The Readmy Goal
We want to build Readmy from the ground up and so we have to understand how the academic system works in order to produce the resources that rely on today for information. Most, if not all, the information that is available today comes from research, which led to observation, discovery, and new ideas being formed. And within this cycle of outcomes, there have been several failures that in the context of innovation are as important as the positive findings. Innovation is led not only by those who are willing to think differently, but also those who are prepared to fail. And these small failures do not impede innovation, but act as small stepping stones that we can rely on, build on, and improve.
And here is the basis of the scientific discipline; it is the acknowldgement that the cycle of research to innovation is a process and that every step along this process is identified in future studies. It may not be up to scientists themselves to establish their findings to the general public, although many do that, it is up to everyone following the scientific method to create the primary resources. And this extends to all industries from entertainment arts to civil engineering. Each field changes and evolves as new questions are asked and novel information is found.
However, there is still a problem in how individuals at different stages in their scientific careers perceive their role in this system. Here we are addressing this through what we refer to as the “S(ch)olar System”. Much like the similarly named Solar System, it describes the relation between the 5 levels of the academic process to creating, processing, and sharing new information. And like how our planets are arranged in orbits, we see that individuals from each part of the scientific process are contributing to the discovery, or supporting it or learning from it.
Level 1 – Primary Resouces
Primary resources are the main contributions of scientific research. These can be anything from original research articles, to review papers, to posters, presentations and public lectures. Every industry relies on this information to innovate and create new products and ideas.
Level 2 – Authors and Contributors
Authors are at the first instance the closest to a primary resource. These are the individuals that throughout their careers have contribute to designing the experiments, collecting the data, analysing the information and writing the results.
Level 3 – Reviewers
Reviewers, also referred to as the “Peer-Reviewers” are individuals within the system that will give their time and expertise to guide the creation and publication of new ideas. Several times, these individuals are seem as barriers to publication, but are in fact valuable assets that ensure that publications are impactful and showcase novel information.
Level 4 – The Community of Followers
Perhaps too much importance is given to Reviewers as the acceptors or deniers of new scientific information. A lot of the responsibility to accept or trust scientific papers relies on the active community of individuals at all stages in their careers to read, engage and question through the findings. This level might be actually the most important, and what drives innovation and improvement. In relation to the system, the followers are going to be using the information or building from it, and while they may not be directly involved with the primary resource, they rely on the community and their experience to measure the impact of that resource.
Level 5 – Learners and the Broader Community
If we think about this in simplistic terms as illustrated above, the learners are the farthest away from a primary resource. Or at least they may feel like that. There are several reasons for this such as skill limitations, difficulty of reading technical writing, or acccessibility to research pyublications. We have already addressed that research articles are not for everyone to read, but we believe that learners offer great insights to teach others while they are learning themselves. This creates a sense of interaction and cooperativity between members of the broader community. Communication helps students gain better appreciation of their skills in dissemination and can make them more comfortable when accessing information and processing it.
What the S(ch)olar System actually looks like
If we consider again the different ways that we are learning and how adaptable we are to obtaining new data and processing information, then we can appreciate that the S(ch)olar System in operation looks very different to the simplistic view that we have addressed above. In fact, like our Solar System, it’s dynamic and fluid and planets do not keep to their orbits.
And the result is often astonishing. This means that the different levels of the system are not distinctly different from one another. Furthermore, those that are at the first instance the most connected to a primary resource are also learners themselves. And equally, learners are experts in areas that they are passionate about, topics that affect them personally, or have the exposure through friends and family.
And this is the basis of philosophy, the foundation to how every other discipline works. And how we as individuals should be addressing our contributions to society. It is this space where the Readmy Platform will operate. It is there to merge together philosophy, legislation, and society, which in turn contributes to learning, community, and innovation.