Donald & Duck explore paths to journal joy

How much knowledge seeps out of the pores of any given university to engage the swathe of Australian voters who are often more preoccupied with the price of yoghurt than the feast of knowledge on their doorstep?

The answer (to date) is way too little. Knowledge translation is an underappreciated artform that both governments and institutions choose to underfund, a long-term complaint of many researchers.

However, there appears to be a micro-trend in academic publishing for some more adventurous ways to capture and share knowledge in peer-reviewed papers that may in fact reach a broader audience.

The latest in this trend is an intriguing paper that documents the endeavours of former Monash tutor, now organisational psychologist Dr Nicholas Duck to consider 10 of the less conventional reasons for publishing in academia.

The paper was initiated by a Southampton researcher Dr William E Donald, who spend 18 months searching for a collaborator with the surname ‘Duck’ to “fulfil their conventional motivation to create the amusing citation ‘Donald and Duck (2024).’”

Given their unusual motivation to publish, they elected to explore other motivations, including symbolic immortality, cause credibility, collaboration with a hero, conflict or revenge and amusement.

The paper quotes Donald Duck and moves on to an interesting exploration of the pressures on academic staff to publish and the importance of finding joy in the process.



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