This is a quickie today. Recently (readers might have noticed) I have been reflecting a lot on my research practice. I have been trying to find those moments when I got things right and better recognize when I did not. And I am sharing this reflective process publicly in hopes of helping others find ways to improve their reflections and practices.
Anyway, I came across a wonderful article on the materiality of research practice, which I highly recommend. (Indeed, I recommend it more than finishing this blog post, if you can do only one or the other…)
There was a passage in it that really resonated with me:
I actually like review processes or co-authors: they provide a much-needed break and opportunity to distance myself from the text (it’s at their desk, so to speak, and not on mine).
The scary part of this is when it comes back, the text. When this happens, I am often appalled at how unfinished it was when I submitted it and even more appalled that I couldn’t see it at the time (how can this be? I have never understood it). This is perhaps why I don’t trust the ‘current-author me’, because ‘future-author me’ will have read more and understood more and thus be able to write much better thoughts into the text and improve the overall result.
This passage helps explain a deep shift in how I view myself as a peer reviewer. When I was younger, I sought to “protect” the research community from “bad” research. It looks so ugly typed up like that, but there it is.