Saturday, February 14, 2015

Changes in fortune

I have spent the past two weeks trying to find a local company which uses Priority and is prepared to participate in the pilot study for my doctoral research. I did find one company (not local) but it turns out that there are only three users in this company and the wife of the person with whom I have to talk is expecting give birth any minute (she finally gave birth on Tuesday). I remembered that someone who used to work with me years ago now works for a company which also uses Priority; I found their phone number and have been dialing it for several days, but receiving no answer. In short, I was getting exceedingly frustrated with the entire exercise.

Yesterday I received a phone call from another ex-colleague, someone with whom I developed several of the key concepts for my company during the mid-90s (obviously pre-Priority). He has wandered from company to company but has always remembered our time together as important. He tells me that he has recently started work with a company which is situated within walking distance from where I normally work; they use Priority but badly. He wishes that I come and consult for them.

I agreed but also mentioned my doctoral research; this person was only too pleased to volunteer his company. This might be seen as a quid pro quo, but anyway I would have gone and talked to them for a few hours, regardless of any payback. Of course, should this become a more permanent arrangement, then it would be with payment. If indeed this company is situated within walking distance, then all sorts of possibilities open up.

In the early evening, I checked my email; there were two very important letters awaiting me. The first was from the organisers of the conference to be held in May - my paper has been accepted! The paper was sent to three academics for peer review and their comments were attached to the acceptance notice. These very much upset me when I first read them although a second reading made things clearer. I was writing what was described to me as a position paper:  based more on my opinions and less academic. The reviewers thought that the paper should be academic, first and last, and criticised my inclusion of opinions. After a night's rumination, it seems that what they were expecting was a shortened version of my research proposal, which includes such formalities as hypotheses and methodology.

I have two weeks in which to create a new version of my paper which should address the comments from the reviewers. This could mean simply adding material at the end of the paper or it could mean almost completely rewriting it. Another option is creating a condensed version of the research proposal. Unfortunately, it is now the weekend, and although I wrote to the conference's co-organiser, Dr Felienne Hermans, for guidance this morning, she may not reply until Monday, which means that two valuable days might be lost.

I considered posing a question at the Academia Stack Exchange, but after writing the question, I discovered that it was a near duplicate of a previously asked question: What changes after peer review but prior to final submission are acceptable? Some of the answers were: 
  • Following the acceptance of a paper, I would not make any changes that go beyond "editorial"—that is, improving the grammar, or adding a recently published citation. These do not change the "technical" content of the paper.
  • If you receive reviews, no matter of what sort, but so that the editor allows you revisions, you should make the revisions necessary to sort out the problems.  
I think that the best response would be to add the research questions and some of the hypotheses, thus improving the academic strength of the paper. I can add a fair amount of material without exceeding the maximum length - I only have two pages, but the font is Times New Roman 10 pts, which is fairly small.

Thus this coming week is going to be very busy: revising the paper, consulting, working on the pilot study ... and let us not forget, the day job which this week includes another trip to Lod with regard to Imos and a trip to Haifa (more Imos and consulting). Maybe on Thursday I will get to the three man company.

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