Tuesday, 7 February 2017

All skin teeth eh laugh

When I did my masters degree I wanted to cover all of the twin island country that I lived in with a limited amount of resources. That is why I used the school essay method. I was also attracted to the participatory nature of the research method.
The citation I used was Jennifer Sutton and Blair Orr's 1991 publication
The use of the school essay as an RRA technique: a case study from Bong County, Liberia
I searched the WUR library and could not find any other English reference to use and if my supervisor Niels Roling had not been very well established as well regarded and an Extension/RRA/PRA expert, I doubt that I would have been able to use that method.

I managed to get my research published in Prev Vet Med, possibly because of my well regarded co-author and the viewpoint of the editor and I have self-cited the school essay method and a not-so-successful questionnaire in all of the papers that came out of the MSc and then PhD research
When I did my PhD research Professor Roling noted that I was on the fringes of accepted science. The school essay method has only recently been used in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (without citing my work, even though at the time the journal had not published anything of mine) and now in the paper I blogged about this morning. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology paper also used some of my phrasing and snowball sampling, which I also used. Snowball sampling is not considered the best research method but it has its uses.

It is quite frustrating to take risks that put you on the fringes of academia which results in poorer career outcomes because academia is quite conservative in some respects and then decades later when the recognition and career opportunities should come when your work is repeated and cited all there is is theft and reviewers outright lies on grant applications. This is not totally linked to race because the IEZ has been treated similarly. It might be linked to NGOs not being recognized as research pioneers, even though NGOs are research pioneers because their first responsibility is to their client base not to academic reviewers or publishers.

Last year in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology I tried to use my citations (over 1000 according to Google Scholar) as an indication that my non-traditional validation method was accepted by other scholars and successful. The reviewers did not want me to write that. I was also told not to write a review of an out-of print book without having the author of the book as a co-author - this is not commonly told to academics. If it was there would be few book reviews. Also the out of print book had had plants identified but the author had not deposited voucher specimens, possibly because it was a language study, or possibly because it was an under-resourced herbarium. That means that a herbarium that refuses your botanical specimens, as that same herbarium did to me, could block your publications, because the route that I took - through Veterinary Medicine, has also been told to require voucher specimens.