Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo musings

Buenos dias (o tardes o noches) y feliz cinco de Mayo.

Back in the English-speaking world for a moment ... as some of you know I do research in several areas outside sports, including broadcast management. I sent a management paper to a journal that refused to even look at it because in the editor's estimation it had practical rather than theoretical implications. (The paper's results and conclusions were theoretically based and derived).

This relates somewhat to the post of last week that included Mark Taylor's op-ed piece in the New York Times. To me, the obsession we have in academia with theoretical value has become almost counter-productive. Yes, theory-driven research is important and I'm not suggesting otherwise. However, shouldn't the main focus of research be on practical results that actually help people? Can you imagine medical research focusing only on theoretical knowledge rather than creating medicines that cure diseases?

I hope this does not come across as a rant by someone who has had a manuscript rejected (which has happened more times that I'd like to admit). I don't have a problem with someone saying the research needs work. I do take issue with someone rejecting potentially valuable or interesting research simply because it doesn't fit a pre-conceived notion of what research should look like.

Enough ranting. ¬°pasarlo bien en cinco de Mayo!


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