Reading: the death of Belgium

July 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

These days I am reading a book about Belgium, well it is indeed devoted to “the death of Belgium” (La mort de Bèlgica. La gradual emancipació de Flanders, author: Marc Gafarot). I am involved in a research and some of the news are dealing with how Flemish and Walloon newspapers treat the Catalan topics and vice versa. We are exploring this topic and still deciding whether we have an object of study well delimited… And I felt that I needed some more context about Flanders. Therefore, I am getting some from this book quite easily.

The work has a similar objective to the still recent El mirall escocés (The Scottish mirror), authored by Xavier Solano, which is to offer an up-to-date account of the nationalism achievements in both countries and to establish points of comparison with the Catalan case. Of course, both authors give historical, sociological and political clues to understand processes of separatism in Flanders and Scotland. In the Flemish case, one of the most striking aspects are the questions related to cultural policies, and specifically linguistic policies. Reading this book, my understanding is that some of the existing laws and norms regarding language protection, delimitation of cultural communities and regulation of cultural life are rather strong and this made me think about the Catalan case: Catalan nationalism policies are today more liberal than the practices in some other parts of Europe. Both works, Solano’s and Gafarot’s, are very didactic, but in both cases I missed some more room for the media and cultural analysis, which are crucial to understand current political and social realities in these (still) stateless nations.

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A better access: the book of abstracts

July 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

This month, with the support of Adrian Hazaparu, we have managed to edit and uploading a book of abstracts  pointing to the works published in the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies. It has been a good job and I am confident that is a right decision. One objective of gathering the abstracts in a pdf file is to offer more visibility and better access to the contents of the journal and, at the same time, to achieve a more friendly format (and ready to print), in case a reader is interested in one single article.

For journals with a higher frequency (i.e. quarterlies), this would be perhaps unnecessary, but for a journal like the CJCS, with two issues per year, it can be a useful tool, as each abstract is followed by a link which brings you to the on-line webpage where you can download the work, if registered. A book of abstracts can be also interesting for the authors, as they can download or print the page with the whole information about their works, including the doi number.

How to review and get reviewed

July 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I attended to a seminar at the Universitat de Barcelona about ‘How to review and get reviewed’. It was organized by the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and was part of the postgraduate course ‘Informació i Documentació en la Societat del Coneixement’. The seminar was given by Remedios Melero and Ana Marušić, who focused on such topics as ethical attitudes on the reviewing process, key aspects to prepare manuscripts for academic journals or the editors’ role.

The session of Melero was touching what reviewers are asked to do, how to get the better reviewers, what are they not expected to deliver or how to innovate in the reviewing process. The presentation given by Marušić, editor of the Croatian Medical Journal, was rather more practical as she delivered some case studies in which participants should decide among several possibilities involving ethical aspects of the action by reviewers, editors and authors. Among the topics, she developed content about the conflict of interest, reviewers’ misconduct, confidentiality and impartiality. Among the innovations commented regarding the reviewing process, it was presented the possibility to publish the list of reviewers in each issue of a journal. Although big differences were noticed between experimental sciences and social sciences and humanities, all journal must accomplish with the academic ethical standards.

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