Generating Scholarly Knowledge

Introduction

The present paper will focus on the major ways of generating scholarly knowledge. They are publications in scholarly journals and peer review process that helps in creating the most precise and accurate articles for publishing in reputable scientific sources. This paper will examine the basic ideas of the peer review process, offer and analyze certain resources that can be of help in writing my dissertation, and discuss their actual relevance for the educational field. Moreover, it will state the major objectives of the work, i. e. to share the most useful resources found for the preparation of the publication process, and then to objectively assess the peer review process in these sources.

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Sources

General Overview

For educators and scholars, it is important to understand the process and knowledge of publication and to know where to find the sources of such knowledge. Some of the sources are printed matter that presents a great amount of information on both principles of compiling and assessing the scholarly articles and major basics of information finding, structuring, and presentation of data, including peer review.

Objective and anonymous arbitration of the articles proposed for publication, as well as surveys, cases studies, etc. The most reputable and authoritative sources of knowledge are the scholarly articles published in scholarly journals and magazines and the reliable websites that one can access on the Internet. The issues of scholarly journals, especially in the field of education, demands close consideration because their number is large, and the researchers are to find out the most reliable ones (Ballon, 2007; Guillen, 2007). The major sources that are of help in publication process are peer reviewed journals, scholarly articles, reputable web-sites and APA Manual that can provide information about the basics of preparation, supervision of publication and gathering data for it.

Scholarly Journals and Peer-Reviewed Articles

Having conducted considerable research on the point, I can list the most adequate and reputable scholarly journals in the field of education studies. They are Journal of Higher education, Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Aging Studies, and many others (Bioreference, 2002). These journals are peer-reviewed and they contain articles about such issues as educational leadership, educational studies, publication preparations, etc. For instance, Journal of Higher Education provides some articles on the topic of issues in higher education, and on the topic of my former pilot study, racial issues in the sphere of education, in particular. At the same time, the Journal of Teachers Education presents a wide range of scholarly research data on the education studies and leadership in the field of education (Library Gateway, 2004).

The sources that I have chosen for the present research paper are peer-reviewed articles from such reputable journals as College Student Journal, Counselor Education and Supervision, and Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. The first journal is the source of information on the ways and means to publish the scholarly paper in a reputable and peer reviewed journal.

The authors of the article “Publish That Paper – But Where?” (Ferrari et al., 2002) are concerned with explaining the basics of peer-reviewing and its necessity for publication and good reputation of the paper. The two case studies carried out by the authors on the site of psychology education resulted in the greater need of peer reviewing procedure because familiarity of students and teachers often leads to inaccurate papers the former submit and publish in scholarly journals (Ferrari et al., 2002, p.335).

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Moreover, Ramsey et al. (2002) in their article “Scholarly Productivity Redefined in Counselor Education” published in “Counselor Education and Supervision” touch upon the main problems that one can face while publishing the work. The findings of the authors’ research show that peer review and inability of many students to conform to the demands of scholarly journals have decreased the number of scholarly publication over the recent years. Thus, the authors draw the readers’ attention to this issue and to the need of the increase in the students’ awareness about the rules of scholarly publications (Ramsey et al., 2002, p.40).

Finally, the article from Journal of educational Multimedia and Hypermedia by Steed (2002), which is called “The Power of Peer Review in Multimedia Production” says everything with its title. The author examines the importance of peer review in the production of multimedia for educational purposes. Steed considers the importance of the audience’s perception of the educational multimedia and stresses the importance of supervision and peer-reviewing of these projects (Steed, 2002, p.237).

The issues that I am to address in the current research paper are of crucial importance for all people who are engaged in generating scholarly knowledge, and especially for the students of the doctoral level like me. Thus, the peer review process as the fundamental instrument for assessing the quality of scholarly publications is the central focal point of this paper.

