This page and this description "...is an effort to create a guide to people attempting to do professional level research outside of traditional academia." seem to be out of sync. I don't see much about research methodology. I thought I would see things like hypothesis writing, data collection, data manipulation, data analysis, findings (presentation: writing, visualization, graphics, tables)...
- The target audience for this document presumably already knows how do to all of that stuff, and there are already a lot of published guides for that if they need help. The audience for this document is your "frustrated Ph.D." who is working at a software company, and wants to get back into active scientific research. There are no "howto" guides that I'm aware of for this. Roadrunner 04:01, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
- The other point is that research methodology should be the same on the inside and outside of traditional academia. A guide to how to do research is a useful wikibook, but IMHO, it's another wikibook Roadrunner 04:03, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
- I buy that. You're right. --K1v1n 12:18, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
This 'how to' guide will need to draw attention to the intricate 'politics' of academia and academic publishing. While many assume that there is something called 'science' as an ideal set of values independent from academia, de facto most of what is considered 'scientific' gets filtered by academia through applications of criteria that are not in fact very scientific. Although I understand that wikipedians will aim at neutrality, a 'how to' guide of freelance academia without the 'politics' would be rather useless and help nobody. Being a freelance academic entails a specific positioning in the political struggle for the legitimation and delegitimation of particular knowledge.
- Yup. Academia has politics just like any other large organization has politics. Part of what is missing once you end up outside of the university is practical advice in out to navigate through academic politics. It took me about five years after I got my Ph.D. to realize that the idea of the lone academic wasn't how things really worked, and other three years to figure out that you really, really have to attend conferences to get things done. There is a whole mess of Byzantine politics that you have to go through in order to get things like an NSF or NIH grant, and if you aren't in an academic institution, you generally don't have the knowledge or social contacts necessary to get access to these sources of funding. This leads to a closed circle of wealth and power, which isn't making anyone really happy.
- Grant review boards (which I've been on) aim for something approaching "objectivity" and "excellence" but people don't think too much about the subjective parts of process. For example, to apply for a grant, you first must know that the grant exists, which implies being part of an information network. There are a whole other bunch of "secret handshakes" that you have go to through to get the money, but there is nothing that I can see that prevents these secret handshakes from being more widely known.
- Roadrunner 13:52, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
What about doing research (discussion) within Wikiversity? Starting to write and discuss on a topic that can lead to a paper publication. However, we have to thinkc about copyright. Schoeberl 16:02, 28 October 2006 (UTC)