Another instance of the gap between knowledge production and knowledge use, and what some federal funding agencies in the US are doing about it. Eli Berman, a professor of economics at the University of California at San Diego, does work that many would see as vitally important: He analyzes global trouble spots in the hopes […]

Some interesting data on the profession: Which philosophers, books, and journals are assigned most often in philosophy courses from English-speaking countries? Highlights: Of around 4,000 unique authors, the top three authors assigned in these courses are Plato, Aristotle, and Kant (in that order). The journal Philosophy & Public Affairs ranks fifth most-assigned philosophy journal in these courses. […]

A William James moment: Mariana Valverde on the foundations of disciplines, and what this can illuminate about how to respond to the co-opting of ‘interdisciplinarity’ as hollow administrative jargon. She uses the term ‘infradiscipline’ to describe the knowledge production regime from which contemporary disciplines arose, and argues for recovering this sense of scholarship to counter […]

Mark Bauerlein and colleagues (2010) argue that the publish-or-perish arms race of knowledge production increases costs, fosters poor-quality work, and distracts faculty from teaching. They ask, rhetorically, do we really need the 16,772nd article on Shakespeare? Geoffrey Harpham (2011) thinks that, yes, in fact we do. As our times change we bring new eyes to […]

A study by Biswas and Kirchherr (2015) found that 82% of peer-reviewed publications in the humanities are never cited. The study’s authors estimate that less than 5% of peer-reviewed humanities papers are ever read by anyone. It matters little matters if these numbers are correct: they will be used in partisan wars seeking to defund the […]