Why is it of such significance for researchers and scholars? The answer is simple – reviewers and quality ensuring editors are able to consider a scholarly paper without biases and prejudice to a reasonable extent and objectively state the points in it that are either well-developed or demand additional writing and revision for they can confuse the reader or lack theoretical or methodological support (Kairos, 2005). Drawing from the fact that the scholarly journals publish only the checked well-developed articles composed by experts in certain fields of science, peer-reviewing becomes of vital importance for ensuring the quality of those articles and the reputation of the journal.

Consequently, the clear structure of articles and their relevance to the topics that exercises the greatest interest in the scholarly world provide for better understanding of the information in them and help researchers enlarge their knowledge (Guillen, 2007, p.1 – 5).

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Internet Resources

Furthermore, the academic research based and peer reviewed internet resources dedicated to the issues of scholarly knowledge-generating are also reliable sources of information. The issue of authority of the sites still exists, but the most reputable ones can be of great help for educational purposes. For instance, certain sites (such as Kairos) are based on the scholarly data and help students get an understanding of the basics of scholarly publications and the main principles of their assessment. Others (like Bio reference or Library Gateway), being a continuation of the former, explain the fundamental principles of formatting and structuring scholarly papers so that they were accepted for publication in the most reputable journals (Ballon, 2008).

Thus, the web pages chosen for the analysis in this paper are Bio reference, Library Gateway and Kairos. These websites are not acceptable as the substitution of peer-reviewed journals, but their information about the basics of scholarly publications, essence of scholarly research papers and journals, and the lists of the most acceptable and authoritative scholarly journals present a wide range of opportunities for education.

In more detail, the Bio reference site is the source of information about the impact and influence that journals of scholarly character have on the world of science and knowledge. This very source is the rating of the scholarly reputable peer-reviewed journals with the indications to the major areas of their concern (Bioreference, 2002). Moreover, the Library Gateway web site is the perfect source of information about the basics of the peer-reviewing process and the major characteristics of the peer-reviewed journals in general. This site is an excellent educational source because it provides objective and reliable information about the principles according to which students should structure and develop their papers and articles in order for them to be published in the reputable scholarly journals.

Special emphasis is put on the issues of the correct and objective peer review as well on the questions who the arbitrators or reviewers should be and what criteria they should address while carrying out their assessments (Library Gateway, 2004). Finally, Kairos is the site that presents an online peer-reviewed journal itself and, at the same time, it provides its visitors with the information about the correct and objective peer-reviewing process including all its stages and people who can or can not be peer reviewers due to these or those reasons (Kairos, 2005).

Relevance and Usefulness

The above considered sources present information about generating of scholarly knowledge and principles of peer reviewed publications in reputable academic journals. They have great importance for my further education and information from them will help me in writing my future dissertation. All the sources are academic journals and reputable online resources on the topic of scholarly publications. They provided me with a considerable amount of information about the importance of the procedure of peer-reviewing of every article or other paper which aims at being published in a scholarly reputable journal.

The basic elements of peer review and the choice of reviewers also became familiar to me from the sources that I have analyzed. Another important point that I learnt from the sources I have chosen for the present paper is the criteria that determine the scholarly peer-reviewed journal and their ratings and classifications. The more detailed consideration of information on the peer review process I learnt from the above sources is presented in the following section of the paper.

Findings

Peer Review Essence and Purpose

The very process of peer review (or external review, external assessment as it is called in some cases) is the process of assessment of a scholarly paper in respect of its clarity, accuracy and feeling of the audience (Library Gateway, 2004). To put it in simple terms, the peer review is the process when an anonymous person considers the work by an author and tries to find out what points of the work demand further development and improvement to make the paper more accurate and understandable for the readers. The reviewer has to be anonymous in order to ensure the objectivity of the review process (Steed, 2002, p.237).

The review by an arbitrator (as peer reviewers are often called) provides the paper with more clarity and determines the major areas that need improvements, and the author of the paper has not noticed it due to this or that reason. By this the author ensures better understanding of his article by the intended audience. Peer reviewers try not to be biased to the topic of the article and can express the ideas about the article’s organization, content, and clarity from the position of an average reader of scholarly articles. Thus, the purposes of the peer review can be outlined as follows:

  • to consider the paper in respect of its weak points;
  • to outline the necessary improvements and give respective recommendations to the author;
  • to ensure better understanding between the author and intended audience by addressing the issues that can confuse readers (Kairos, 2005).

Arbitrators and Peer Review Types

The important issue is the choice of people who are to peer review a certain article of another scholarly paper. As a rule, students address their peers in class or friends with the request to read and express his or her opinion about the paper. However, such a practice is the mistaken step because the friendly relations between the author and the reviewer usually bias the opinion of the latter and do not picture the objective image of the work, but on the other hand, such a practice brings benefit to the professional development of both people. The author gets experience in undergoing peer review of his or her works and can therefore choose peer reviewers more accurately.

The reviewer obtains experience of peer review work and is able to develop his or her skills in it and improve any drawbacks that can manifest themselves during this process of peer review. Due to this, peer reviewers should be selected not by the author of the paper and should be anonymous. If the choice is carried out in an educational establishment, then students of other groups or teachers from other faculties should be the reviewers. The perfect practice for the peer review will be to address a specialized reviewing agency or the Board of Reviewers. They provide objective and qualified reviewing services that are best acceptable for publication in scholarly journals (Steed, 2002).

Consequently, the types of peer review depend on the reviewers and the aim of their assessment. The usual procedure is the reading and analyzing of the paper by a single reviewer. This type of review, however, is not sufficient for higher educational establishments and especially for academic journals (Ramsey et al., 2002, p.40).

In these cases, the review should be carried out at least in two steps – the first review by one group of reviewers, and the second review by the same reviewers after whom another group is to analyze and review the same paper. It is a usual practice when papers are returned for numerous revisions until they are accepted for publication after reviews carried out by various arbitrators. However, only this practice ensures the high quality of the paper and its being appreciated by the wide audience of readers (Ferrari et al., 2002).

Conclusions

To conclude the paper, it is necessary to state that generating scholarly knowledge and publication of articles in reputable journals is a rather challenging process that demands the help of the peer reviewers. The sources that I have considered in the present paper are rather valuable for understanding the principles of creating a successful scholarly publication.

These sources provide the information necessary to understand the basics of generating scholarly knowledge, its structuring and compiling into a paper of high quality, accuracy and academic value. The process of peer-reviewing becomes of crucial importance for the success of the scholarly publication and ensuring its high quality. Moreover, this process benefits greatly to the professional growth of every author as he or she is able to see the mistakes that others could notice but he or she did not notice them.

The sources considered in the paper present a wide range of data about the types and methods of peer-reviewing, and are, consequently, rather valuable for my future dissertation. The data obtained from these sources will allow me to structure my dissertation in a proper way and be aware of the absolute necessity of peer review for it. My view of the dissertation may be somewhat biased, but after the qualified per review, it is sure to be improved and developed into a highly successful and purely scholarly paper.

References

Ballon, H. (2008). Genres of Scholarly Publications. Web.

Bioreference. (2002). Journals and Academic Rankings: Journals Ranked by Impact: Education & Educational Research. Web.

Ferrari, J. R., Weyers, S., & Davis, S. F. (2002). Publish That Paper-But Where? Faculty Knowledge and Perceptions of Undergraduate Publications. College Student Journal, 36(3), 335+.

Guillen, M. (2007). The Scholarly Publication Process in the Field of Sociology. Web.

Kairos: Rhetoric. Technology.Pedagogy. (2005). Peer-Reviewed? Really? Web.

Library Gateway. (2004). What is a peer-reviewed journal? Web.

Ramsey, M., Cavallaro, M., Kiselica, M., & Zila, L. (2002). Scholarly Productivity Redefined in Counselor Education. Counselor Education and Supervision, 42(1), 40+.

Steed, M. (2002). The Power of Peer Review in Multimedia Production. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 11(3), 237+.

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