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Publishing about Educational Technology

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Publishing about Educational Technology

  1. 1. Publishing about Educational Technology In the academic-commercial, open-access, open-source and self-publishing spaces Shalin Hai-Jew Kansas State University
  2. 2. Presentation Overview • Books, for better and for worse, are treated as a special category of knowledge sharing in modern society. It is held up as something that brings together culminating expertise, and it is something that academics focus on as markers of professional advancement and for which they will spend their sabbaticals and their own out-of-pocket resources. Some publish in the mainline commercial press, and others go off into alternate presses and even self-publishing (vanity). Most texts are versioned as print and electronic texts. This presentation introduces academic publishing in the commercial space. It explores questions such as the following: 2
  3. 3. Presentation Overview(cont.) 1. What is the state of publishing in ITS in higher education? In higher education in Kansas? 2. What does the reader market look like, and what is the average amount of sales? 3. What do royalties look like, and how long do books pay out? 4. How do you know if you have something original about which to write? 5. How do you conduct an environmental scan for a book prospectus? 6. What can you legally publish about on shared professional projects? 7. When does it make sense to go commercial vs. open-source? 3
  4. 4. Presentation Overview(cont.) • The presenter has published for many years in both the commercial academic publishing space and open-source publishing. The presenter has served as an evaluator of many hundreds of manuscripts submitted to the mainline press. The presenter has participated as an evaluator in open textbook initiatives at K-State for a number of years. 4
  5. 5. Some Early Definitions and Explanations 5
  6. 6. Educational Technology • “Educational technology” refers to… • Learning management systems • Content management systems • Authoring tools for multimedia, audio, video, still imagery, and others • Data analytics tools • Social media platforms • Cybersecurity tools • Software development kits • Learning templates • Applications… 6
  7. 7. Educational Technology (cont.) • “Educational technology” refers to… • Desktop computers • Laptop computers, mobile devices • Smart phones • Cameras • Scanners • Printers • 3d printers • Servers, databases, database programs 7
  8. 8. Educational Technology (cont.) • Head-mounted displays (HMDs) • Projectors • Monitors • Screens… 8
  9. 9. Research in the Ed Tech Space… • Is sometimes pure about educational technologies but rarely • Most of the educational technology research focuses on the educational space with applied pedagogical approaches and particular technologies • Many works involve cases studies 9
  10. 10. Standing 10
  11. 11. Formal Credentialing • Formal education, degrees, certifications • Formal training • Informal learning • Hands-on professional experiences • Hands-on informal experiences • Professional affiliation, sponsoring organization • Professional reputation and sense of history 11
  12. 12. Commitment • Personal and professional interest in the topic • Investment of learning about the topic (usually for years) • An understanding of knowledge mapping of the topic and peripheral related topics (such as through an “environmental scan”) • An understanding of what extant questions still exist in the academic research • A vision of where the field may go to (from its present state) 12
  13. 13. Mindset • An ability to risk-take • An ability to compete and engage in the academic research space • An ability to stake out a defensible research methodology, sufficient data, logical analysis, and to communicate these in the formats required for academic publishing • A willingness to engage globally (instead of ingrown local approaches) • A constant search for insights, especially the relevant and the novel • Confidence in honed professional skills, judgment, and standards 13
  14. 14. Mindset(cont.) • Creative approaches • Mental flexibility, such as not staking out a position and defending that position to the end • An ability to be humble (and egoless) in learning • An ability to avoid being self-important and full of puffery 14
  15. 15. Access to Resources • Headspace, time, and energy to invest (often in the off-hours from work) • Access to secondary (reviewed and published) research • Access to gray literature and gray data • Access to proprietary resources and protected (but legally released) data • Access to social media and other big data 15
  16. 16. Access to Resources (cont.) • Ability to create and / or access new data (especially primary data, such as through research, such as through interviews, and others) • Access to informants • Access to research participants • Access to labs, equipment, software, and other resources • Access to travel • Access to multiple languages • And others… 16
  17. 17. Transparent Researcher Motivations, Trust • Researchers should benefit from the research with actual learning. • Ideally, there would be benefits to the job. • Ideally, there would be actual advancements to the field. • There has to be substance, not just style. • There should be something new, not just regurgitations. • There should be clear and continuing professional oversight of human subjects research and other forms of research. • The research work should be the best that can be achieved at that moment in time. 17
  18. 18. Researcher Profiling • A researcher has to be comfortable revealing more about the self when publishing. • For example, in every discipline, works fall into a power law frequency curve. Does the researcher engage with the popular topics where others are producing works, or does the individual work in the long tail, in niche spaces? • How a researcher writes is also revelatory of the individual and the person’s education, background, personality, and other aspects. • There are computational ways to profile researchers and to understand where they exist in the academic research space (and other contexts). • There is broad indexing of work, based on bibliometrics, altmetrics, and other measures. 18
