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  • Writer's pictureKane Murdoch

Do I hate myself?

Evening all,

It's a rhetorical question, I've (at least partially) gotten over the awkward teen years where my self-esteem plummeted. No folks, this week's title refers to becoming everything I've ever hated- a sucker. More specifically, it seems that this week, along with my friend and co-conspirator Cath Ellis, I became Kane Murdoch- journal article author.

Now, please believe me when I say this is not to brag. I'm not even going to tell you about the paper or where we published. I honestly think that I've played myself for a sucker. I routinely bag academic publishing as a "citation farm" that rips off the public of many countries. It's not to say that good work isn't published. But as we all know, virtually everyone in this system works for free, and we all hand the profits to mega corporations like Elsevier and co. It's a disgraceful arrangement and mostly what we get back is prestige. I came across this today which reminded me that one of the world's great bastards, Robert Maxwell, was in large part responsible the predicament academic publishing is in.

Don't get me wrong, thinking and experimentation etc is communicated through publishing, but we could all do that for nothing. We don't need to pay Springer. I could, with Cath's agreement , have simply posted our paper here and thrown it open to critique. But I didn't. Didn't ask to do it. So as much as I'm proud of the work Cath and I did together, it kind of burns getting fucked by publishers. Publishers are like academic gonorrhea, discuss.

It's good that talk is catching on about how untenable the entire system is. Good. No, it is not to an ECRs benefit to review a paper. It may be to write one, but don't waste time reviewing. Anyone who speaks about reviewing as "service" is normalising working for free. Everyone who suggests reviewing to you is playing you for a sucker. When a supervisor suggests it, they just want it off their desk.

So, I'd love to see it collapse in a heap of unpublished manuscripts (some people just wanna watch the world burn). People will still share their work, and critique the work of others. It just means that the work will have to stand on its own merits, rather than coming draped in the prestige journals claim to bring. Preprints and Pubpeer seem to work fine.

To bring a little light to the end of this post, a good Samaritan has posted the following:

The link to his list is here, I hope you can take advantage of it.

On a brief side note, my colleague Shaun Lehmann and I are giving a talk as part of the Transforming Assessment series this Wednesday evening (Sydney time, wed morning Europe time). We've called the talk "The Shape of cheating to come." It covers our software Wiroo and what it can do, but also why tools like Wiroo are critically important to assuring learning in a digital age. In the swiss cheese analogy for assessment security, the right tools are important slices of cheese. I can already hear the screeching of the anti-surveillance nerds.

Don't worry, I have something for you too my pretties.

The link to register is here, I hope to see you there.

Until next time,


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