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04 April 2016

What is Scholarship?

"Predatory journals transgress all the rules of research integrity. They typically have no clear focus area. They produce huge volumes of articles – sometimes up to 200 each month while the average number for a sound, accredited journal would be ten to 15 over a two-month period. There are other clues: the method of scientific processes followed is badly written or non-existent, meaning no other researcher can replicate these studies. Authors cite themselves almost exclusively, rather than drawing on other researchers’ work. These journals’ editorial boards comprise mainly of people from unknown universities. They promise short review periods and, upon acceptance of manuscripts, an equally short time period for publication."
African Academics Prey to (Academic Journal) Predators
Adele Thomas | Published: March 29, 2016

What is Scholarship?

When work is at Eurocentrically organized institutions where pseudo-scholarship or what is considered scientific by Euro-standards, is commodified this [predation in academic journals] is to be expected.

This author seems to consider the above as some of the 'unsound' practices which violate rules of research.  Which may be so given ones perspective.  When there are millions of persons in the market the supply of potential academic articles is going to outstrip the 'demand' of journals which by many universities are 'ranked' according to select imprecise measures such as journal 'prestige,' difficulty of being published in the journal and journal impact on a field of study, which in Eurocentric terms is the development of new knowledge. Obviously the rulers of the world can afford such mundane uses of scholarship- a use which preserves the status quo, for the oppressed to do it is foolishness of the highest order. Even our scholarship must be a revolutionary scholarship which grows out of the revolutionary destiny of our children and their education. The current model of peer-reviewed science: which locks one into the cognitive-affective universe of the Eurasian is an antithesis of revolutionary science which must be the hallmark of a Watu Weusi or Afrika-Nyeusi scholarship.

Considering that the peer-reviewed model of science is reductive and easily used to truncate the market place of free ideas, Watu Weusi scholars should always look askance as all science is colored through the lens of the dominant culture and seldom does anything even remotely looking like the work of Amos Wilson or Ben-Jochanan ever make it into the pages of prestigious journals. Even the articles of John Henrik Clarke for example which ended up being published in so-called prestigious 'Black' Journals were decontextualized historical pieces. If Dr. Ben-Jochanan or Dr. Wilson had locked themselves into this world of pseudo-academia, how poorer we would be in this multigenerational struggle. In the Policy sciences for example the leading journal of North America & Europe which is over a century old had published 1 article by a Black Scholar in its history as of 2005. So much for prestige, which is always a double edged sword as its degree of prestige is to a large degree based on its exclusivity of the work and thought of the Afrikan other.

Just consider the label the 'first Black/Afrikan' to publish in such and such journal and then consider the 'quality' of the work given the needs of the Afrikan Global community.  It is always either fluff or deleterious to authentic Afrikan aims. On the other hand, leading Afrikan Journals are no better when the ideas let alone the research methodology do not pass the scrutiny of western trained pseudo-scholars.  I have encountered in the East Afrikan Community scores of scholars who only considered something sound research if it was quantitative and therefore 'rigorous.'  Little wonder then that Systems Science which would at least give one the tools to deconstruct the entire system in this case the conceptual system, is not a discipline to be offered.

But let’s consider the fact that in Western parlance it is called a 'Discipline.'  Thus it has a strict regimen of cognitive-affective routines, that authoritatively controls the what, when, where and how of the process.  Remember, that Culture is cognitive-affective or a Cognitive-Culture existing in the mind and then one can see the impact of foundational training in the liberal arts 'discipline' followed by a mastery in a 'discipline' of choice.

With the peer-reviewed process which is a 'blind review' according to this writer by well-known scholars [what should always be remembered as Afrikans is what are the qualifications for being well known in academia as opposed to what the writer labels as 'people from unknown universities'] suppose when you receive the article back with suggestions for change you disagree with them, for your prestigious publications which reject a high number of articles due to their prestige the process is over for who is the unknown to disagree with the highly published well-known, well respected scholar.  Even in the idea of peer-reviewed: does the revolutionary scholar have 'peers' in the training institutions of the conqueror?

It would be better if the journals published the scholar’s article and the big name scholars perspective on its 'shortcomings,' if the unknown scholar disagreed with the big name.  'Unknown' scholar, 'Big-name' scholar. Not a big gap between that and Public Intellectuals- how did you become public?  In a world of CIA funded scholarship [F. Saunders, The Cultural Cold War (The New Press, 1999] well-known, big named scholars should always be suspect. Any scholarship which will literally if acted upon upset the status quo will never pass the mustard so to speak.  Which is why 'scholarship' was intentionally relegated to an enterprise where one adds to the existing store of knowledge.  A shitty proclamation in a world of neo-colonized knowledge and thus a scholar begins from a neo-colonized foundation.  Part of the role of this scholarship is to be neutral, objective and thus above the moral considerations, detached from Politics, unbiased, locked in an a priori world of theoretical, suppositional, deductive thinking: all of course within a cognitive box of conceptual incarceration.

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