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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Mediocrity (iv)

Are we supposed to not notice mediocrity in order to be polite?  We can count number of publications, assuming that every publication is valid in its own way. This is the basis of academic civility.  If you look too closely, you might notice something is wrong.  I've had tenure cases where I've stopped reading because I didn't want to go too negative, and the more I read that worse things seemed.

The quality of the journal is supposed to be the gold standard. Thus if an article is in x journal, then it deserves to be. Then you don't have to read the article itself, you just mention what journal it is in. Scholar A had three articles in journal #1, two in journal #2, and two in journal #3. Then the standard is met; you don't have to go further than that. So by this logic it is not the outside evaluators who decide, but the peer reviewers for those journals. It follows that peer review is the only place where you're allowed to call out mediocrity for what it is.

This is unfair to the brilliant article in the second rate journal. That's too bad. I guess that scholar has to know not to waste that article on an inferior venue.  

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