Research Quantification

Today I received offprints of “Paraconsistency Everywhere,” an article I wrote quite some time ago (it was essentially finished in 2001). It appears in the 2002 issue of the Journal, yet it has only just appeared on my desk. This comical state of affairs continues when you look at the bottom of the published article where it indicates that the paper was “Received February 13, 2002; accepted February 5, 2003; printed December 19, 2003,” yet at the top of the page it says “Volume 43, Number 3, 2002.”

I received the offprints of the article today. Clearly, the Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic (a very fine journal indeed) is fighting a severe backlog.

This would be a matter only for tea-room (and weblog) conversation and nothing more were it not for one thing. Australian academics publish under the shadow of a stringent data collection regime according to which everything we get published in a year is collected early in the following year, categorised, and the resulting figures help determine the amount of research funding your university will receive. Funding is always tight, and you want to ensure that your publications pull their weight and your institution receives its proper “reward.” If something comes in too late for the census for the previous year (as it almost certainly seems to have in this case, as the census date has passed) it does not count, and the University receives nothing. The University is, understandably, quite keen to receive funding on the basis of “research performance,” and I’m inclined to agree that if that’s how we’re being funded, the funding levels should bear some significant relation to the research actually carried out.

This, no doubt, will influence future funding decisions for academics like me.

[Addendum: It turns out that this article will be counted for the 2003 census. The Research Office was able to add it as a late entry.]


I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.


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