Vol. 12 No.1
Oct.Nov 2009

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Digital Scholarship Comes of Age
New questions about credibility, modes, and readership

A growing array

“People are experiencing the world through multiple media. That may mean we need to think about different forms of scholarship.”

“In terms of shaping scholarship, the technologist needs the scholar, and the scholar needs the technologist.”

The Evidence of Transformation
Three faculty
experiences of learning outcomes assessment

Knowledge and Application
Learning assessment in the Journalism Program

Learning to Follow the Butterfly
How dynamic learner outcomes helped me to be a better teacher

At the Heart of Learning
Assessing graduate student education in the biological sciences


The Perils of Peer Review

It’s very easy to cast [peer reviewers] as enemies because they have pointed out weaknesses, and we don’t want to hear that. These weaknesses entail significant amounts of work on our part. It’s very easy to be dismissive and say, There’s something wrong with this person--they’re unfair, they didn’t bother to read my paper, they don’t like this area. It conserves energy on your part to take that sort of interpretation. The harder interpretation to live with is to say, These people saw something in my paper that needed to be done, and darn it, I’ve got work to do. . . .

There’s also a risk to always sending a paper to the most visible journals. Your earliest draft of the paper, before it’s been rejected
several times, is probably not as good as the draft after you’ve received some feedback. If you send this early draft to a highly visible journal, your odds of getting it accepted are not so good. You might send it to a specialty journal or a lower-tier journal, and you might have a better chance. The problem is a sort of tipping point. If you send it to a less visible journal and it gets accepted, you feel, Oh, I had a chance. But if you send it to the top one and it gets rejected, you say, That paper wasn’t really ready for the top; I should have waited. This is a difficult dilemma, but there is a resolution to it: make more use of your peer-review network of your colleagues and your friends. You do not want to send other than your very best effort out for review.

--Randy Hodson, professor of sociology, Ohio State University, and
editor, American Sociological Review, from “What Readers Want,”
the Art of Publishing Workshop, April 17, 2009, sponsored by the
Department of Economics

The Cell Remembers

At one point during fetal development, some of your cells decided to make a leg and some cells decided to make an arm. At one point it was one cell that decided to do that. Once the cell that decides it’s going to make an arm divides to make all the cells that we need to make an arm, it needs to remember that it’s supposed to make an arm. It needs to remember what the mother cell decided. And all the millions and millions of cells that will come from that one cell--each cell division--they need to remember that’s what they’re supposed to do, too. Cells rely on this mechanism to remember what they’re supposed to be doing. . . . This very specific conclusion is at the heart of what happens as we age. It’s at the heart of what happens in every thing we do.

--Victor Corces, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, Emory College, from “Beyond the Genome: DNA is Not Destiny,” March 16, 2009, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Council