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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Geomorphology outreach


We may not have university departments pumping out gushing press releases and desperately trying to demonstrate "impact" for our modest research efforts, but the message gets out there anyway.  I was surprised today to see that our two papers about Rhosyfelin have now had more than a thousand reads on ResearchGate.  So somebody is looking at them and presumably taking them seriously.....

Another interesting thing is that there are only 2 citations in other papers, which means that those who are writing about the so-called "quarries" at Rhosyfelin and Carn Goedog (and that means archaeologists) are still  systematically ignoring the evidence we are presenting.  Heads are still buried in sand......  but these are early days yet.


11 comments:

TonyH said...

Chris Catling, Contributing Editor for the most popular specialist magazine, Current Archaeology, drew attention to the two Rhosyfelin geomorphology Papers in his "Sherds: From the Trowel's Edge" column early in 2016, so it is likely that triggered off a number of reads on ResearchGate. Thank you, Chris!

I wonder WHAT the 2 citations that you mention are in other Papers are, Brian? Are there some "rogue", maverick archaeologists out there, exercising their right to free thought? You never know......

myris of alexandria said...

Has it been sometime since you engaged in the mainstream academic publishing game?
The lead time for most papers is 9 months to a year plus, so your couple of contributions were unpublished when most current archy material was being written.

So far the MPP Antiquity paper itself only has two citations according to Google scholar so far far far far too early to cry fowl or ruffle your tail feathers and cry 'poor me a prophet in my own land'.

Having said all that, in five years time I expect the number of your CRyf citations may not be any greater.

Just because you have written something does not make it true, interesting or useful. You have done the correct thing, your interpretation of the data is out there for others to judge. They may decide to dismiss it. C'est la vie academique. The majority of papers lie there neglected, probably rightly so.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

Ah, you are a crusty old cynic, Myris!! But of course you are right about lead times -- only very rarely do you get stuff into print within six months or so. Can happen, if you hit deadlines correctly and if the editor treats something as priority.

We shall see where all this goes. Truth will out...

TonyH said...

"Most archaeologists", an expression MPP uses to justify his vociferous megaphoned claims for human transportation of sundry exotic stones from Wales, does not necessarily include "most archaeologists" residing and/or working in Wales, for whom the journal 'Archaeology in Wales' is essential bedtime reading, and within which one of BJ's recent Papers may of course be found.

There may yet be a feral Celtic backlash to MPP's claims to having "most archaeologists" (undergraduate and above) eating out of his, and Rob Ixer's, hands, with respect to Tales From the Quarry Fireside.

The quarry may yet turn out to be:- MPP, Rob Ixer, Josh Pollard, Colin Richards, Old Uncle
Tom Cobblers and all....

BRIAN JOHN said...

I don't talk to a lot of archaeologists, but from those to whom I have spoken I pick up a sense of considerable unease about all this quarrying guff. I suspect that "most archaeologists" are less convinced than MPP, RI and others might like to think......

Jon Morris said...

Myris is right: Do your best; that's all you can do. The next generation or two will decide. This age is digital, so every word is recorded in some way or other: Going back into past records of who did what will give the historians something to do if anything ever gets agreed about Stonehenge.

The politics of citations are dead interesting. If Professor Thom is cited, then people do not take the citation that seriously. One I don't understand is Professor Northover. Does anyone know why his work causes consternation in the archaeological community?

(I referred to Prof Northover's work in the Prehistoric Society, giving an answer to a student about whose work to look at for metallurgical info. The post immediately got deleted and the whole thread shut down. I know I've done something, but I don't know what.)

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, it's all very weird. A citation for an article in somebody else's article is not necessarily a sign of approval -- it may be that it is entirely devoted to showing what crap the cited author's article was. But the hatchet job is counted as a citation anyway.

Peer review is just as erratic and is often meaningless -- I have seen a lot of reviews from my peers over the years, relating to all sorts of articles I've written, and the level of ignorance displayed in their comments is often quite frightening. As we all know, an editor can achieve a rejection of an article simply through the judicious selection of reviewers known to be antagonistic towards the author.

Corruption everywhere......

Jon Morris said...

Do you mean comments from the reviewers as part of the process Brian or reviews that take place after the fact?

One big difference I've noticed about archaeology is the comments you get from editors/reviewers, generally asking you to expand it to suit a point of view or include references to the work of specific archaeologists (which I can't do as it would be so time consuming so I've had nothing published). I've never seen any reviews of my own papers in other fields (generally engineering institutions) as they've always published as is and without comment (not that I've done that much)

BRIAN JOHN said...

Talking about the peer review process initiated by the editor of a journal so as to seek guidance on whether to publish or not. I generally find that you get much more useful and honest comments if you send out a draft paper to people you respect, before ever submitting it to a journal for consideration. On one of our recent papers, one of the reviews (which the editor forwarded) was completely irrelevant in that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the content of the paper. We as authors ignored it -- and luckily the editor did too!

myris of alexandria said...

It is standard practice to send on the reviewers comments that is what they are there for. Ignoring their comments is high risk. Mind you there are often columns for comments for the authors and one not for the authors, the latter column is more fun to complete.

Once when editing an archy conference volume one of the editors declined a paper (a really dreadful paper)the authors bleated about that so the editor sent the paper and its paperwork out to 15 other (mainly highly worthy) reviewers so that the 'worth' of the paper became widely known. A case of their being booted out by 'Pre-publish and be damned'. (Sparrowhawks ma'am) Some years later the authors did acknowledge it was not one of their best.

Dr I refused and refuses to do anonymous reviewing and will stand by every rhodium-tipped word.
M

TonyH said...

Well, as regards citations, be that as it may.....as a former librarian/information worker,I'm just delighted that over 1,000 folk have looked, via ResearchGate, at Brian & Colleagues' Papers expressing their unfashionable, dissenting view, following careful geomorphological study of Rhosyfelin's so - called "quarry".

As Alex Gee might say, nice to know there ARE quite a few people out there capable of independent thought and strong backbone who do not require to be fed babies' milk by the MPP Merry - Go - Round.