblr updates are somehow not substantial enough for Dreamwidth or LiveJournal, but maybe crossposting here will encourage me to do more substantial things as well. Win-win?
  • Organized references to prepare dojinshi research bibliography for publication on wiki, probably get to that next week
  • Read Market Transformation in Transformative Works: The Effects of Introducing Incentives in Markets for Fanfiction by Hannah Yung
  • Had long discussion with advisor about research progress and publishing a book, agreed that I’ll submit the final text of the dissertation by April 2014. Not the half a year earlier than planned that other prof proposed, thankfully, but still, umm… five months earlier than I’ve been planning for the last three years. This is going to hurt.
  • Gathered list of CFPs for fall conferences to submit things to - must keep self motivated to write thesis bits in quick succession
  • Spent over an hour trying to figure out university repository rules because I need to upload all my stuff there as well for a job application. Sent helpdesk a long list of questions along the lines of “can I submit *newfangled online format* please because I did actually make it as part of my research activities". I was very unimpressed with the repository when it was launched a few years ago, but now it's much better and more informative about open access. (On the less handy side, they now work with a journal lookup system instead of letting you enter the name of the journal by hand, and of course TWC isn't in there yet.)
unjapanologist: (Default)
Note: the blog post linked below is a joke, and I very much regret that pointing that out is necessary. Real academic publishing is so nuts and so close to this that I can almost imagine it happening.

Academic Publisher Unveils New Journal Which Prevents All Access To Its Content
unjapanologist: (internethygiene)
HuffPo brings a pile of bizarre with 50 Shades of Grey in Scientific Publication: How Digital Publishing Is Harming Science. A scholar called Douglas Fields argues against open access, mainly by attempting to paint it as a dastardly government takeover of science that will mean the end of rigorous research. I was a little disappointed that he didn't actually call open access communist.

The article is plenty strange and sad in and of itself; anyone who can write with a straight face that "A corporate/government financial alliance is replacing scholarly publication once organized and run by scientists and academics" has a very, very idealistic view of the sort of traditional academic publishing that open access is trying to revolutionize.

And then comes this comparison:

Similar changes are eroding literary publication as direct electronic publication by authors on the Internet has led to erotic and reportedly pornographic works like Fifty Shades of Grey and spinoffs sweeping bestsellers lists for months. The issue is not whether erotica or pornography is or should be popular; rather, one wonders what literary work might have filled those slots on the bestsellers lists if traditional mechanisms of editor-evaluated publication had been applied, which consider more than simply the potential popularity of a work in deciding what to publish.

One wonders indeed.

This man lives in a very strange reality. But I love, love, love the idea of equating open access with 50 Shades! It means that advocating for open publication of my research is just like polluting my pure academic environment with BDSM porn. I feel totally all right with conceptualizing my work in that way. Maybe I should make some mugs and t-shirts for other open access-loving fan studies people.
unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
"I don't mind that these fics with the serial numbers filed off get published commercially. I just wish they'd publish the good fic."

I've seen a lot of people react like that to Fifty Shades of Grey, and it seems to be bubbling up again with the news that a book based on a One Direction fic* called Me, Myself, and One Direction is also getting published. The problem for many people seems to be that these fics aren't very skilfully written. A lot of fans would clearly have preferred for the first fic that caught the public eye** to be something, well, more impressive in a literary sense? Something less embarrassingly representative of what most fic is like?

Personally speaking, I also feel it would have been nice if the first publicly acknowledged fic had been a literary masterpiece. But I like to think of it like this. If it had been *insert my favorite stunningly well-written story here*, then fic would have been noticed by literary critics and a niche audience, and they would have loved and respected us. But instead we got a crowd-pleaser, so now fic has been lovingly read by millions of women (and men) who may never have heard of it otherwise. They may even decide to look for more fic and join fandom.

That really sucks! I wish we'd gotten the respect of literary critics instead of the love of millions of potential new fans.


Read more... )
unjapanologist: (Default)
There's a lot of different ways in which you can screw up as an academic, from doing sloppy research full of methodological flaws and bad analysis (maybe so you can quickly monetize it as a popular book), to deliberately plagiarizing and denying other researchers credit for their work in an academic economy where people's reputations and jobs depend on being credited.

However, those are really just procedural issues in the end. There's also scholarship that is bad because it goes completely against the very purpose of scholarship, which is to advance knowledge for the good of the public that pays your salary. (In my book.)

Read more... )
unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
I recently bought the Kindle edition of this book. $89 for an e-book is beyond obscene, but I rather desperately needed it for research and there was still room in the budget. I considered getting it as a one-month rental for the equally obscene price of $40, but the rentals page explained that the number of highlights that can be made in a rental book is sometimes limited, and I have a tendency to highlight and annotate about half of everything.

This book, by the way, is the 'official' publication of a PhD thesis that used to be available online for free - I found references and broken links to it from 2008. It's a very interesting and relevant work, and it makes me weep to know that scholars have to lock up this kind of research in $89 vaults just because they need 'real' publications to keep their careers alive.

Read more... )


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