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Some months ago, I ran across a peer-reviewed open access encyclopedia Scholarpedia and became rather excited about the idea and the implementation. So far I haven't had a chance to publish any materials there or, even, initiate that process (obviously, I'm talking about rather small and focused articles due to my limited research experience). However, I am curious about people's perceptions about the site (from both perspectives of an independent publishing outlet and an addition to traditional journal publishing) as well as your experiences, if any, with the publication process there and interactions with the site's editorial team. Also, what do you think about the feasibility and career value of publishing on Scholarpedia for a beginner researcher and scholar?

marked as duplicate by Wrzlprmft, gman, jakebeal publications Dec 7 '15 at 13:11

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    I've never seen a citation to any article in Scholarpedia, so at least in my field, publishing there has negligible professional value. (The same cannot be said of Wikipedia, StackExchange, or personal blogs.) – JeffE Jul 24 '15 at 22:55
  • @JeffE: Perhaps, your field (CS, I assume) is different. However, if you would look objectively at the content at Scholarpedia, you might agree with me that most of it is quite rigorous and is peer-reviewed by experts in their respective fields. So, I would definitely place a post (article) there higher in terms of academic value than Wikipedia or personal blogs (not necessarily StackExchange, though). Current limitation of Scholarpedia is its focus at the present time on select fields of study. However, I'm sure that it is just a matter of time until its coverage will be expanded. – Aleksandr Blekh Jul 25 '15 at 4:00
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    Don't get TOO excited. There is no real alternative to standard journal / conferences (CS) peer review publications for academic career purposes. Even the established Arxiv repository is complementary (early dissemination, preprints) to peer review publications and not for completely replacing them (unless you are Mr famous and everything you put out will be cited anyway). So, stick to traditional peer-review publications. – Alexandros Jul 25 '15 at 8:23
  • @Alexandros: Thank you for your comment. I certainly will be considering Scholarpedia as a complementary publication channel. – Aleksandr Blekh Jul 25 '15 at 17:49
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Also, what do you think about the feasibility and career value of publishing on Scholarpedia for a beginner researcher and scholar?

It sounds feasible enough, but the career value depends on your job and goals. If you are aiming for a job in a research university, then research publications are far more important than survey/review/expository articles, and Scholarpedia would fall into the latter category. Occasional high-value survey articles could help your career, and a Scholarpedia article might fall into that category if it got a lot of citations (but it wouldn't have the benefit of appearing in a prestigious venue, so you'd need some argument like citations to get hiring or tenure committees to take it seriously). Writing lots of Scholarpedia articles would actually look bad, by giving the impression that you are taking time away from research to do that.

On the other hand, if the job you have/want is more concerned with active scholarly engagement than original research, then Scholarpedia might be just fine.

If you devote a lot of time to Scholarpedia, then you'll probably have to deal with questions like "What is Scholarpedia, and is it any good?" in your job applications or tenure case. It's worth trying out this discussion with colleagues or mentors, as a test case for gauging how hard it might be to convince other people later.

  • I appreciate your insights (+1). I certainly do not intend to "devote a lot of time to Scholarpedia" and write "lots of Scholarpedia articles". However, consider it as a potential platform for thoughts consolidation and writing practice as well as a good secondary publication channel, similar to arXiv.org. – Aleksandr Blekh Jul 25 '15 at 18:58

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