A call to action and the dark side of publishing

Darth Vader, Library Page

tl;dr: I published a call to action in the Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory and I provide some additional context and thoughts.

In the early summer of 2016, Markus Deimann asked me whether I would consider to author a contribution to the Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory, a Springer Publication. Three thoughts almost immediately struck me as odd. For one thing, I never really thought about publishing anything academically. I hold a Bachelor of Science, a degree many ‘serious academics’ don’t take too seriously. Many people I talk to wonder how I can work at a university although I only hold a B.Sc., some simply assume that I have a PhD for some reason. I was invited to conferences and workshops because people held that belief and most of them then try to re-negotiate conditions like a reduced rate when they find out that they were mislead to assume that I have academic credentials. So imagine my surprise when I was asked to write an article for an encyclopedia (thanks again for the opportunity, Markus). More importantly, maybe, I never found much joy in writing papers – never understood how people could love doing this. This might change, you never know. If you take a look at the list of authors for this publication, you will see that all of them are achieved academics who have a serious track record in science and research. To be included in that list is an honor and it seems weird.

My most immediate thought, however, was this: I never considered writing something for a publication administered by one of the large science publishers who would then own the copyright and lock my thoughts and ideas behind a paywall. Continue reading →