A gem from the spam folder

I got this today…

Cooperating with 6 other guest editors […] the Lead Guest Editor, has proposed a special issue titled Society, Culture and Politics in Contemporary Africa

wow,  I count 7 editors in total, that must be a big special issue…

gather together researchers in order to spread their academic experience and research findings on all topics in relation to Africa

I see, all topics in relation to Africa. Now I wonder whether they can manage with 7 editors, I mean all topics in relation to Africa.

Unfortunately, this is followed by this table:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
  1. Socioeconomic dynamics
  2. Culture
  1. Social mobility
  2. Tradition
  1. Politics
  2. Society

That’s a real shame, not all topics after all. Now I’m not so sure anymore, I mean they do narrow it down quite a bit (there’s hope, though, that desperate “not limited to”).

Image credit: CC-BY-NC AJC1

Open Access Options for Migration Studies

Today we’ve discussed open access options for migration studies. Here’s an attempt to provide an overview. In this list, a journal is “compliant” if it allows publishing a post-print within 6 months of publication on a non-profit or insitutional repository (green road). This includes fully open access journals. Payments in hybrid journals are not considered compliant. Information on compliance as of 31 October 2019, taken from http://sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/index.php; impact factors as listed on the journal websites, SJR from Scimago. All information is provided without warranty.

You may also consider peer-review experiences on https://scirev.org/

I am not covering disciplinary journals here (e.g. Social Inclusion, Sociological Science, Politics and Governance, Research & Politics, or the innovative OLH). Don’t hesitate to mention ommissions and errors in the comments.

How to blind your manuscript

I come across this ever so often when doing a review, and there are even journal guidelines giving bad advice on how to blind a manuscript for double-blind peer review.

A good guide can be found here at Oxford Univeristiy Press.

What gets me every time is violations of this:

Do not employ (Author 2016) and similar devices.

While it may look like a good way to anonymize, it actually encourages guessing who the author may be more than anything I know. Often it provides good clues, especially if we can read the titles in the reference list. The funny thing is that as a reviewer, typically I do not want to know who you are (at least not until I have completed the review).

The guidelines cited above are pretty clear:

  • do cite yourself if it is relevant
  • use appendices/supplements to describe methodology
  • do not use (Author 2019)
  • do not cite unpublished work

Zotero!

If you aren’t, you should be using Zotero. It amazes me to see researchers ‘managing’ their references manually these days. It’s complicated, takes time, is prone to errors, and simply unnecessary. There are many options out there to manage your references, but you should look at the free and open Zotero. You can install it on all your devices, you’re not limited in the number of citations you can use, you can take it with you when you change workplace, and in fact you’re not even restricted to the feature of Zotero because you can use plugins. Seamless integration in word processors isn’t going to stand out from the competition, but getting stuff into Zotero takes no effort at all — it’s unparalleled easy with just one click in your web browser. You get free syncing, too. There really is no reason not to keep notes of what you are reading.

After grabbing Zotero, you probably want Zotfile, too. Zotfile manages your PDF versions of research articles. In my view, the most useful feature is the ability to extract highlighted text from the PDF. It’s so practical that I sometimes even don’t take proper notes (for the main points, you should store them in your brain anyway).

Image credit: Zotero, Zotfile