Peer Reviews and Intellectual Integrity

One of the things I’ve had to come to terms with during the doctoral program is accepting the real and sometimes-harsh value of the the peer review process. That process requires the author to openly subject himself or herself to the critiques of peers, hopefully before publication and widespread embarrassment.

On the other side, being a peer reviewer requires that you be place real or potential personal friendships and professional relationships aside to be able to say things you might never want to say face to face. For example, gems such as

  • ‘you just didn’t get it regarding…’; or
  • ‘the new area of research has been well covered in the existing literature, and I don’t see anything new in the paper…’; or
  • ‘when referring the a government agency using the ‘p’ word, make sure you include in it the middle ‘l’.

I’ve come to learn and respect the value of the peer review process, which might be boiled down to the following: It’s better to have trusted friends and peers pick your work apart rather than strangers who care not one wit about you or your research.

Authors and peer reviewers should have the same guiding goal in mind: Intellectual integrity is what we strive for in our work. Identifying gaps in our own work, and gaps in work we are asked to peer review is not a failure, but an opportunity to better achieve the greater goal and good.

jlk

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The value of the Cohort . . . My Cohort

A year ago 25 people came together as the initial members of Cohort VIII in the DLP program.  A year later we’re down to 16 members.  A group dropped out right after the program began, and we’ve lost 1 or 2 each quarter thereafter.

The members of my Cohort, without exception, are outstanding leaders in their own right, and truly quality individuals.

The survivors of our Cohort…and we certainly think of ourselves in that way…have drawn together to support each other through the program.  We’ve become very close friends–much closer than I would have imagined just 12 months ago.  We regularly communicate by text and email throughout each week.  We celebrate our happy events, and join in mourning with our friends in those less-than-happy events.

The friends I have made over the past year are likely to remain my friends…and I, theirs…for life.  I am very grateful that we have been thrown together into this melting pot.

jlk

 

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Almost Halfway Through the DPL Program

…and all of us in Cohort VIII are just a wee-bit tired and cranky.  It’s the usual: Overworked and under-loved.  Or maybe it’s under-loved and overworked.  Well, whatever.  We’re all going to be much happier campers on June 30th.

(Updated June 30th: We ARE much happier campers, especially now that grades are out!  jlk 6/30 @ 3:20 p.m. PDT)

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Cohort VIII

It is hard to express how close I’ve become with the other surviving members of Cohort 8 over the last year.  They are one and all quite exceptional people: smart, caring, involved, thoughtful, and funny (well, almost all of them are funny).

Many of us ‘Facebook’ each other; communicate by texts; SKYPE; and in other ways stay in touch on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.

I have made friends in this program that I expect will stand the test of the rest of my life, or theirs.

jlk

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3Q Down, 5Q to Go

The 3rd Quarter of the Doctor of Law and Policy program is now complete.  I truly enjoyed the work and stretching caused by the work, and I’m looking forward to the next quarter, which will close out my first year.

– Sisphus

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Quantitative Analysis

I am particularly enjoying the Quantitative Analysis course, and conducting my pilot study.  This is the numbers stuff I’ve been looking forward to studying.

The professor for the course, who earned his Ph.D primarily conducting quantitative research, made it clear at the start that most every (but not every) quant research project will be enhanced by qualitative research to round off the edges.  Now I get that.

One third of the way through the program.  My how the time does fly.

A final thought for this post: As I conduct research and make data I can’t help but to notice that:

All Petty Politics Are Local
– Jonathan Kramer

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One Third of the Program is now Done…

…and I feel like I’ve hit my stride.  I understand what is expected of me; what is necessary to achieve a respectable grade; how to write good papers and occasionally how to write a less-than-good paper; and how to plan my time.

I’m particularly grateful for the fact that our Cohort has formed into a unit where we actually like each other.  There are two sub-cliques that have formed, but I tend to ignore them as and I actively engage everyone without regard to their cliques. By the way, we started the Cohort with 25 members.  We’re down to 17 now, and one current Cohort member may have to take a leave soon to enter the U.S. Senior Executive Service.

The work is demanding; the reading is long and slow.  Why do academics feel like they must impress us with their words?  I understand the need for precision, but that doesn’t preclude striving for communicability.

I’m really enjoying this program.

jlk

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