Home » Random Stuff » Random Rant

Random Rant

At the time of writing this, I am in Athens, on the occasion of an international conference. After our respective presentations, which were very well received (I believe), we took the occasion to relax a bit and have a couple of beers and a good conversation.

Between jokes and serious talk (both these tones use to get confused in a dialog among friends), we were talking about some of our favorite topics as we do whenever we have the chance to meet. With this friend we talk about our experiences studying our PhDs abroad, the copyright industry’s battle against piracy, open access, alternative business models, the good “old” Wikipedia, the Internet, and digital culture in general. Today’s conversation was about how, in a way, we see ourselves almost as outsiders when in conservative academic circles. This isn’t the case of this conference, I must point out, as we were not criticized and I believe both our researches were well received by the academics present.

For example, on one side, my friend is using a grounded theory method on his research about metadata, he is interviewing mostly young researchers and academics from the LIS field. He told me he has been highly criticized because of the method he is using and even some have told him: “why metadata?” (WHAT!!) More than as a friend, I think even as a colleague, I believe in his research. I told him: what is the problem? Aren’t there already enough research done in a more traditional top down way with tried and good approaches or theories?

This is also applicable to my own PhD research, where I take an action research perspective to study the use of social networking tools in higher education. Possible critics may very well point out the highly subjective charge of my research, by making direct interventions on the activities I give to the participants. But then, isn’t learning one of the most subjective processes? We are not machines.

We argued that we get very weary and a bit tired at times of the old debate of positivism vs. constructivism, or objectivism vs. subjectivism. I believe there is not a single phenomenon in social sciences or humanities for which someone has found an absolute, universal, measurable and replicable truth.

I don’t remember where I saw it, perhaps you can identify where I got this piece of quote without author: “The outcome or goal does not matter, the most important thing is the journey.” All the insights you could get around a problem or a phenomenon subject to study; or all the discussion that leads you to your findings. Isn’t that good enough on the social sciences and the humanities?


1 Comment

  1. Gech says:

    As you said constructive critique is crucial. Guidance is also important. But without critically examinig the methods and approaches one uses for what is suposed to be an independent and perhaps original research, admonishment doe not help much. Overall, as Ronald Day says people confuse critics versus critique. For critique requires careful reading and examining from various perspectives. Any way, we will use the critics for our benefit and make the data collection and analysis robust enough to defend our qualitative approaches.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


RSS Cool Stuff

  • From Caracas to Lyon: A road toward sustainable development?
    From Caracas to Lyon: A road toward sustainable development?Further expanding on topics around public libraries (and as a sister issue to a previous column), together with Renny Granda we ask if the Caracas Declaration for the Public Library (1982) and the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development (2014) can allow us to follow a path toward s […]
  • Scientific production in Mexican universities: Rates and expectations toward competitiveness
    Scientific production in Mexican universities: Rates and expectations toward competitiveness Together with Javier Tarango, we analyze issues of scientific production in Mexican universities. Abstract: This article analyzes emerging issues that Mexican universities are experiencing with scientific production processes, their impact on assessment indicators th […]
  • Thank you Starman I share the playslist (in chronological...
    Thank you Starman I share the playslist (in chronological order) in order to pay an homage this weekend to whom I consider my favorite artist of all time.
  • Los números de 2015 Los duendes de las estadísticas de...
    Los números de 2015 Los duendes de las estadísticas de WordPress.com prepararon un informe sobre el año 2015 de este blog.
  • Latin American science is meant to be open access: Initiatives and current challenges
    Latin American science is meant to be open access: Initiatives and current challenges Together with Dominique Babini, we summarize the rise of open access in the region and its main initiatives. Abstract: Latin American open access (OA) initiatives were built upon the foundations laid by the regional cooperative information networks, databases and indexes th […]
  • Win an Alienware Alpha with Bundle Stars!
    bundlestars: That’s right! To celebrate Bundle Fest 3, we’ve got a brand new, top-spec, Alienware Alpha machine worth $799 to give away to one lucky winner absolutely free!With a 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor, we’ve got the highest spec Alpha available loaded with free games including PAYDAY 2, Awesomenauts, Magicka and an Xbox 360 controller thro […]
  • Thinking outside of literacy: Moving beyond traditional information literacy activities
    Thinking outside of literacy: Moving beyond traditional information literacy activities Abstract: A brief reflection on what might be becoming the traditional way of conducting information and digital literacy activities, together with some recommendations in order to move beyond these traditional grounds. This reflection is framed within this age of social […]
  • Developing Latin America: Is information enough to save the region?
    Developing Latin America: Is information enough to save the region? Abstract:Latin America does not exist. These 42 diverse and developing countries are hardly a union. However, they share geographical proximity, history, strangely unique elements, and the wish to progress. This first issue of a new column, ‘Developing Latin America’, explores some informati […]
  • Los números de 2014
    Los números de 2014Los duendes de las estadísticas de WordPress.com prepararon un informe sobre el año 2014 de este blog. Aquí hay un extracto: Un teleférico de San Francisco puede contener 60 personas. Este blog fue visto por 710 veces en 2014. Si el blog fue un teleférico, se necesitarían alrededor de 12 viajes para llevar tantas personas. Haz click para v […]
  • Articles for the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL)
    Articles for the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) http://wp.me/s7eWr-ecil2013 The first European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) took place on 22-25 October 2013, in Istambul, Turkey. I proposed two papers for this conference and I had the opportunity to get both accepted. It was great to have two papers selected among the quite i […]
IBSN: Internet Blog Serial Number 26-11-11-1982

free counters
%d bloggers like this: