Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Someone Wonders About the Point of Research

Can someone please explain the importance of research and publishing? At the moment I am a perennial adjunct, but hope to change that someday with a full-time teaching position. I used to work for a scholarly publisher and find the entire publishing end of the eduation arena a little ridiculous. Although we published textbooks (the big money makers), we published huge numbers of monographs (books no one reads unless you are in the education field and subject area).

We used to send review copies to all the education journals, which were created and run by professors. Aren't the pressures of publishing self-created? I am not even sure this relates to every field of study - a painting professor has to show or publish? Publishing is a job within itself and from what I have seen colleges require a high course load per semester. I just would like to understand what constitutes publishing (journal or book) and why it is so important aside from college prestige.