More about the total mess that is the standard academic publication system

A while ago I wrote a post about the broken-ness of the current standard publication model for academic research – write a manuscript, submit to a journal, have the journal send your manuscript to about three somebodies who by someone’s standard have some sort of “expertise” in something related to some part of what you wrote, have those somebodies give a thumbs up or down along with minimal comments that may or may not be supported by evidence or even citations, repeat until you publish or give up. Paul reminded me of that post when he sent me this Note from the Editor of the American Political Science Review. Continue reading


“Why Should We Believe You?” Anthropology and Public Interest

This month’s “From-the-Editor” article in American Anthropologist makes a commendable argument for moving AAA publications to a Gold open-access system. Public access and understanding seem to be key themes in anthropology communities recently. The editor puts it this way: “My first concern is that there is a fundamental contradiction between the oft-repeated goal of making anthropology more public and relevant on the one hand, and the lack of open access on the other.” “Public understanding” was what replaced “anthropology as science” in the AAA statement of purpose change in 2010 – a change that inspired extensive controversy. And while removing science stirred up a lot of criticism and disagreement, I don’t think there was very much concern with the addition of “public understanding”. Continue reading

Invisible Threats, …invisible evidence, invisible analysis

Here’s the thing. If you want to make the case that the world and the nature of security are changing so much that the “very concept of state sovereignty” has to be reimagined, surely you don’t start based on a scenario that sounds like a b-rate Hollywood thriller. Right? Surely.

Or maybe you do. In this paper on emerging threats, here’s the scenario that’s used: Continue reading