[SciPy-user] From the Sage/Jmol lists: "scholarly activity"?

Fernando Perez fperez.net@gmail....
Mon Dec 24 15:43:51 CST 2007

Here's something that came up on the jmol list and that William Stein
(SAGE lead) forwarded, but which is also a concern to this list.

Sage has also had discussions on the matter and the idea of a Sage
journal (http://sagemath.org/jsage/) exists already, in a similar vein
to previous discussions here on a 'scipy journal'.

I don't have any answer to this at the moment, but I'm pretty sure
it's something that will recur.  I personally know of several people
who have been bitten by this very same problem.  It's worth noting
that the original author of the JMol message is a *tenured* faculty
member at U. Wisconsin, so not even tenure seems to be a complete
protection against the perception from many academic administrators
that contributing to open source scientific projects is "not scholarly



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Stein <wstein@gmail.com>
Date: Dec 24, 2007 12:55 PM
Subject: [sage-devel] "scholarly activity"?
To: sage-devel <sage-devel@googlegroups.com>


I just noticed this email on the jmol developer mailing list.  See below.

if anybody has any thoughts or ideas -- long or short term -- about how to
structure or restructure sage development so the same sort of thing doesn't
happen to us, please speak up.   I think something like JSAGE
-- if it were to take off -- would really help.


Dear Jmol team:
This letter is to notify you that I will not be able to continue
participating in Jmol development. I hope this situation will only
be temporary. However, my rejoining the project depends on my
institution being convinced to give me some kind of credit for these
activities. Since my contributions to the Jmol project were not
deemed a "form of off-campus, peer reviewed scholarly or artistic
product", I cannot afford to put any more time into the project. As
it stands, I have been told that my scholarly activity level has not
been adequate recently. To help me increase my scholarly output, I
will have to teach 3-6 hours more of classes each week, and will be
responsible for grading additional work from 20-60 more students.
Somehow that is supposed to increase my scholarly activity:) Put
simply, this means I will not have time to devote to Jmol or most of
my other scholarly activities. Since Jmol is the scholarly activity
that doesn't presently count, I need to drop that and use any time I
can eke out for scholarship of other kinds. If I can convince my
department to include contributions to projects like Jmol on a list
of creditable activity, I will be able to rejoin the project. This
is likely to take a semester. Thus I hope to be able to rejoin the
project next spring, about May.

I will stay on the lists and try to stay up-to-date. I also plan to
spend some of the holiday break bringing the Wiki up-to-date on the
export to web function. I think it will help my case if export to
web is better documented and thus gets used more.

I have found my involvement in the project intellectually
stimulating and am sorry that my situation requires that I halt my

Dr. Jonathan H. Gutow
Chemistry Department gutow@uw...
UW-Oshkosh Office:920-424-1326
800 Algoma Boulevard FAX:920-424-2042
Oshkosh, WI 54901
http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/gutow/ "

A response:

This is quite unfortunate, Jonathan. Please forward my regrets to your
Department Chair.
Contributions like yours are hard to come by, and, for heaven's sakes,
if this isn't peer reviewed,
WHAT IS? I think it's just a sign that people have not caught up with
the times. Very unfortunate.

Bob Hanson
Professor of Chemistry
St. Olaf College

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