Blog = Academic Journal?


A very, very pathetic situation


I’ve just learned that there’s a professor at a university out in Florida who doesn’t know the difference between a peer-reviewed journal article and a blog post.


(Compare this, for example, with this.)


Such lack of understanding could be quite dangerous for the professor’s career.  An academic job pretty much demands that one be able to distinguish the two.  Can anybody out there explain the difference in very simple terms?  (Feel free to use the “comments” section.  Perhaps the professor will see it.)



  • JohnH2

    On a blog sources are not always cited, though they should be. Comments can come from all over and so academic language may not be understood. Blogs are not peer-reviewed.

    There is the Arxiv though.

  • Jon

    “I’ve just learned that there’s a professor at a university out in Florida who doesn’t know the difference between a peer-reviewed journal article and a blog post.”

    Did he manifest this ignorance in an online forum? If so, please provide a link.

  • Jon

    To answer your question regarding the professor at a university in “Florida” (I place Florida in quotation marks because I assume that you changed the name of the actual state to minimize the possibility that someone with nefarious motives could identify this professor and create serious problems for his or her career by, for example, bringing this matter to the attention of his or her department chair or college dean when the professor is up for tenure; such things, I am told by reliable sources, have occurred):

    Since your links go to the Interpreter website, I gather that the professor in question has a blog post on the site and has also published in the Interpreter journal. I assume that this professor in “Florida” has listed both items–the blog post and the journal article–on his or her CV. I agree that this demonstrates a lack of understanding about the difference between a peer-reviewed journal article and a blog post and is a problematic move on the professor’s part. It is extremely unlikely that a blog post–no matter its particular merit–will be credited by the university in question for purposes of the professor’s publication record. Indeed, listing a blog post on a CV could be quite dangerous for the professor’s career because blog posts are not considered serious scholarship in most quarters and may even be counted against a publication record.

    Since the Interpreter journal is peer-reviewed and peer-reviewed journal articles are typically considered serious scholarship by universities (at least the universities I am familiar with), I think the professor is quite safe in continuing to list the published Interpreter journal article on his or her CV.

    • DanielPeterson

      You have just about everything wrong.

      But don’t worry. This isn’t actually that important.

      I was having a bit of fun, and the relevant person knows who he is and what his mistake was.

  • Lucy Mcgee

    Is this a trick question?

  • RG

    Dan, are you claiming that _The Interpreter_ is an academic journal?

    • DanielPeterson

      What is your definition of an “academic journal”?

      • RG

        Well, the term actually appears in the title of this post, so it’s not necessarily mine to define. An “academic journal” could mean many things: 1) a journal published for academics; 2) a journal that publishes the research of academics; 3) a journal ran by academics; 4) a journal sponsored by or affiliated with an academic institution; 5) a journal whose publications meet standards recognized as “academic.”

        The idea of “academic” is easier to identify in definitions 1-4, where I imagine it would refer to faculty at an accredited post secondary institution. Of course this definition could be refined, but I don’t imagine you’d claim it to be academic in any of these senses. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        If you’re making a claim about it being academic, I imagine it would be in terms of 5. Do you believe _The Interpreter_’s publications in general meet academic standards? Of course we may disagree about academic standards, but I imagine we could come to some kind of consensus.

        • DanielPeterson

          1) Is the “Chronicle of Higher Education” an academic journal? “Interpreter” is far more “academic” than that. So Yes.

          2) “Interpreter” does this.

          3) Yes.

          4) No.

          5) Yes.