This blog post by Joseph Esposito on The Scholarly Kitchen last month made for excellent reading, but like many others on similar themes before, it was followed by some very heated discussion in the comments. Hats off to the chefs replying to comments without losing their cool. And to eBulletin reader Caroline Palmer from Boydell & Brewer for making an excellent comment which saved me from doing so!
The gist of the article was that if academics think scholarly publishing is exploitative, then why, given that self-publishing is available to all, do they still work with publishers?
Personally I think the nub of it is summed up in one comment which ended as follows:
‘Most of us “could” do our own plumbing; and maybe in some cases (not mine) we might fancy that we can do it better than a professional plumber. However, the system generally works best if professional plumbers do the plumbing, and the rest of us do our own jobs.
In general, academics are no more publishers than they are plumbers.’
Highly recommended reading, especially if you’re in academic publishing. Read on The Scholarly Kitchen.
Our Academic Marketing Workshop covers both working in partnership with authors and understanding the realities of being an academic or a university librarian today.
This is a single-page ‘cheat sheet’ and it’s very good advice too. It starts by pointing out that we’re all being fed ‘rules’ about email practice on a regular basis, but all that counts is that we make decisions based on what our recipients are comfortable with. If that flies in the face of a rule, then that rule is irrelevant.
In fact there are 16 rules here. I wonder which extra one they decided to delete at the last moment?
Read Marketo’s cheat sheet for yourself.
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This will make you cringe in places, but it’s irresistible reading. Have you personally said any of the 12? If you’ve conducted interviews you’ll definitely have had candidates who have. I have certainly had interviewees telling me how bad their current job/boss was. This is hardly likely to instil confidence in them as a teamworker, is it?
Read author Bernard Marr's post on LinkedIn for yourself.
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This wonderful analogy was probably originally by Stephen Covey (self-help guru), though I came by it recently via Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian. A teacher set his pupils the challenge of fitting a selection of rocks, pebbles and sand in a jar. The pupils started with the sand/pebbles and the rocks didn’t fit. The teacher showed that putting the rocks in first solved the problem.
Slightly clumsy, maybe, but we do all know that we should prioritise our ‘rocks’ (most important tasks) over our ‘sand’ (those minor but useful distractions, such as managing our inbox …).