So It Seems I’m Now A Senior Lecturer…

…although I haven’t actually seen the letter yet, but our HoD announcement went round about the latest successful promotions earlier today, so I’m hoping that counts…!

I took considerable persuading to put a case in (again…) but thanks to everyone (particularly David, Karen and Mark, and Andy from attempts passed) who put the hours in improving on the multiple revisions of the case as it progressed through the OU promotions process and supporting me in the process – as well as those Deans and HoDs past who’ve allowed me to get away with what I’ve been doing over the last few years;-)

If anyone wants to see a copy of the case I made, I’m happy to let you have a copy…

Anyway… is this now the time to go traditional, stop blogging, and start working on getting the money in and preparing one or two journal publications a year for an academic readership in the tens?!



  1. jtownend

    many congratulations!
    “…preparing one or two journal publications a year for an academic readership in the tens?!”
    I really hope this won’t inhibit future blogging activity! I can’t claim to read everything on here (I’m constantly amazed at your productivity and level of output) but very much enjoy – and am educated by – your stuff.
    Maybe instead you could help make the case for more widely read open access content (subject to peer review, where appropriate) to carry more weight in academia as a valuable contribution to public knowledge, policy making etc.

    • Tony Hirst

      @judith Trying to come up with acceptable new ways of posting “academic” thoughts – and calibrating or legitimising them – is something I keep avoiding.

      I guess one reason I do post so much is that posts are just that – posts. Some of the longer ones can take up to a day or two of effort, but generally they’re ten minute to hour long rambles through things I’ve found, built or noticed and they’re always caveated with a ‘this is how it seems to me’, or ‘this is a half-baked demo of something half working’ rather than a ‘this is a formal proof’ or ‘this is a production quality service’.

      The title of the blog also suggests part of the intent – a place to find hopefully useful things, whether they’re true or not!;-)

      Whilst I don’t deny there is some utility in longer form writings – papers, book chapters, books, and so on – I guess I’m not enough of a completionist to try to pull everything together (except perhaps for, though even that was as much an exploration of ‘can I get this process to work’ as it was of pulling stuff together) – everything here is a thought or remark in process, subject to change and edit in some cases.

      A couple of other noticings: one, from a book review I read over the weekend (of Morrisey’s latest book, perhaps?) slating it for including all the working notes and production scaffolding: reflecting on my contribution to the data coding MOOC, I do that too… partly because it’s the scaffolding where a lot of the tacit knowledge about why and how, really, is revealed. Secondly, a conversation from a year or so ago with a colleague who was actually commenting on/criticising an academic elsewhere for blogging half-baked, half- working ideas, doing the easy bit, missing out all the tricky bits, “and ruining it for the rest of us”. Just like a blog post might trump a news story and reduce the news value of the story, or a blog post might trash the opportunity to get a patent out, so too a half-baked hack could trash a research bid/proposal. I take the counter view, thinking that at least the half-working hack helps you think through how the thing might actually work in practice and where the problems – and need for more research – might be, as well as providing a starting point for iteration around a working-ish exemplar of the idea. Compared to many research projects that take months and years, budgets way in excess of anything I’ll ever learn, and never deliver anything. Or if they do, something that is unusable and only works on a research project machine held together with the software equivalent of gaffer tape and bits of string.

      Which is all to say – I think I’ll start trying to blog more in a way that could feed a Leanpub process better… But if anyone does want to co-write papers, I’ll happily chuck in ideas, comment, copy edits and rambly words, but someone else’ll need to do the editing. (At which point I’ll say I don’t agree with it anymore and want my name removed!;-)