  19. 19. Requisite KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities / Attitudes) 19
  20. 20. Knowledge • Contemporary and historical knowledge of a discipline or domain (and peripheral linked domains…and unrelated domains altogether) • Standards for research in the field • Research methodologies • Research tools • Research ethics, professional standards • Ability to deploy various technologies • Ability to team and collaborate 20
  21. 21. Knowledge(cont.) • Data analytics approach • Professional visualizations • Professional writing • Professional presentations • Ability to pursue grant funds, ability to report to grant-funded agencies • Documentation • And others 21
  22. 22. Skills • Secondary research (including persistence, critical thinking, thoroughness, documentation, and others) • High levels of communications skills in multimodal ways (textually, visually, data-wise, socially, technically, and others) • Emotional strength, ability to handle rejection (with equanimity and proportion) • Ability to entertain different points-of-view • Listening, observing, notetaking 22
  23. 23. Skills (cont.) • Open-mindedness, exploratory-ness • A lifelong learner keeps exploring a topic even after publishing a work in the space (even though the work cannot be updated anymore, the thinking and other work continues) • Truth-telling • Graciousness • Giving credit where it is due 23
  24. 24. Abilities / Attitudes • Follow-through, persistence • Adherence to standards • Exploration • Innovative thinking • Being prosocial, considering social implications of the research 24
  25. 25. Publishing Markets 25
  26. 26. Commercial Publishing • Commercial publishing has the power of history, incumbency, and formality. • Many have peer editing platforms. • In the past, there was double-blind peer review. Currently, much more is becoming transparent, with single-blind and full transparency. • Researchers still bear the brunt of costs. • Commercial publishers still charge high subscription costs for databases. There are high costs for books. • Many institutions of higher education are going to instructor-published texts in open-source publishing…but quality still lags for many. 26
  27. 27. Open-Access Publishing • Essentially, open-access publishing enables copyrighted works to exist on the open Web and Internet, without having users pass through a paywall. • In many cases, the researcher or research team has to be fairly substantial amounts to have their work reachable and viewable by a wider non-paying readership. • Standards may vary for open-access publishing. 27
  28. 28. Open-Source Publishing • There are various publishers of open-source works, which involve the release of rights to the public domain…or the release of certain rights (such as using the Creative Commons licensure release, GNU release, and others). • Most open-source publishers are hosted as part of broader organizations…or as commercial entities or as nonprofit entities. 28
  29. 29. Self- (Vanity) Publishing • With the advent of the electronic press, self-publishing has emerged as a fairly frictionless way for people to share their writing and visuals with an audience. • Often, self-publishing is done without editorial oversight. • Self-publishing is still also known as “vanity” publishing, an endeavor that may be ego-driven and done by individuals who have not fully trained into the standards for more formal publishing. 29
  30. 30. Selecting a Publisher 30
  31. 31. Selecting a Publisher • It helps to trust a publisher because they will be managing the publication process, and their names will be on the book. • Some suggest going with known publishers who publish the works that researchers like to read. • Others suggest the benefit of starting with the most elite and best publisher, and move down as works are rejected. • Over time, as researchers work and build to quality, they will find a publisher. 31
  32. 32. Selecting a Publisher(cont.) • Because of how much work goes into research, writing, and publishing, it helps to work with a publisher that does not leave the author(s) feeling used. After all, there are already high structural challenges with publishing for the researchers. 32
  33. 33. The Work 33
  34. 34. Some General Steps • Grant-writing • Secondary research, pilot testing • Brainstorm • Research design • Research proposal • Approval of research • Research setup • Seating of research participants • Research • Data collection • Data analysis • Writeup • Revision • Presentation • Publication 34
  35. 35. The Time Element • Time is always pressured, based on the grant(s) funding the project, and based on the rush to publish • If others have gotten to the topic prior, many researchers will stop their own work and not push to publish • Use up everything you can from the collected data before publishing and sharing the dataset • Others will bring their expertise to the data, but since data are so hard to collect, it makes sense to use everything possible out of it • Make sure that the data holds up (so put the collected data through its paces) 35
  36. 36. Pre-Publication • Conduct an environmental scan to see which publication might be a good “home” for the unpublished work • Solid editorial leadership • Strong reputation • Journal Impact Factor (JIF), journal eigenfactor, and other indices of quality • Review the publication standards for the target publications 36
  37. 37. Pre-Publication (cont.) • Select one and submit the work in the way the publisher / publication requested: • Use templates (Word, LaTeX, others) if these are required • Share (cleaned, de-identified) datasets as required • Ensure that visuals are at sufficient spatial resolution, properly color- balanced, not stretched (correct aspect ratio), right-sized, and in the proper digital image format • Follow the correct conventions for data tables • Follow the correct conventions for data visualizations • Share software program or scripting as required 37
  38. 38. Pre-Publication (cont.) • Write in the third-person point-of-view (POV), except for a few types of writing (such as essays, auto-ethnographies, and some others) • Use the proper source citation method, in-text, in the bibliography / references list, and use proper captioning methods and capitalization and such based on the latest source citation method guidelines (or the more custom rules of the target publication) 38
