Now Available Online - Journal of Scholarly Publishing 44. 3 April, 2013
Journal of Scholarly Publishing
Volume 44, Number 3 / April 2013
This issue contains:
A Three-Decade History of the Duration of Peer Review
R. Lee Lyman
Review time is the duration between submission of a manuscript for possible publication and the author's receipt of notification of the editor's decision. There are two key questions about the peer-review process: (1) Has average review time changed over the past several decades? and (2) Has the adoption of online submission reduced average review time? A sample of 170 manuscripts submitted to a variety of journals from 1980 through 2012 indicates (1) no statistically significant difference between average review time for manuscripts submitted to behavioural science journals (mean=14.8 weeks) and average review time for manuscripts submitted to natural history journals (mean=15.2 weeks); (2) a statistically significant decrease from 1980 to 2012 in average review time irrespective of form of submission (i.e., paper or electronic); and (3) manuscripts submitted in paper form (1980–2009) had an average review time five weeks longer than that of manuscripts submitted online or electronically (2004–2012).
Disruptive Technological History: Papermaking to Digital Printing
Disruptive technologies have been crucial to the shaping of publishing history. Paradoxically, while each of the technologies—specifically, the evolution of papermaking in Europe starting in the late thirteenth century, Gutenberg's printing press and type-casting from metal in the fifteenth century, lithographic offset printing in the twentieth century, and digital printing in the twenty-first century—has, on its own, been indeed revolutionary in nature, together they have served their role in the evolution of the publishing industry. Simply put, the present publishing industry would not be where it is without them.
Through Clio's Lens: Exploring Disciplinary, Intellectual, and Historical Orientations in the History of Photography
Anne L. Buchanan, Jean-Pierre V. M. Hérubel
This conceptually driven exploratory discussion of history of photography serves to capture and situate the use of photography and photographic evidence in history journals. Since its invention in 1839 in Europe, photography has evolved to assume its near hegemonic ubiquity throughout the world, permeating media in general. Gaining insight into the history of photography as a disciplinary formation and specialization addresses disciplinary issues beyond the confines of art history, of which photography has been identified traditionally as a sub-field. To identify global and overarching characteristics of the literature, Historical Abstracts was consulted in order to collect and classify articles in the years 1961–1970, 1971–1980, 1981–1990, 1991–2000, and 2001–2010. Further analysis of the data revealed major characteristics of history of photography that appeared in a spectrum of journals beyond the purview of art history journals. Selected subjects were used to further articulate the complex nature of the history of photography, bringing into focus general disciplinary and intellectual currents animating these findings.
The Barriers to Producing High Quality Library and Information Science Research in Developing Countries: The Case of Pakistan
It is generally recognized that in many developing countries, for a variety of reasons, research output in most disciplines lags behind that in the developed nations. Among the reasons is a range of factors that may hinder good-quality research outputs. This paper focuses on the matter of research quality in library and information science (LIS) in Pakistan as a case study. To test the types of barriers that the researcher believes hinder the production of quality research in Pakistan, a web-based survey was conducted using a questionnaire consisting of structured and open-ended questions. The questionnaire was based on a set of barriers to quality research production, which were identified from the literature. The respondents were asked to indicate their views on the impact of these barriers on the production of quality research. The data was analysed using SPSS. The findings reveal that the lack of critical thinking, a poor research culture, lack of encouragement of research, and inadequate imparting of research skills in LIS education are the most significant barriers. The study suggests that determining the order in which to tackle these barriers will facilitate the production of high-quality research in countries like Pakistan.
Source References and the Scientist's Mind-Map: Harvard vs. Vancouver Style
Marcus Clauss, Dennis W. H. Müller, Daryl Codron
As a scientist develops, a referencing system (linking results/hypotheses to sources) evolves in the mind. This mind-map is an essential working tool that uses indexing features—such as author names—as reference points. The Harvard style (HS), in which citations in the text are made of names and years of publication and the references are listed in alphabetical order, actively helps to establish this mind-map. In our view, the Vancouver style (VS), in which citations in the text are numbers and the references are listed in order of appearance within the text, does not enhance the formation of a mind-map in a similar way and makes detections of incongruity between the reader's mind-map and the text more difficult. In an ideal academic world, HS would be used because of these two effects: constant education of and easy quality control by the scientific reader. Although VS reduces printing space and allows easier reading for less academically trained readers, scientific readers may find this style difficult when trying to check and verify sources. For reviewers, who cannot opt not to make such checks, VS is even more tedious. We advocate that journals using VS in print should use HS for the reviewing process; further, in the final printed version, the references should be numbered and listed alphabetically rather than according to the order in which they are cited. Especially for maturing scientists, reading texts with HS referencing is essential.
A Short Note on Pointless Reference Formatting
Philippe C. Baveye
In the last few years, several authors have opined that the multitude of reference styles used in scholarly journals is entirely pointless. In this brief note, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that this profusion of styles leads to significant waste of researchers' time and financial resources, all of which could be spent on far more meaningful pursuits. A simple solution is for all journals to adopt a single reference format. This could happen relatively easily, it is argued, if major funding agencies decided to back the idea.