I’m currently doing a fundraiser to establish a public library in the village I work at in Peru. The support has been overwhelming, and the fundraiser has already reached its goal. Hopefully, more donations will come in, as that means there will be more books for the schoolchildren. Check it out!
Following up on my previous post on altmetrics, I want to highlight another article I published recently. This article took four times as long to publish as my landscape archaeology/GIS article for a number of reasons:
1) Ethnogenesis and identity are difficult concepts to write about.
2) Several scholars had read pre-submission drafts and gave constructive critical feedback.
3) I had not yet discovered the importance of professional copy-editing when I first submitted it.
4) The six reviews that had come back were generally positive, but the criticisms were valid and meant I had to rewrite and recenter the paper.
5) I had bad habits of not keeping a clean bibliography. I often put in citations years and authors by memory while writing (I thought this would be more efficient, but believe me, it’s not), so I sometimes get the year of publication and other details wrong. One of the long-suffering editors had to patiently correct all of those.
The article took me one full year to rewrite. Because I had thoroughly engaged with the critiques of the reviewers, it was accepted soon after without further substantive revisions. After the whole process, my respect for editors, copy-editors, draft readers, and reviewers has doubled.
Michael Smith of http://publishingarchaeology.blogspot.com/ showed scholarly generosity and gave me a shout-out on his blog. Acts of scholarly generosity do make academia seem a less brutal world. I highly recommend Alf Rehn’s The Scholar’s Progress. Rehn’s (2006: 4) description of academic generosity immediately came to mind when Michael Smith, an established scholar, had taken the time to not only read a stranger’s draft, but to also mention it in a public forum: “Academic generosity can come in many forms. It can be something small, like referencing a doctoral student in an article, even though you could easily ignore it, or it can be bringing people into a workshop or a publication, or it can be a case of simply remembering to mention good work in a random conversation. It is always, however, a case of having respect for academia as a social sphere. It is also a question of having respect for yourself.” Sadly, I have had people tell me to never cite dissertations because they haven’t been “peer-reviewed.” Some of the best and most cutting edge work is often found in dissertations; one just has to exercise judgment, but years of grad-school is supposed to help us with that, right? Also, dissertations are often a labor of multi-year love (with all its ups and downs), so it’s not uncommon to find real gems among dissertations. For the ethnogenesis article, I tried to cite as many dissertations as I could find at the time. Yesterday, I found a history dissertation on obrajes (textile workshops) in Ecuador that paralleled my own writing on the Foucauldian (and not so Foucauldian) nature of these proto-prisons. The dissertation (https://etd.library.emory.edu/view/record/pid/emory:92685) is real gem (Czeblakow 2011), and I certainly will be citing it in my future writings.
Dear all four people who read my blog,
The past couple of years have been extremely busy for me, and I apologize for not updating my blog more frequently. I will remedy this by posting more often this year. I recently noticed that for two of the articles I published, the journal websites have something called an altmetric, which tracks the amount of internet “buzz” surrounding an article. I find this extremely helpful, as it gives people an idea of the various ways an article can contribute to scholarship. Take my article on GIS and landscape archaeology that came out in 2012 (official publication 2011) for example: according to altmetric, it has been mentioned by 7 twitters and saved in the reference libraries of 12 Mendeley users. This gave it a score of 5.7, which ranked it in the 89th percentile of all articles published by that journal. I also noticed that several classes assigned the articles in their syllabi. I’m glad that some people have found the article useful. I am very impressed with the Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. Their professionalism and skillful integration of technology is unparalleled among journals run by graduate students. Because they are open source, I feel that my article has been useful to a wide audience, as evident in the number of views and downloads (high for an academic article). I highly recommend publishing with them!