i am a dodgy librarian

I don’t read academic papers.

There I’ve said it. For work stuff, it’s more fun doing than reading. Yet with so many things, it is the reading that is the fun part. I go to conferences and listen to folk talk about their papers but rarely read the paper itself. When I hit a thing at work that needs more thought, I’ll check online, do a google, find key blogs or forums in that area.

I don’t even use google scholar.

I’m not active in academic circles. I’m not part of the conversation nor the production around academic papers. I sometimes skim a paper looking for something specific or a key outcome.

Perhaps I am not sufficiently reflective of the work I do. I have access to lots of academic papers via my library. I do engage here and there, usually more in a community of interest sort of way. Conference papers are almost like a calling card of finding people of interest or relevance. I am curious about their insights and the stuff around their papers and what they do.

Perhaps there is some sort of middle career lethargy going on. I’m conscious that I need to share more of what I’m doing but a blog post means I can get to the nitty gritty quicker, academic papers require more work, bigger hurdles. Hmmm…the same could be said of reading…blogs you can get straight into, but academic papers demand more, have more hurdles. Blogs can be conversational and papers formal.

Perhaps I find formal environments challenging, of which academic papers are but one part. I like piecemeal, adhoc, adlib, playing with bits and pieces. Formal papers seem like another sort of space.

While writing this, I read a comment of Ruth’s on another post:

“Perhaps the value is in the dedicated time to share one’s thoughts, rather than the medium.”

That is a sentiment that I like a lot.