Is writing so many academic articles a waste of time when most of it isn't read by anyone? - PhDData

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Is writing so many academic articles a waste of time when most of it isn’t read by anyone?

October 2022

Most academic writing aims at only disseminating the material and getting by reviewers. Therefore, credibility, rigor, and relevance checks are the only ones that matter for the article. Nobody is making sure that it can be understood by a wide range of people. All things considered, this means that most publications are dull to readers outside the discipline.

One of the most common occurrences, however, is the creation of articles or books that are far more engaging and approachable than academic papers. For instance, several recent business publications have referred to the findings of social scientists. Most of it comes from the work of one researcher, Daniel Kahneman.

There is a window of opportunity for researchers to disseminate their findings in more engaging formats. This gives those who are actively building the knowledge an opportunity to shape the tale as it is conveyed. If you can’t write a book, even a short, easy-to-read piece on the subject will be invaluable.

While writing papers may be tedious, it can provide a chance to inject some fun into the classroom.

The fact that scholarly writings don’t get much attention is no reason to dismiss them as useless. There are numerous niche fields of study and investigation where publications may only hope to attract a small audience. Obviously, the worth of such articles exceeds the number of individuals who read them if they constitute a meaningful contribution to that subject.

In contrast, there are too many articles that are barely passable and shouldn’t have been approved for publication at all. Of course, even these are useless, since no self-respecting scholar worth their salt would spend their time reading them.

You should be aware that there have been articles first dismissed as unimportant that were afterwards recognized and even had their authors awarded the Nobel Prize.

Many academics produce a lot of garbage since “publish or perish” is the norm in the field. You should also be aware that many academics have their positions because they are adept at securing funding, but they tend to be poor researchers. In other words, this is what happens when funding is directly associated with study. Academic quality would have increased if academics were evaluated purely on the basis of their published works. However, most universities do require funding, therefore those who can get grants are the ones who are hired.

A few people have made observations on the journals’ quality, but even that is up to debate. A small group has taken control of a number of periodicals, and now authors are being asked, in effect, to put their names to the mastheads of those magazines if they want to continue publishing in them. As a researcher, your first goal shouldn’t be publication, but rather issue solution; results reporting comes second. Your paper should be uploaded to just before submission. Then, try submitting to more prestigious journals first, and if that doesn’t work, submit to some lesser-known publications that are nonetheless excellent. You shouldn’t let a rejection from one journal deter you from submitting to others; many Nobel laureates had their papers that won them the prize initially rejected with comments like “nothing new,” “nothing important,” etc.

It all boils down to how much you personally place a premium on knowledge, say some authorities. If you’d rather have a large audience read what you’ve written, don’t bother with lengthy citations; instead, publish in a time-sensitive medium like a newspaper, weblog, or magazine. It takes nearly two years, give or take six months, to publish one article in any decent journal worldwide.

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