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Ideas for my Dissertation

Links to: Ideas; My Dissertation; Abstract; Table of contents; Lists; References; Bibliography; Appendices; Interviews; Coding; Memos; Notes; Categories; Chapter One; Chapter Two; Chapter Three; Chapter Four; Chapter Five; Chapter Six

#1 Implications of contemporary research environment ("one-way "knowledge transfer" become the two-way models of "knowledge exchange")

As Reed (2018) demonstrates, we've gone past the stage of researchers being the absolute truth discoverer or omnipotent theory builder and entered the grey world of corporate reality, where a single solution suddenly becomes multiple possibilities and multiple ways of perceiving the world are preferred to the authoritative voice of the single interpretation.

Is this a good thing - is it bad? That remains to be seen, again, through a kaleidoscope of various grey hues, and only by engaging in a comprehensive listening and dialogue with stakeholders of that truth, audiences and publics, rather than deciding and disseminating a single interpretation of the facts.

See: Reed, M., (2018). How to set up a stakeholder advisory panel for your research project (and why it actually delivers impact). [online]. Huntly. Fast Track Impact. available from: https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/single-post/2018/02/20/How-to-set-up-a-stakeholder-advisory-panel-for-your-research-project-and-why-it-actually-delivers-impact. [Accessed 3 July 2018]

#2 Making it happen

#2.1. David W. Lewis

After notable accomplishments along decades, leading the academic library quest to re-invent their practices through disruptive technologies, 2018 ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year David W. Lewis still laments the erratic nature of progress in the transition toward an open commons for scholarly communications. Inspired by Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom’s reality-based work on managing common resources, his vibrant image of the ‘open scholarly commons’ has yet a fair way to go till full realisation. In his words: "Stating the vision is easy. The hard part is making it happen." (Lewis 2018 p. 1)

LEWIS, D.W., 2018. Design Principles for Creating the Open Scholarly Commons from Elinor Ostrom. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license [CHECK]


#2.2. Stephen Pinfield

His study also found that "current challenges now focus on how OA can be made to work in practice, having moved on from the discussion of whether it should happen at all". (Pinfield 2015 p. 1)

PINFIELD, S. 2015. Making open access work: The ‘state-of-the-art’ in providing open access to scholarly literature. Online Information Review, 39(5), pp. 604 - 636.


#3 Problems

When observing how the common interest is pursued and attained in organised groups, the classic work by Olson, M (1971) sheds light on the angle of interest representation and its politics, demonstrating how collective action based on group interest varies in capabilities across groups, which results in bias being introduced into the respective interest systems. These can range from some societal interests in large groups with a tendency toward being unable to organise themselves if their interests are diffuse and ill-communicated, to those groups that can swiftly organise and re-adapt, such as business interests, usually based on representation of tightly observed economic interests in small groups of extremely focused and highly motivated individuals.

A pertinent comment can be made here, with regard to the most successful business groups is that in these circles the values, behaviours and indeed cultures leading to success are, more often than not, acquired through family modelling and kinship, specific grooming early in life and exclusive education - a complex of factors that larger groups representing societal interests may lack.

It is precisely the “dilemma of collective action” (Wenzler 2017 p. 192) that saps the potential of such pursuits of group interest in the academic library arena.While models of fund redirection have been considered, to give but one example: the payment of journal subscription funds (even partially) toward author costs to OA journals or indeed, toward internal OA publishing ventures as “cost-effective ways of disseminating scholarship” Lewis (2012 p. 498), the benefit from such effort is paradoxically undermined by the difficulty in making the choice at the level of the academic library, for the benefit of the general scholarly community, perhaps at the expense of its own patrons, who in fact act as the library’s evaluators concomitantly.

The scenario in this context, as described by Wenzler (2017), can lead to a Catch-22 situation, where the short-sighted solution, while it provides some short-term comfort by keeping the local researchers relatively content, is to spend the continuously dwindling budgets on whatever can be afforded during each budget plan, and leaving the long-term collectively beneficial solution of redirecting the funds toward the greater good (OA publishing), until such time when OA becomes pervasively adopted.

A good signal of this would be when a satisfactory number of OA advocates can convincingly prove that they are addressing this dilemma. However, current proof exists that, even in spite of efforts spent by journals themselves to be accommodating the green OA route, by totally waiving green deposit embargoes, as shown in a five-year pilot study by Taylor & Francis, in actuality the green deposit rate is around 22% while a conservative “definition of success is stated as a green deposit rate of 50% or more” (Emery 2018 p.7) of the five journals under investigation.

MANCUR, O., 1971. The logic of collective action: public goods and the theory of groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

WENZLER, J., 2017. Scholarly Communication and the Dilemma of Collective Action: Why Academic Journals Cost Too Much. [online]. Chicago, IL: College & Research Libraries. Available from: https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16581 [Accessed 10 July 2018].

LEWIS, D.W., 2012. The inevitability of open access. College & Research Libraries 73(5) pp. 493–506.

EMERY, J., 2018. How green is our valley?: five-year study of selected LIS journals from Taylor & Francis for green deposit of articles. Insights: the UKSG Journal.

#5 Social facilitation and findings in co-action effects

Henri-Dominique Lacordaire

"It's neither genius, nor glory, nor love that measures the loftiness of the human soul; it's benevolence." [in: Ricard - Altruism, p. 237]

Need to find source

Same work (Ricard) p. 299 - Machiavelli reference

"Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment, and increases the capacity for service." Gandhi

[in: Ricard - Altruism, p. 604]

Making the most of traditional methods of dissemination

"I started by considering the traditional methods of dissemination available to me. These included conference papers, targeting top-flight journals, targeting lesser ranked journals with a smaller turn around time; targeting journals outside one’s academic field; targeting calls for book chapters; targeting publishers to publish interesting research in book format; and finally self-publishing (both on the internet and amateur press). As can be seen the proactive word in this section is targeting."

From: SMITH, R. and ANDERSON, A. R., 2007. Daring to be different: a dialogue on the problems of getting qualitative research
published. Available from OpenAIR@RGU. [online]. Available from:

p.12: "the tendency to target one’s work towards quality journals... can prove to be a soul destroying, frustrating learning curve".

=> if we also make our writing processes in the research community just as bad an experience, then how does that affect our well-being as people, professionals and writers? We are people first & foremost, the other facets are just roles in the game of life.

p. 17: Having experienced difficulties in trying o publish heir material in a novel format (including pictures related o the content), the authors  "decided to set up a gallery of images annexed to the Robert
Gordon University Web site. This led to a time consuming round of discussions and permissions to be sought. In the end the technical requirements dulled our enthusiasm (as well as pressure of work). Being innovative is easier to talk about than accomplish."

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