Publications and Research

I am working on my MLA paper on “Avoiding Academic Rigor Mortis” and, as always, refining my CV. I was reading through a thread on the CHE and it was about whether you are suited for a teaching-intensive university.

Then someone suggested questions be composed for a research-intensive university.

Here is a research one (relevant to social and natural sciences that are article oriented):

What series is most similar to the number of articles you published this year, have in press, have under review, have in preparation?

A. 4,3,4,4
B. 2,1,3,3
C. 1,0,1,4

Numbers can be adjusted according to discipline. But not very funny.

This made me laugh because my numbers this year are incredibly high (almost inflated, since I have only been publishing the last two years). My numbers would be
D. 11, 6, 1, 16

The 16 are actually written and I could send them to an SC within a day. I didn’t count the 8 that are in earlier stages of preparation.

My numbers last December would have been
D. 8, 5, 14, 6

Does that mean I am a research person? No, it doesn’t. What it means is that I have found that publication is necessary for hiring, even at the CC level, and I have made it a priority to get my work out and published. (Note I only have one out right now. That’s something I need to correct this week.)

I am in a text-field, so I don’t have to have years developing data. I did one data-driven article which is complete, but not published anywhere. (In preparation that wasn’t counted I have one additional data-driven article. But I have the data, not the article.) I have two primary-source resource rich articles. The others are all knowledge-driven, pedagogically-based articles.

My numbers for 1988-2008 would have been
D. 0, 0, 0, 0

There was a second part to the post:

Here’s another:

A. I have too many good research ideas to follow up on, so I give many away to students and colleagues.
B. I always have some good ideas that I’m working on.
C. I find it hard to come up with really good ideas to work on.

I think I would have to say A right now. I have helped three fledgling professionals (in the same situation I am, older and trying to break in) get works accepted at conferences. I have suggested works to one of them that I could do without a lot of effort, because she needs the experience. If I had grad students or even interested upper-level undergraduates, I could give them additional work that could become a publication.

So, I guess, right now, I am in the “research-intensive” phase of my life.

If you average out my work over my lifetime since leaving graduate school, I have about one article out for each year, about one article in press for each year, about one article in preparation for each year. That doesn’t make me a strong research person.

What it does say is that if I think it needs to be done, I can get it done.

I’ve done most of these while teaching 5/5 (2008-2009) or 6/6 (2009-2010). Note that this semester, at a new job, I am teaching 4.5 and have only submitted two things, one of which has been published.

The end of the year is a good time for reflection and this tells me some things I might not have thought about otherwise.

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