More on Aauthors and Aalphabetical placement

In an earlier post today, I discussed some of the economic implications of having a last name beginning early in the alphabet in disciplines that traditionally order the authors on multi-author papers alphabetically.

I’ve since looked up the original paper (Einav, Liran, and Leeat Yariv. 2006. “What’s in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 20 (1): 175–88). This is more startling than I thought.

First of all, from the authors’ own description:

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A is for Aardvark and author. The economic implications of having a last name with an early letter in the alphabet

In many disciplines, when more than one researcher contributes to a paper, the authors are listed in terms of the relative contribution: the first author is assumed to have done the most work, the second the second most, and so on until the last position, which is often as prestigious as first.

In other disciplines, however, the tradition is to order author names alphabetically.

This can be unfair to authors whose names come later in the alphabet, because citation conventions for multiple author contributions usually spell out the names of only the first two or three authors.

But it turns out it can also have career and financial implications. As Marusic, Bosnjak, et al. (see?) report:

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The credit line

I think it is time to get rid of authorship altogether, at least in research communication.

What is an author

Outside of academia, the definition of authorship is quite striaghtforward. As the OED puts it, an author is “the writer of a book or other work.” Things get a little complicated with ghost-writers (is a ghost-written book “by” the person who commissioned it or the person who actually composed it?). But on the whole, there isn’t much room for ambiguity. Authors are people who write.

Within academia, however, things are more complicated. Read the rest of this entry »


Dangerous bug in Moodle

Just discovered a dangerous bug in the Moodle essay question template.

About the essay question edit screen

When you write an essay question in Moodle, there are a couple of different boxes on the form:

The question goes in the top. Then you have the “General response” (something the student usually can see when the results are released). Then the “Response Template,” which can be used for including text you want to appear in the answer box as soon as the question loads for the student (e.g. text like “Type your essay here”). And finally a grader box, where you can include tips for the grader (this shows up on the grading screen right above the student’s answer. Read the rest of this entry »


University of Lethbridge Tenure Track job: Postcolonial or Modernism, DH welcome (Deadline April 15)

The Department of English at the University of Lethbridge invites applications for a probationary (tenure-track) position at the Assistant Professor rank to begin 1 July 2014, subject to budgetary approval. The position is in the area of Twentieth-Century Literature with specialization in either Post-Colonial Literature or Modernism.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. at or near completion and teaching experience at the university level. The University aspires to hire individuals who have demonstrated considerable potential for excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. New faculty members are eligible to apply for university funding in support of research and scholarly activities.

The position is open to all qualified applicants, although preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. Read the rest of this entry »


Academic Suicide

The so-called “college paper” has been a debated topic practically since its initial inception. A recent class statement brought the debate to the forefront of my mind. Professor O’Donnell stated, in a tone of bemusement, that his students tend to perform better on the blog assignments than on their actual papers. It does seem odd that a discrepancy exists between two writing exercises. However, the answer formed almost immediately within my thoughts and has expanded through the discussion of prescriptive rules versus descriptive. The reason students are so terrible at writing the “college paper” boils down to differences between prescriptive rules and descriptive rules. With that I commit myself to academic suicide by breaking the general guidelines and prescriptive rules of academic writing and adhering only to grammatical prescriptive rules and a more formal dialect to explain the phenomenon of why students are incapable of writing the traditional North American college Read the rest of this entry »


GO::DH Election results (2014 Executive)

This past week, Global Outlook::Digital Humanities held the election for its first elected executive (the founding executive was self-appointed). Interest in the election was very strong. There were twenty candidates…

GO::DH Election results (2014 Executive)

This past week, Global Outlook::Digital Humanities held the election for its first elected executive (the founding executive was self-appointed). Interest in the election was very strong. There were twenty candidates…

Research prospectus

A prospectus is a researched proposal for a research project. It explains the proposed focus of the paper (i.e. the works or topics that will be covered), the bibliographical context (i.e. important research works that touch on this topic and will useful in writing the paper), the broad outline of the argument that is going to be made and the evidence that is going to be used.

Think of it as a somewhat detailed explanation as to what you are going to write about and why you find it interesting.

A prospectus does not need to be long. Read the rest of this entry »


The Lethbridge Journal Incubator: A new business model for Open Access journal publication (Elsevier Labs Online Lectures February 18, 2014)

The Lethbridge Journal Incubator: A new business model for Open Access journal publication by Daniel Paul O’Donnell with contributions from Gillian Ayers, Kelaine Devine, Heather Hobma, Jessica Ruzack, Sandra Cowen, Leona Jacobs, Wendy Merkeley, Rhys Stevens, Marinus Swanepoel, and Maxine Tedesco. Elsevier Labs Online Lectures February 18, 2014.

The Lethbridge Journal Incubator: A new business model for Open Access journal publication by Daniel O'Donnell with contributions from Gillian Ayers, Kelaine Devine, Heather Hobma, Jessica Ruzack, Sandra Cowen, Leona Jacobs, Wendy Merkeley, Rhys Stevens, Marinus Swanepoel, and Maxine Tedesco.

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Living out loud: The Visionary Cross Project and the Public Humanities (CMRS/ETRUS. University of Saskatchewan January 16, 2014)

Just posted our talk on Living out loud: The Visionary Cross Project and the Public Humanities to slideshare.

Living out loud: The Visionary Cross Project and the Public Humanities from Heather Hobma, Daniel O'Donnell, Marco Callieri, Matteo Dellepiane, James Graham, Catherine Karkov, Roberto Rosselli Del Turco.

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How to do a table of contents in text pattern

My teaching pages are served out using Textpattern, a relatively light CMS that uses textile wiki-like markup.

Because adding an excerpt by hand wrecks the syndication of this site through Wordpress to my other blog, I don’t usually add a text summary. Instead, I do something similar to the Wikipedia or Wordpress: I begin articles with an abstract like first paragraph, then include a table of contents, then have the rest of the body.

I used to make up these tables of content by hand, cursing all the time that Textile wasn’t XML. Then I discovered soo_toc, a Textpattern plugin that builds tables of contents dynamically. Joy!

Of course, now I need to remember to add the template that calls the TOC to each page (as I type this, I wonder if there might not be a simple variable I could develop that does this, but that’s for later). Read the rest of this entry »


Mounting University of Lethbridge “P” and “W” drives under Linux

Here’s how to find the “P” and “W” drives at the University of Lethbridge.

“P” drives

Your “P” drive is the windows share that represents your standard network desktop (i.e. the thing you see if you log into a classroom or other computer on campus).

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Mounting University of Lethbridge “P” and “W” drives under Linux

Here’s how to find the “P” and “W” drives at the University of Lethbridge.

“P” drives

Your “P” drive is the windows share that represents your standard network desktop (i.e. the thing you see if you log into a classroom or other computer on campus).

The address is ulhome.uleth.ca/$USER where $USER is your account username (the same as the lefthand side of your uleth email account, or, in my case, daniel.odonnell. Read the rest of this entry »


Living out loud: The Visionary Cross Project and the Public Humanities

A new presentation by Heather Hobma, Daniel Paul O’Donnell, Marco Callieri, Matteo Dellepiane, James Graham, Catherine Karkov, Roberto Rosselli Del Turco. Living out loud: The Visionary Cross Project and the Public Humanities from Daniel O’Donnell
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