Tag Archives: academia

Bibliographic Software- what do you use?

I did this quick review for my Academic Ladder group.
I USED to use Endnote.  Got too cumbersome and tricky.  I stopped more than five years ago, so I can’t even recall details.

My U switched to refworks.  This was very nice at first.  It is an online database.  So, you have an account.  With most search databases and our catalog, it was one click importing.  It supports “descriptors” you edit, like tags.  Like, all known biblio outputs for every style.  Your database lives in the cloud, so you can be at ANY COMPUTER with internet and get to your library.  You can have folders, lists and stuff.  It ALSO has a plug-in for word that allows you to add citations as you write.  So you write, you think “oh, smith 1987 here.”  You then search in word your library, find smith,and stick it in.  It adds some code to your paper. At the end you push a button and all code becomes correct citation and a bibliography is made.

Issues.  1) My library has gotten so big, it is a bit sluggish at times.  2) It does not capture web-based metadata as nicely as Zotero.  3) The word plug in was buggy for awhile, like 2 years, which irked me.

I am romantically a sucker for open-source stuff.  I started using Zotero ALSO.  Very similar to refworks except it is free, designed by academics for academics.  Your library lives in a cloud.  You can sync it to a local program, zotero standalone, for when you are NOT on the web (I think refworks can too).

Pluses for zotero: it is VERY GOOD at getting metadata.  So, say I need a book that is not in my refworks library.  Rather than got to catalog, search, export, etc, I go to amazon, or catalog, and in firefox, there is an add-on such that with one click Zotero grabs the citation.  Also, it can make citations of webpages, blogposts and so on.  Plus in firefox, you can open a window and edit the citation or ADD NOTES easily.
2) It seems to support networks or communities of schoalrs more readily to share libraries.  I have not done this a lot, but could imagine so.

Me today: hybrid refworks and zotero user.  If I were starting over, I’d be all Zotero.  I haven’t switched all the way as it looks like a lot of work and so far my patchwork approach works.

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Filed under Information and Communication Technology, life, writing

Uncensored Thoughts on Living in SusqueValley

Someone posted on a bulletin  board for academics how to balance a great job and a yuck location.  Here is what I wrote back:

Some people would say I have a yuck location: small town in mid Atlantic state. Not a great college town (no indy bookstore), but some college town qualities. I TAKE recycling to Saturday recycling and it is this totally social time. I will see 15 people I know, 2/3rds of them university people. I have been here ten years, raised my kids so far here, and it is a good place for me. Three-four hours to big cities, lots of natural beauty, etc.

But we loose people all the time, younger, gay, needing more cosmopolitan atmosphere, people of color who are not welcomed enough OR who just don’t feel at ease.

For people who complain ‘there is nothing to do” I am kind of dismissive. Between this university and others, you can go to SOMETHING almost every night.

BUT, I grew up in a lilly white suburb of a sunbelt city. “Pinko commie” was how my HS classmates often taunted me. I went to college in the mid west. I’ve lived in European cities too. But, when we got the offer to come here, I sort of made peace that it is my destiny to be a bright light of minority thinking and being in a sea of Sarah Palin’s “real America.” But that is a fantasy too, the “real America.” There are interesting folks and quriks and interstitial moments everywhere.

But the life of the missionary of enlightnement and tolerance among the savages of wonderbread cuisine, unproblematic flag-waving, and we-don-t-like-furgners squints is not the life for everyone.

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The Clockwork Muse– Nuggets on Writing

So, I have several books on writing and academia I have been lugging around all week. Some I have scanned before, some not at all. Since I will never sit down and read a whole book on writing process- just seems too much like a luxury- but I also believe that they are likely to be helpful, I decided to just spend a few minutes each day scanning for nuggets. I would rather jot these down here since I like sharing and it feels less frivolous to read and write for an audience beyond just myself.

One of my best academic friends here, Roger, who is also my writing group partner, recommended The Clockwork Muse. It is by a sociologist, Eviatar Zerubavel. That name rocks.

The nugget today is the title which elegantly skewers the misguided notion that writing is a moment of feverish inspiration bestowed by a muse. Writing comes from self-discipline and habit, centered on the notion of time.

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Social Movement Theory and Terrorism

I have been chipping away at an article for awhile now on terrorism as an organizational activity.  Part of my argument is to understand terrorism as at times a social movement.

Part of the fun of this for me is to learn more about social movements which has always been a topic my interests bump up against, but something I never had time to formally study.

Reading Castells (who channel Alain Tourraine, apparently), Tilly, and Giddens, among others, brought the idea of social movements into my sphere of interest.  Then I started reading and reading about the work done by institutional theorists like Haogreeva Rao and others about thinking about consumers as social movements.  For example, his book, Market Rebels, makes the case that markets are at times created by consumers, not firms.

Today, in a fit of retroactive literature scanning, I decided to check what had been said about terrorism and social movement theory.  Two interesting findings.

First, the wikipedia article cites Tilly and Tarrow (separately) defining social movements as inherently a featrue of pluralist, democratic societies.  Moreover, Tilly’s repretoire does not include any violent acts.  This surprised me.  Terrorist organizations seem to operate in such societies and also, with Al Qaeda, at a global level.  Moreover, they are also embedded in or linked to social movements and sets of social movement organizations.  So, if a social movement is a an observable collective effort to resist or adopt social change, then terrorist organizations can be part of that definition, irrespective of their geographic location.

Second, I hopped over to google scholar to see what had been written about social movement theory and terrorism.  Using those search terms, I found one article in Terrorism and Political Violence.  Who knew there was sucha  specialized journal?  C. Gentry’s article is titled: ” THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENT THEORY AND TERRORISM STUDIES: THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP, MEMBERSHIP, IDEOLOGY AND GENDER”.   I am not even sure from the title if it is relevant.  That was the first hit, none of the rest seemed any better. This struck me as very odd and made me wonder if I have stumbled onto a much larger claim than I realized initially:

Terrorist Organizing must be accounted for by social movement theory.

Now, I wonder about how to use my blog.  I have never had anything like an active “readership” as far as i can tell.  I would love to get some answers or responses to what I discuss here.  But how?  Should I email Brayden King or Fabio Rojas at OrgTheory.net and say, “hey, please read this?”

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Filed under activism, organization theory, sociology, Terrorism

Finding Journals

For awhile, I have been trying to assemble a list of journal outlets for myself.

If we think back to what journals we follow, I think many might have a similar story to mine.  I recall as an undergrad and in grad school in sociology and management, I would hold in high esteem what professors gave me.  I quickly learned to “read backwards”: to take a new article and glance at the citations (or to look at the intro and lit review) and start taking mental notes of which articles and authors seemed most central.  From this, I had a preliminary list of journals that seemed important.

And those handful of journals I tended to follow more carefully since I already had a toehold in their conversations and streams of discourse.

Meanwhile, keyword searches in article databases exposed me to reading lots of abstracts.  Quickly, I started making snap decisions about journals worth paying attention to and which not.

Since then (1990s), I have the feeling that the number and volume of published material has increased.  Overwhelmed is an understatement.  This is compounded by my own multi-disciplinary interests in networks, social theory, and organization theory.

Finally, I have realized that some of my own writing, if it is ever to see the light of published day, due to approaches or ideas that are out of the mainstream, will need to find journals that will take risks, are in the interstices of academic fields, that consort with subaltern, or embrace eclecticism.

How does one find new journals?  That is the immediate problem.  This morning I tackled this as I wondered who might look at approaches to innovation that are more unconventional.  This often means abandoning the fool’s errand of a quest for the holy grail of The One True Formula for Success™.  I was kind of hoping that maybe I would find the Amazon equivalent of list mania.  You know, you find some new book and you see that other users have made this lovley lists like “Best mashups of Harry Potter and Literary Theory” or “Teen Vampire Stories that Don’t Suck” or “How to make social media work for you.”  I guess I wanted “Journals that Think You, _____________ (insert name), Are Brillant.”

The good orgheads at orgtheory.net tried to make a crowd source list, but it seems to have run aground.

Loet Leysdorf does lots of work of co-citation data to make centrality measures of journals, like this one.

A colleague once gave me  this list that is pretty comprehensive: the Harzing list. I like it since it includes several different quality metrics.

There are lots of outfits that provide various lists and analyses of journals.

But I am looking for a little more editorial content.  Shorter lists that are more targeted and not hide-bound to overly rigid disciplinary boundaries.  More opinion.  More oomph.

Why don’t they seem to exist?  I say this based on two dangerously self-referential observations. 1) I don’t already know about them. 2) 20 minutes of basic web searching failed to turn anything up.  Sociology of Knowledge by the inmates is probably a bad idea, but I can’t help myself.  Maybe they don’t exist because opinion and oomph are not rational career strategies?

For example:

Where can I submit theory articles?

Where can I submit articles on innovation that are interested in inter-disciplinarity?

Mixed method articles?

I’ll start making my own here.

Meanwhile, feel free to post ideas or suggestions below.  Thanks.

 

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Filed under higher education, Research, social theory, sociology

User Creativity, Governance, and the New Media

Ted and I have a publication out in First Monday. I have enjoyed the broad scope of the journal, and the editing process for an on-line journal is interesting.  The article is part of a special issue called “User Creatviity, Governance and the NEw Media.”  The editors are Bonnie Nardi and Yong Ming  Kow.

Please surf over to the First Monday site to read the paper, “Developing Virtual Worlds: The Interplay of Design, Communities, and Rationality.”

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Filed under digital culture, higher education, organization studies, organization theory, Second Life, virtual worlds

Blogging and CVs

A very important question raised by Sean over at OrgTheory.

Do you put your blog onyour CV?

Poll.

My response on the flip.

Continue reading

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Filed under higher education

This is so cool…

Here is a picture of the robes I get to wear as a PhD from IESE/Universidad de Navarra:

Toga y Birrete

Lovely.  The secret of academics is we like to dress up in these poofy things.  And the odder, the better.

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Filed under higher education, life, PhD