Tribes & Tribulations

Tribes & Tribulations

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/690462As someone who works inside/outside my original disciplinary boundaries, works across the disciplines, and has promoted interdisciplinary research – this was an interesting story:

Boxed into our disciplines, we academics toil away, slaves to the journal-impact factor. Everything about our research has to be geared to the style, interests and ideology of the most prestigious journals in our field. And some academics labour in obscure, forgotten, overlooked corners, where there are few journals of extremely modest impact.

There is a solution, but it is not for the faint-hearted: cross disciplinary boundaries. Step from literature to linguistics, psychology to psychiatry, economics to management. Go where the favoured high-impact journals are, and submit a paper.

Some surprises are in store for the naive border-crosser. It is a culture shock of considerable proportions. And, as with all culture shocks, it makes you examine your own culture rather closely. Rudyard Kipling was right when he said: “What should they know of England who only England know?” Here is a brief guide to what intrepid cross-disciplinary explorers might expect to encounter on their travels.

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