A Capella Ph.D and a tenure.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Actually, it is more objective that biased human opinions. It basically measures the impact of the article in the world by measuring citations, h index, etc. It is the contrary, in my opinion is laughable that people are not willing to change their opinions in spite of calculated metrics by computers that have no biased opinions.

    The world is about perception and beliefs, if you have strong beliefs about a certain list of journals because this is what you believe, I can bring you tons of data and you will still resist to it and argue that these algorithms are flawed even if you have no clue about how the algorithms work.

    Academia has the most biased and dogmatic people that I know, even religious people are less dogmatic. This is my experience and opinion but I am nobody so this is not going to change anything.
  2. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    It does not trouble you that the bean-counting machine spat out results that put journals from the wrong category at the top of an academic discipline - and no one noticed?

    Machine objectivity has to be directed by an intelligence, and those intelligences need some common sense. Any historian rushing out to publish in Dementia because SCOPUS/SCIMAGO says it's awesome lacks both intelligence and common sense.

    Beyond that, the algorithm is terribly flawed. Consider the rankings from year to year. Journals will fluctuate all over the place, from the first band to the third or fourth. That's unrealistic, but again, some programmer didn't think it through.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, just like USNWR university rankings, these things can be easily gamed. Editors of the less-than-wonderful journals routinely tell people they must cite more articles from that journal. This has been reported all over the place. Unethical authors do the same with citations of their other articles, whether they are related to the current project or not. Those things are heavily frowned upon in better journals.

    I don't think it's biased and dogmatic to recognise that the measurement tools for journal rankings are flawed (anymore than my previous post where I pointed out that typical evaluation practices for cv's are flawed).
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You seem to be an intelligent man, the SCOPUS algorithm is public, just look at it and point the flaws and write an article about it. You are expressing an opinion, but part of being non dogmatic is to probe it and not just saying it. I am not attacking you in particular. My point is that traditional faculty will call any journal that charges money predatory but they don't look at the value of open access, they are just closed automatically to the idea and only worship traditional publishers and journals and block anything new.

    Isn't academia about thinking and being innovative and not just be closed to change? Academia is perhaps the least open to online degrees compared to any industry but they still offer them because they generate cash but unwilling to accept them as credentials for faculty, they create titles as DBA, EdD, DIT just to cash on the doctorate but to keep the door closed to only those ones that are willing to slave for 5 years for the PhD title.


    Again, don't take this an attack, I am not interested in an ego exchange of messages to probe who is more intelligent. Not interested, I am just trying to point out that a lot of these debates come from resistance to change because of new technologies.

    Scopus is far from being perfect, but it gives in my opinion a more objective opinion than people. In my department, some people will not accept anything but Financial times journals other will only accept few traditional journals. This just keeps the gates closed and keeps the egos protected from those wanting to challenge them. "you did not publish in here, then you are nobody". However, what is the real value of research? Is it about keeping it a small group of academics or about making a contribution to society? SCOPUS with its poor algorithm is trying to measure this but again, it might be far from perfect.
  4. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    I think that a tool that ranks a John Deere lawnmower above a Porsche Boxster in the category of ‘sportscar’ is a broken tool, and the probative value of their claim speaks for itself. I’m not sure I could add anything to the inherent ridiculousness of their claim of Dementia as a top-flight historical journal.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  6. Helpful2013

    Helpful2013 Active Member

    Now this is more interesting to me. I think in the field of business, you’re saying that established faculty are privileging certain journals because they are perceived as ‘elite’ while equally credible new journals with new ways of doing things (open access?) are treated as ‘upstarts.’ Is that right?

    What I am telling you is that in the fields I work in, there was an entire raft of journals that were established many moons ago. They were overwhelmingly published by academic societies or university presses. Generally, the new ones aren’t credible competitors, they are journals with very low standards quickly created by huge publishing conglomerates in order to profit from people’s work in exchange for recognition. What I am saying is that for many fields in the humanities, there is no exchange of recognition, because everybody knows that we already have (more than) enough journals, and those for-profit houses are taking advantage of desperate junior scholars who don’t know better, or convince themselves otherwise. Because of the bean (citation)-counting methodology which is so easily manipulated by those unhindered by ethics, SCOPUS/SCIMAGO just muddies the waters and enables those journals in their practices.

    Incidentally, this is separate from the issue of open access (which many traditional and senior academics in the humanities champion), because many of the venerable and well-respected journals I mentioned have gone open-access. The key is that unlike the for-profit conglomerates, they are not charging junior scholars or universities thousands of dollars to publish something that, because of the poor reputation of the journal, will not really benefit them. As an aside, the publishing houses you mentioned as the prestigious big shots in the business field (Elsevier, Taylor and Francis, and Springer) are the for-profit conglomerates I referred to that are adding to the misery of young scholars in the humanities.

    I’m not attacking you either, and started this off by saying our divergent advice was field-dependent. You say it’s different in business. Fine. I accept that. I know there are differences in the hard sciences as well. However, for the humanities, the publishing advice that students and recent graduates need is very different, and I’m trying to keep such folks from having something taken from them. Fair enough?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020

Share This Page