A bizarre official document passed across the desk of the editors of EA this week. It concerned research and its institutional management. Amongst other things the document contained a questionnaire designed to enable the official and institutional computation of research activity and productivity.
Now we imagine that most of our readers quite often have seen, or filled in, or had foisted upon them such documents. The novel aspect of this one is that it assigns a numerical value (between 10 and 300) for our various research activities. In the interests of helping you all shape satisfactorily your research lives, we reproduce some of the scoring details contained therein.
According to this research management report, books are worth a maximum of 300 points. Chapters in books are worth 75 points. Refereed articles in 'journals with international editorial boards' are worth 100 points (if the editorial board is national drop to 50). Journals with in-house editorial boards (such as CQ or JHS or EA, we presume) are worth 10 points. The list is quite a long one. We won't bore you with all of the details. We'll include just a couple more for their inherent interest. Two successfully completed Ph.D. supervisions is worth, point wise, one book. The examination of two Ph.D. theses equals one refereed article in an international journal (one sixth of a book). Editing a journal gets half an international article.
These figures represent a remarkable quantifying of the pursuit of knowledge. Truth, we guess, can now be rated and valued. At least in the southern hemisphere. The lazy researcher and the inactive department can be statistically identified. They can be labelled as derelict in the pursuit and attainment of truth. They can be deemed almost immoral. Certainly they are visibly wasting taxpayer's money.
It would make interesting, albeit depressing, reading to learn how many universities internationally have adopted such a startling method for ascertaining scholarly worth. More we suspect than ought to have.
What does research management strategy have to do with Electronic Antiquity? We don't think that knowledge ought to have a price, let alone a score, put on it. We like to think, however piously, that EA - with its speed of address, its catholic policy (this month we have original poetry, a deconstructive reading of the Ion, and a version of Prudentius' wonderful poem on the martyrdom of Eulalia) and a publication policy that is based upon commonsense rather than management strategies - is a bastion of free enquiry and one that avoids the shackles of the institutional CV. Free enquiry above all - that is something all of our administrations are increasingly treating with contempt.
On a more dour but practical note, could we point out to future contributors that the cross referencing of footnotes in an electronic format is not really necessary. If future readers wish to work with your article they will probably FTP it. They will then be able to create their own cross referencing with the aid of a word processor.
We thank Bill Dominik for permission to preprint the article of Lloyd Thompson, 'Roman Perceptions of Blacks' from Scholia n.s. 2 (1994).
Again, we are pleased to acknowledge the generous assistance of the Information Technology Services at the University of Tasmania, which stores the journal and provides gopher and ftp access.
Submission of contributions should be electronic, either e-mail or on disk (see the file 'Guidelines'). We prefer e-mail.
COPYRIGHT NOTE: Copyright remains with authors, but due reference should be made to this journal if any part of the above is later published elsewhere.
Electronic Antiquity Vol. 1 Issue 3 - August 1993 edited by Peter Toohey and Ian Worthington firstname.lastname@example.org ISSN 1320-3606