What is the procedure for asking academics from outside of your university to comment on your work? I met a woman at a conference a few months ago whose work I have used extensively and who teaches on the subject I'm writing a journal article about (a particular character in medieval literature). She heard my paper (which the article is an extension of) and said she liked it, we had lunch together and exchanged a few e-mails afterwards.
Would it be very cheeky of me to send her my article before publication and say that I'd welcome her comments? There would be nothing of immediate benefit for her in it but as I say I do cite her work throughout so if I get published I am indirectly increasing her 'impact' ,-)
What do you reckon?
Maybe my reply doesn't count, because I'm not an academic with a lot of paperwork and tight deadlines to work to, but if someone asked me to run the rule over my work, especially if they'd cited me and it would increase my citation count, I'd be pretty flattered. :)
======= Date Modified 30 Apr 2010 15:15:52 =======
Thanks Chrisrol, I never know what the correct methods of doing these things are!
Missed your reply there 4matt; she did say at the conference that 'it does the ego good' to hear people using your work so I'm hoping she'll be flattered too but I suppose it depends how good (bad) she thinks the article is!
Hey KC! Yeah, I would say so too, there's no harm in asking and it sounds like you are reasonably familiar terms with her, and as you say, she will probably be quite chuffed that you are citing her work. Also, you could thank her for any helpful comments in the acknowledgements section too. Go for it. And if she has already looked over it and made comments then you will likely have a better chance of getting it through the reviewers with fewer changes to make too! Best, KB
I read your post with interest :-) I think its wonderful that you already got together with the external academic; its a great idea to get her comments :-) ABSOLUTELY!
But also, there is the issue of other authors (of the paper). I was told that when showing a draft of the paper, it should preferably be with the permission of the other authors, when they are ok with it everything is much easier.
In your case, it seems all positive go for it!
======= Date Modified 01 May 2010 08:31:16 =======
I have been taught to be VERY wary of these situations. As Satchi says, check with your co-authors first. Also, be aware that not all academics are nicey nicey, there may well be a chance that she steals your research ideas - and as a more experienced researcher, possibly with the help of Research assistants, she could replicate and publish your research before you had a chance to intervene. It is also VERY likely that she will asked to be added as a co-author for doing such work, so just be careful and make sure expectations are clear. Its worth sticking on a (C) symbol on your work before sending e.g. "(c) Sneaks" and copying in someone else to the email, so there is a clear email trail if anything i.e co-authorship, intellectual property rights, get disputed.
Thank you for your advice guys.
I'm not sure how co-authorship works in my subject; it's very unusal anyway, in journal articles. The only thing I've seen that's similiar is giving people a nod at the beginning/end of the paper, i.e: thanks to persons X,Y and Z for reading drafts of this paper.
I will be wary though and do the CCing somebody else in to the e-mail.
======= Date Modified 01 May 2010 11:19:21 =======
reading a journal article (how many pages are we talking about here?) takes time, quite a lot of it actually, if you do it thoroughly. why should she spent 5-6 hours doing this "for free" for you? you will have to cite her work anyway since you are doing work in her area of expertise, no matter if the she reads it or not. offering her co-authorhsip would be the polite thing to do - maybe she declines and gives you comments without demanding to be on the paper, but it should be her choice.
I absolutely disagree with monkey. Intellectual pursuits involve the concept of formal and informal peer review. part of this isinstitutionalised as peer review and feedback, and the rest of it (the better part) survives as intellectual exchange. That's how ideas grow and connect. Apart from being careful about plagiarism (which in this case is not the issue as I understand) it is normal practice for academics to collect opinions on their work and warmly thank everyone in a note.
My supervisor has just thanked me (along with a very old scholar!) on her latest paper for my 'comments on an earlier version of the draft'. I have seen my sup acknowledge even 15 people for their comments on versions of the draft.
I do not think, the attitude of reading for 'free' and anything as instrumental works at least in my field (humanities and social science hybrid)
Just to second the last two posts. I think the difference is that you are in a humanities field. I'm in history and the prospect of being 'scooped' or having your ideas stolen just isn't as pressing as it might be in the sciences. Presumably you have given conference papers so your name is already publically associated with your topic, etc. If you want to be a little bit cautious, don't send the paper immediately out of the blue. Send them an e-mail about some detail or with a question about something and then say something like 'I'm writing an article about this at the moment, would you be willing to have a look at it?'
My last article acknowledged about four or five people who had commented on it in addition to my supervisors. Not only do their comments make the article better, being able to acknowledge super-super people who know about your area makes you look connected too. People start sitting up and taking notice of you, I've found!
Co-authorship can happen (and is rising, I think) in the arts and humanities but it is true co-authorship with equal input into ideas and writing, etc. Reading and commenting on a paper or informal intellectual exchange would merit an acknowledgement but not authorship. We're just different from the scientists!
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