Monday, May 12, 2008

Birmingham University you are on official warning.

Blatant self interest prevents me from saying more at the moment other than that I am not entirely satisfied with the conduct of the University (or the veracity of the publicity)

I dare not say much more about that and will leave you all to draw your own conclusions, but if the Uni cross the line too far I will cross over to the other side as well. I value my integrity more than I value a doctorate, and in the end it is the truth (whatever that is) that matters.

Of course my issues with academia do go beyond blaming Birmingham individually as I have even larger issues to take up with the academic paper chase for hubris that actually penalises those who think they are cool when they have been published and peer reviewed. If academics had a Union like the journalists do, then Reed Elsevier and the like would be quaking at the economic power they might have to concede in the interest of preserving both the authorial integrity of the originators of intellectual property, and the right to disseminate that as widely as it needs to be without the censorship of the proprietary rights grab.

If I were ten years younger or more (those grey hairs) I would be leading a rebellion. The times they are a changing, and if peer review is to retain respect, if contributors are not to be cowed and intimidated by the academic publishing equivalents of the Murdoch's and Maxwell's there needs to be a new way.

Open Access as currently set up may be an answer but it needs to have the best aspects of objectivity, freedom of access, and decent peer review as well. Open Access without peer review could be too much of a quacks charter.

If this particular post disappears overnight you will know that pressure has been brought for me drop it.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Arnold, Have you had a chance to deal with your Uni mail after the conference and hot-tub? NAS Business, you see. Not an optional part of being a Trustee. A reply isn't necessary, an acknowledgement is sufficient. Yours etc.

laurentius rex said...

Yes I read your letter yesterday, and today I showed it to Benet Middleton at the NAS.

If it is ok with you and if it won't jeopardize any legal action I will publicise your case on my blog, let me know.