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.

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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.

Researching and publishing in small nations

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

I recently participated in the International Conference on Media and Culture in Small Nations Cyfrwng/Media Wales Conference 2011, held by the University of Glamorgan in Cardiff (UK). The conference was pretty interesting with delegates from a wide range of countries and touching very diverse topics related to the main focus of the conference. I was talking about researching and publishing in small countries context.

Media Studies in Catalonia: Researching, Publishing… Competing

Enric Castelló

Abstract

This paper offers an evaluation of the development of communication and media studies in Catalonia in recent years, a period during which it has increased in terms of quantity, quality and competitiveness. During the nineties, as several authors have noted,[1] there was clear growth in research in communication and media studies in Catalonia. Despite this, the impact of its output in international journals in the field can be described as scant or irrelevant. One meaningful indicator of this is the fact that between 1996 and 2002 Catalan scholars in the field published only six articles in the journals indexed in the Science Citation Index. During this period, only two universities in Catalonia offered courses and carried research in media and communication.

But media, communication and cultural studies have experienced significant growth in the country and the broader Catalan-speaking area (including Valencia and Balearic Islands) since then. Currently, seventeen universities in this area offer degrees in journalism, television, radio, film, advertising, public relations and cultural studies. This expansion has meant the creation of new departments and research centres and a huge increase in the number of scholars working in the field, especially young researchers.

In the last few years this growth, together with what has been labelled as “ANECA effect”,[2] has also led to an increase in production in terms of published articles. But what is perhaps most important is the increasingly high standards demanded by the main Catalan journals in terms of quality. In 2008 none of the existing media and communication journals in Catalonia applied blind peer review, they were published almost exclusively in Catalan with a token presence of Spanish and the topics were closely related to local concerns and research issues. In 2009, several initiatives were undertaken to usher in a new stage, improving both the selection and quality of articles and including abstracts in English in several journals or publishing articles directly in this lingua franca. Some of them promoted the translation into English of their articles, others began a more serious reviewing process, a new journal in the field was born completely in English and published in United Kingdom and another journal was started in 2010 a new period with English translations of the abstracts.

The new promising outlook has fuelled competition among the universities and journals in terms of publishing the best quality Catalan communication research, but it is also facing new handicaps such as the imbalance balance between quantity and quality of articles, the downgrading of Catalan as a language for research and study, the problems involved in sustaining so much publication activity, the constant administrative pressures arising from the evaluation of researchers in quantitative terms, and the relative smallness of the existing research community.


[1] Jones, Daniel E. (2000) Informe Investigació sobre Comunicació a Catalunya els anys noranta. X Conferència de la Societat Catalana de Comunicació. Girona, [accés 17 de novembre de 2009: http://www.iecat.net/institucio/societats/SCComunicacio/activit/girona/Jonesinform.htm%5D; Berrio, Jordi (1997) (ed.) Un Segle de recerca sobre comunicació a Catalunya : estudi crític dels principals àmbits d’investigació de la comunicació de massa. Cerdanyola del Vallés: UAB. Servei de Publicacions.

[2] Soriano, Jaume (2008) El efecto ANECA. Actas y memoria final : Congreso Internacional Fundacional AE-IC, Santiago de Compostela, 30, 31 de enero y 1 de febrero de 2008, 2008, ISBN 978-84-612-3816-3; Massip, Pere (2011) Los efectos del efecto Aneca: producción española en Comunicación en el Social science citation index. Anuario ThinkEPI, 5. The ANECA effect refers to the consequences for the research and the researchers of the new system of evaluation of ANECA –Spanish agency of quality for the universities.

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