Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Wandering Mind

Interesting, and completely unrelated items seen today.

A column about the value of order AND serendipity in academic research.  The author talks about a strategy of wandering the stacks for data.  Can't say that wasn't a small part of my past -- any road game to a university with a large research library or collection that might relate to my dissertation was a must visit.  That yielded only a handful of anecdotes, but in my travels, that is exactly how I have discovered some of the best books I've read.  (Here's an old post to some of those classic independent book stores.)

Reminds me of some knowledge I'd lay on staff in the past -- scan the magazine rack if you want to know where the next layout trend for college athletics publications is coming from (thus "borrow" not from your colleagues and look like a copy-cat, but innovate by bringing something outside the field into it).  Meld it with today's maxim that you have to live socially to succeed in messaging to a networked world.

The other is one-off advice for the mal-Tweeter.  Claim you were doing academic research.  Make sure you back it up with jargon -- "well, after researching the federal guidelines I was confident this method did not require IRB approval . . . ."

Tip of the digital hat to The Chronicle for both notes in my inbox.

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