  39. 39. Pre-Publication (cont.) • Do not over-claim beyond where the data go. • Use solid logic when relating research data with managerial implications and Discussions. 39
  40. 40. Pre-Publication (cont.) • There are “fatal errors” possible in a research work. A fatal error means that a submitted manuscript is irrecoverably broken. Remember that all it takes is one fatal error that can make it impossible to accept the mss. Fatal errors come most often from the following: • Poor research design • Poor research methodologies • Insufficient data (for the assertions) • Poor data analysis • Researcher biases 40
  41. 41. Pre-Publication (cont.) • Inapplicable reasoning or logics • Core misunderstanding of methods or technologies • Mislabeling • Insufficient review of the literature (with large swaths missing) • And others… 41
  42. 42. Pre-Publication (cont.) • Do not submit the manuscript (mss) to multiple publications (multiple publishers do not want to waste time reviewing a manuscript that they may theoretically accept but then be scooped by a competing organization). 42
  43. 43. Publication • The publication process is rigorous. It requires multiple iterations of review usually. • Stay polite throughout. • A work is never guaranteed to make. • If a work is accepted, and it goes into the proofing stage, proof carefully line-by-line. That is the last-best chance to catch typos and errors. 43
  44. 44. Publication (cont.) • Make sure that the sequence of authors is correct: first author (lead), second author, third author, and so on. If additional notes need to be made about each person’s contribution, that should be included. There are sometimes several first authors who are equals, but who have to be listed with one name first, for example. • Credits affect reputation, grant funding, “biosketches,” professional collaborations, and other professional outcomes. 44
  45. 45. Post-Publication • For new authors, it may seem like attracting attention from readers is somewhat challenging. • To garner citations, some will post early article proofs of their work to research-sharing sites. These may result in inaccurate quotes from the earlier version or other challenges. However, publishers will currently allow this under “fair use.” This practice does enable broader access, for those who do not have access to the subscription databases, interlibrary loan, or other methods to acquire a copy. • Do not share a copyrighted version of a work no matter how much strangers ask. These often get leaked into the public. 45
  46. 46. Post-Publication (cont.) • Some researchers share topline findings of their work via slideshows, videos, and other modalities, without compromising their own copyright. Some may share datasets. • This way, they can benefit the general public with free and open information. • Some create profiles on e-marketing sites. They encourage reviews of their work on social book reviewing sites. They create landing pages for their name. They create social media personalities, and they engage socially. 46
  47. 47. Post-Publication (cont.) • There are limited markets for academic publications. Few will ever make much money in such endeavors. • It takes time for citations to materialize oftentimes. • A research instrument I created took a dozen years before it was used by another researcher (or at least one that reached out to me). 47
  48. 48. Post-Publication (cont.) • Some rack up publications. From one study or one thesis / report / dissertation, they may version out different works. • If the works are truly orthogonal and stand-alone, they may be justified as separate works. • However, if they repeat too much shared information, there is a sense of dilution. • Some researchers engage in self-citation. This approach is considered in some altmetrics, so they are not skewed by an individual or group regularly citing themselves and each other. • People watch each other, and they are aware when others are trying to rig the system. 48
  49. 49. Why Publish? 49
  50. 50. Why Publish? • A researcher or research team may engage with the larger world by sharing their research. • They may contribute to the permanent research record. • They may leave something of a legacy. [The developed world receive technologies earlier than the developing one. Works published today may find additional audiences as other populations come on line and adopt new practices.] 50
  51. 51. Why Publish? (cont.) • Publishing makes works available for “distributed cognition,” so that a collective memory can form outside of current practitioners. • Published works can reach not only human readers but also machine ones. 51
  52. 52. Why Embargo? Why Refrain from Publishing? • There are many occasions when it may not be wise to publish. • This depends on the research, the information, the context, and other factors. • For most of the work-based projects, they cannot be published without signoffs around the principal investigators (PIs) and co-PIs. 52
  53. 53. Why Count Costs? • Putting together a research work is expensive. • Research work requires expertise, time; resources; equipment; software; access to subscription databases, and others. • The larger work environment has to enable the work in most cases, or it cannot be done. • It helps if there is support from administrators, but that is rare. • The competition around publishing means that some administrators are not particularly happy when a staffer publishes. 53
  54. 54. Engaging Long-Term 54
  55. 55. Engaging Long-Term • To make it as a practicing researcher over the decades, it is important to… • Keep up the learning and professional passions • Avoid burnout • “Forget” how hard the work is • Appreciate the affordances of the professional space • It helps to occasionally revisit published works for encouragement (even as one may come across a gaffe or two). • I’ve given away my published books but have some digitized scans and digital versions. 55
  56. 56. Conclusion and Contact • Dr. Shalin Hai-Jew • Instructional Design • ITS • Kansas State University • 785-532-5262 • shalin@ksu.edu 56