Academic Research (due 9/1/11)

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Public Knowledge Journal
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Public Knowledge Journal seeks articles, book reviews, essays, interviews, and multimedia submissions for Volume 3, Issue 2, on Academic Research.

The phrase “publish or perish” can strike fear – or, at least, a slight tremor – into the heart of even the most dedicated graduate researcher: research is a central component of the university system and of many discussions in the public sphere. A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the ongoing tensions among research, education, and service within the university. Research is seen as essential to the life of the university, but many argue that it comes at the expense of good teaching and service to the academic community.

It is no secret that research records play a pivotal role in hiring and in the tenure process. Traditionally, academic research is formalized and disseminated through publishing in disciplinarily “approved” forums. Yet “publish or perish,” like so much that is related to research, is evolving. What kinds of research are acceptable? Where and how is the research published? For example, is it an article in a traditional print journal, a multimedia piece in an open access journal, or as a white paper for a foundation?

Communicating research to groups outside the academy has other, perhaps unintended, effects on the conduct of research. As government decreases funding for universities, public institutions increasingly seek partnerships with private corporations. Yet this model may create new ethical and rhetorical challenges for higher education, the consequences of which have not yet been fully explored.

The editorial board of Public Knowledge Journal welcomes contributions from graduate scholars in any discipline to Volume 3, Issue 2. Some questions that may be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following:

•How does research differ across the disciplines? Should notions of research be “standardized?” What effect does this have on the ability or likelihood of conducting interdisciplinary research?

•What role should corporations play in academic research? Does the funding of academic research create tension in objectivity?

•How do graduate students approach research? What role should research play in academic development for graduate students? What role can and should research play in the tenure process?

•What role does academic research play in the public sphere? What role should it play?

•Does it/we (in the context of academic research) matter?

•How should/does the media use academic research? Are there better ways of communicating research findings to encourage more accurate portrayal within the media?

•Is the peer-review process always appropriate?

•Whose intellectual property is the result of research?

Submitting Your Work:
We accept scholarly articles for peer review, as well as book reviews, reflections, interviews, response essays, and other selected non-peer-reviewed work. E-mail all text submissions as Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) attachments to We also encourage multimedia texts, including podcasts, video compositions, and other creative works.

The deadline for scholarly articles and book reviews is September 1, 2011. Non-peer-reviewed and multimedia work will be considered throughout the lifespan of the issue.

About Public Knowledge Journal:
Public Knowledge Journal ( is a multidisciplinary, graduate student-run, electronic journal hosted by the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture at Virginia Tech (ISSN 1948-3511). The journal incorporates a variety of communication technologies to sustain a conversation about the topics and questions raised in each issue. The journal welcomes contributions of articles for peer review, as well as book reviews, essays, interviews, and other works using a variety of media. Authors retain copyright to any work that is published in Public Knowledge Journal.

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