Required Readings

Predatory publishers, disabilities and jobhunting, Spamalot, adjuncts, et al: Required Readings, 8.26-27.14

If I were grading myself for SoD, I would have just dropped my grade by a letter for turning in my assignment late with no real excuse (I completely forgot in a mess of a Tuesday). So to make up for my lapse, here’s an extra credit-worthy Required Readings.

One of the downsides of the open access movement has been the rise of predatory publishers. “Bad Science Journals” provides a good background on these fraudsters of academia and what would-be authors should look out for in determining if a journal may not be on the up and up.

A postdoctoral researcher shares her thoughts on disability disclosure in applications in this essay on academic jobhunting in a “divergent body.”

Documents show that a Pennsylvania school that cancelled a performance of Monty Python’s Spamalot did so solely because of the musical’s “homosexual themes” and then lied about its reasoning when questioned by local media.

Today on the adjunct beat: One instructor looks at how shifting from the tenure track to an adjunct position has affected her teaching, while one of these “stoop laborers of education” has a few things to say about universities’ increasing reliance on adjuncts.

A story on successfully educating poor students examines the need for dedicated social workers who are embedded in schools.

Two authors debate the question “Can writing be taught?

I was grumbling about the overtly Christian prayers during our public university’s graduation ceremonies, but teachers in one Mississippi school district had to sit through a church service masquerading as a mandatory back-to-school convocation.

Next door in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has decided that changing his position on the Common Core standards isn’t enough. He will now be filing suit against the federal government for manipulating federal grant processes to force states “down a path toward a national curriculum” in violation of the Constitution’s state sovereignty clause.

What does the SoD audience think of this new university and its bookless library?

And finally, let’s give a standing ovation for this Illinois school superintendent’s letter to families about what matters most in his district.

Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Have some links you’d like to share? Submit them on our contact form!

Image source: Imperial War Museums

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Librarienne is a university librarian who sees her professional mission as teaching the masses how to separate the wheat from the chaff in today's expanding universe of information, that everything you read requires a critical eye, and how to properly use apostrophes.


  1. August 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm —

    I don’t think bookless is such a bad choice for a new library; building a paper collection that is even remotely useful to a large proportion of the students or faculty would be prohibitively expensive. But this only works with plenty of ILL available, since so many academic books fall in the out-of-print-but-still-copyrighted category that makes digital access a problem.

    The big exception to this rule is music: there is simply not yet adequate tech than can replace scores/parts, and copyright is even more of a problem when it comes to sanctioned borrowing and reproduction.

  2. August 31, 2014 at 8:11 pm —

    Until salaries at the top are trimmed — including excessive pay to big-time football and basketball coaches — and those at the bottom are raised, the demeaning of adjuncts is little more than structural economic violence.

    My school doesn’t even have the excuse of high pay for certain “star” jobs and we still pay adjuncts like crap. It’s sad that teaching is devalued in so many ways that to be a good teacher you have to be so many other things first, and even then it might not be enough.

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