I.3. Power and Institutions

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Rachel Beatty Riedl
Northwestern University
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:42 am

Refining Norms/Practices in Publishing

PostFri Sep 02, 2016 11:48 am

How can norms and practices in publishing be refined and adapted to make research more transparent, encourage innovation and incorporate the diversity of methodologies and approaches within the discipline?

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Rachel Beatty Riedl
Northwestern University
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:42 am

Re: Refining Norms/Practices in Publishing

PostFri Sep 02, 2016 11:53 am

If the structure of an article is already pre-determined before it is written (Hypotheses Expected, Data Tested and Confirmatory Results), it may obfuscate the process, limit the publishing of unexpected findings and full results, and hamper innovation in methodology and analysis. What actions can reform the process given the institutionalized power of the dominant model?

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Hillel Soifer
Temple University
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:12 am

Re: Refining Norms/Practices in Publishing

PostMon Sep 05, 2016 7:53 am

It seems that we need to think through how transparency is presented more than we have so far. In addition to a set of practices for achieving transparency, a conversation about how it is reflected in published research needs to think through its presentation. And that will involve a broader re-thinking of possibilities beyond detailed footnotes and changes in norms and practices about article length and/or electronic appendices.

RachelRiedl wrote:How can norms and practices in publishing be refined and adapted to make research more transparent, encourage innovation and incorporate the diversity of methodologies and approaches within the discipline?

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Marcus Kreuzer
Villanova University
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:48 am

Re: Refining Norms/Practices in Publishing

PostThu Sep 22, 2016 10:14 am

The structuring effect of the current publication template is a huge part for the limited transparency and for defining transparency narrowly in terms of sharing data files and computer codes. What the current deductive, hypothesis testing template does is to define transparency narrowly in terms of technical, testing related activities. What is left out are less the technical pre-testing judgments related to theorizing and the construction of tests. For example, I am always surprised of how little background information articles provide to explain the rationale for their different statistical models. The choices involved in specifying those models involve judgments that have huge effects in the confidence we can have in the result result. It would great to hear from some journal editors to see whether they see themselves as being part of the problem.

RachelRiedl wrote:If the structure of an article is already pre-determined before it is written (Hypotheses Expected, Data Tested and Confirmatory Results), it may obfuscate the process, limit the publishing of unexpected findings and full results, and hamper innovation in methodology and analysis. What actions can reform the process given the institutionalized power of the dominant model?

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Guest

Re: Refining Norms/Practices in Publishing

PostTue Nov 15, 2016 7:57 am

To respond to the original post launching this thread, one of the problems is that many top journals have dramatically shortened their word limits, which for me as a qualitative scholar, often means paring down explanatory footnotes and cutting down the number of references. As a scholar who prizes detail and transparency, this is often difficult and frustrating, but is necessary in order to have access to top journals. An obvious corrective would be for journals to consider increasing article word limits, particularly for qualitative work.

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Guest

Re: Refining Norms/Practices in Publishing

PostTue Nov 15, 2016 6:07 pm

Exactly. In today's age, it is difficult to defend such strict word limits in articles substantively. Sure, authors should be pushed to be as concise as possible, but what if it is not possible without loss of necessary depth?

The main drivers behind short journal articles seem to be 1) publishing houses charging per page and 2) parts of our discipline valuing quantity of publications over their quality.

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