I’ve been reading the forums at The Chronicle of Higher Ed. The other night I found one set so funny I laughed till I cried. Last night the same forums made me depressed. I’m reading a different set of forums now.
One thread was on what kind of writing counts for tenure.
The original question was about book reviews. Basically everyone said do them if it doesn’t take much time. Book reviews are seen as a service to the profession. I’d never thought of that.
But the last post to date said, “My pet peeve is encyclopedia entries.”
And I was appalled.
I just wrote an encyclopedia entry. I did research for it, emailing friends on three continents involved with the area and asking for feedback. I came up with questions for a questionnaire and then used the answers to create the encyclopedia entry.
I don’t know what anyone else does for entries, but I guarantee I spent more time on this than I would have on a book review. (Of course, I do read and write quickly.)
But now I know that encyclopedia articles have a low level of importance. Oh well. I’ve done one. If I see an encyclopedia on a topic I am passionate about, I’ll probably write one again.