Trade Competition and American Decolonization

A new working paper entitled “Trade Competition and American Decolonization” (PDF), prepared for the 2012 IPES meeting and the subject of several previous posts, is now available. I’m happy to be presenting a primarily qualitative paper at a conference that has a reputation for being quantitative—although I am on the last panel before social time on Friday afternoon, so while I’m rambling on about sugar cane and coconut oil my audience may be daydreaming of Nelson County wine and Virginia tobacco. Ah well. Comments welcome.

I have always posted working papers online. Not everyone does this. The fear appears to be that posting articles online violates the anonymity of the peer review process for anyone who has access to Google. I used to do lame things like changing the title of my papers before submitting them to journals, but I do not think that has fooled any reviewers.

There is one cost of not posting research online: it hinders discussion and engagement from a wider audience. Nate Silver recently told TechCrunch that a “lot of journal articles should be blogs.” Steve Saideman put it best: “no, but lots of articles shld be blogged.” He goes on:

Journal articles r longer & more technical than a blog post, need to be more thorough, sophisticated. But articles should be summarized…summaries can and should be posted in non-gated places so that ideas disseminate even while research is still refined/vetted

There is a long debate about the role of blogging in modern academia, centering around the idea that blogging competes with research (see Dan Drezner for one story). I think the opposite is true, although I do recognize that most academic bloggers tend to blog about life more than they do about their own research. Saideman is right that we ought to let our ideas out for some time in the yard before we imprison them forever in a journal.