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The Scholarship Dilemma – SNC #DigPINS

The Scholarship Dilemma

The readings and videos for this week were by far my favorite. As an individual on the tenure track, I spend a LOT of time thinking about my scholarship and how to disseminate it. One of my biggest issues with academia is that more often than not our reach can be limited. Our scholarship may not necessarily be read by those we truly want to be reading it, and instead is just read by other scholars. As a sociologist, I can expect other sociologists or sociology students to read my work. As a social worker, my goal is to have somewhat of a broader reach. But, it’s a bit difficult when you have to constantly be thinking about tenure and how your scholarship will be “read”. It’s sad that we put so much value on peer reviewed articles and don’t truly take into consideration the type of impact our scholarship can do elsewhere. For example, my scholarship focuses on race and socialization in families. Many of the families in my research want to read my work, but don’t necessarily have access to the journals it’d typically be published in. That, or the format of peer reviewed articles is so out of reach that even if they do have access, it’s so boring!! 🙂
These readings made me start to think differently about how I can disseminate my scholarship. I’ll definitely be looking into open access journals as well as other opportunities to translate my scholarship to those I really want to reach, perhaps in Op-Eds. But again, I wonder how this will be perceived for tenure and promotion…

At the end of day, my research is about and for families. If they can’t access it or translate it, then what’s the point??? I struggle with what I’m “supposed” to do for tenure and what is meaningful and fulfilling for me. It goes back this idea of who has access to knowledge… who “deserves” this access?

I’d be super interested in hearing how others navigate this dilemma!!

(1) Comment

  1. Avery

    Cristina, thank you for sharing your perspective as tenure track faculty. The material this week has been fascinating but again I felt like I haven’t had as much to contribute to the conversation since I am not doing research, writing, publishing, etc.
    Is this a dilemma that your peers/colleagues discuss openly? I am also interested to hear how others navigate this issue! Thanks again for sharing.

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