Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sage Publications and Methodspace: How has it evolved?

SAGE Publications logo
SAGE Publications logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've been planning to take this road trip for some time.  The road trip is a look at what has been happening in Sage's Methodspace.  I haven't been there since it was first announced, and I was sure it had evolved and changed considerably since then. 

So I have just been poking around in there trying to get a sense of where things are, what works, who is involved, etc. 

The first thing I would say is that it is very blue.  Yes, blue.  They use blue for so much of the emphasis.  I love blue, but I also like some strong color contrasts.  I would try and perk things up a bit...but that is style, not content. 

Let me just say that the part I liked best were the videos.  I loved the video section.  There is so much there that I can think about using with my qualitative research courses.  I dipped into an interview with Sharlene Hesse-Biber on feminism and qualitative research, and I looked at some of the presentations that came from a UK ESRC conference.  This is great stuff.  Keep adding to this. 

I jumped into the group area, hoping to find some friends.  The narrative research group is definitely the heavy weight here with 269 members...but it seems like conversation has been sporadic and not of a sustained nature...but I am only a voyeur. 

In looking at the resources, I liked the idea of an article of the month--but I felt badly for the authors; there were few comments.  The articles touched on so many excellent topics, I wondered how I, as a methodologist, would actually be able to use these riches?  I mean, I tend to be rather self-centered.  I am not sure how I would use this if I chose to come here regularly. 

Blogs...I thought this would be my favorite area.  Surprisingly I really didn't get it at first--I think there was a bunch of spam in the recent entries...It took me awhile to figure out that I could look at groups of like topic blog entries, and then it made more sense.  But I didn't find anything to grab my interest...or maybe I found too many like me, asking the same questions to the Internet?  Hmm....At this point, I don't think I would want to move my blog into this space.  I have nothing against it, but I kind of like hanging out here on the outside, so to speak.  

Thinking about blogs in this environment, brought me around to the issue of the sponsorship of Methodspace--Sage Publications.  It's not this specific publisher, but the notion that the discussion of a particular disciplinary community would take place in a space organized by and for a private entreprenneurial venture.  I have nothing against commerce, but I am wondering if mixing the purposes of the publisher with the chaotic hodge podge of methodological discussion is going to work in the long run?  Do qualitative researchers need to think across publishers? Are we more lively and fiesty if we are forced to make spaces for ourselves (is too much given to us here)? What's the spark that will keep a space like this alive? 

I definitely think there is a place for Methodspace, and this was only a short visit on my part.  I think that Sage has done research methodologists a service in creating this spot, but I think how it can best be used by this community seems to be evolving. 

I look forward to another trip in the future. 
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1 comment:

Marken said...

Hi! thanks for sharing good planing......
sage evolution