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November 11
2013年11月11日

論文發表 ──
高教國際化的迷失

Way Cool Blog


 

前言:

以下四篇討論高教國際化的文章,根據筆者在2013年7月17日國立台灣大學第四屆全球華人工業工程與物流管理院、系主任聯席會上的主題演講,經簡化後寫成。台灣大學 「台大校訊」(National Taiwan University Newsletter)分兩次以逐字稿的方式刊出,反應熱烈。經整理後,投書台灣《聯合報》,並於2013年10月6日及7日由《聯合報》連同其他採訪報導,分兩次全版登載,讀者反應熱烈。

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學術論文的發表受大學重視,是評審研究成果的一項指標。除了要求設計作品的專業之外,一般教師都會根據自己教學與研究領域發表論文。

我推重教研合一,以補高教的缺失。今時今日,社會進展,一日千里,不教書又何必在大學工作;而不做研究,又能教些什麼?沒有學術產出者,懷抱琵琶半遮面,由於感受到同事的壓力,必然會坐立不安。

然而發表論文,最忌為賦新詞強說愁,無病呻吟,或邯鄲學步,炒冷飯,人云亦云,寫一些對學術創新了無貢獻或貢獻有限的論文。有些論文有時甚至可能誤導社會、反生錯亂。

我們應按個人的興趣、好奇心驅動和問題的導向從事研究,重視研究的 impact(實質影響)以及與實際問題的關係,強調發表論文的品質與份量。論文的發表應該是研究做出成果後的自然結論,而非為達指標而撰寫論文或從事研究。美、日先進大學中的一流教師屬於此類。位於學術前沿的教授若希冀成一家之言,也必然遵遁此原則從事研究。

在此我舉些人人都懂的例子加以說明:有份量的文章,難道僅僅是因為刊登在某一報章雜誌上就可以判定好壞嗎?莫言或高錕得諾貝爾獎,難道是因為他們的書藉或文章是由某特定的出版社,或雜誌發表才獲得的嗎?李安導演的電影難道一定要由某公司發行、某特定出名卡司組合才有可能獲得奧斯卡獎嗎?主流學術獎項難道純粹以發表在某一特定雜誌上,而不是靠 impact 才受到重視的嗎?很明顯,以上這些問題的答案都是否定的。

我們屢屢見到世界級的學者,甚至沒有博士學位。過去十五年裏,就至少各有一位諾貝爾物理獎、化學獎(請注意,不是文學獎或和平獎)得獎者沒有博士學位。反而有些空有博士學位的教師卻只能做些「博土」類的事情。請問誰對社會的貢獻比較大?

有些人既沒吃過牛肉,也沒見過牛走路,假設我們的學術氛圍受政治與粗俗的見解而左右,必會落後於先進標準。所以,可以說:下等人,無所事事;中等人,照章行事;上等人,創意行事。

 

"Publish or perish" – Loss of orientation in the internationalisation of higher education

Preface to blogs

What follows is the translation of a collection of four papers which centre around the topic of internationalisation of higher education. They are based on a keynote speech the author delivered at the 4th Forum for the Council of Industrial Engineering & Logistics Management Department Heads at National Taiwan University on 17 July,2013. The speech was published verbatim in two issues of The National Taiwan University Newsletter, and was enthusiastically received. It was then edited and contributed to The United Daily News in Taiwan, where the article was published in two parts together with other related interviews on 6 and 7 October 2013.

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Immense value has been attached to the publication of academic papers. An academic's publishing record is a crucial measure for assessing the research achievements of the teachers concerned. Excluding teachers whose discipline requires design works, an average teacher is usually required to get a research paper published in their special fields of interest.

I lay stress upon the integration of teaching and research so that our higher education will not be lopsided. We live in an age of rapid development, and education should be part and parcel of the age. If you are least willing to invest time and energy in research, what can you enlighten your students with in your teaching? At the same time, if you are unwilling to teach, why do you choose to work in a university? People who have no research output tend to feel uneasy and fidgety from the pressure of their peers.

However, regarding the issue of publishing papers, what we should caution against, or what we hate to see most, could be described as presenting imagined symptoms of dubious diseases, or parroting what others have already said. Those so-called academic papers have made either no contributions or very limited contributions to the prosperity of the academic landscape. Some of them have even been misleading, causing confusion.

I propose that research should be based on one's interests and curiosity, and priority should be given to the impact and relevance of research that solves real problems, with the focus on quality and possible impact. The publication of a paper should be the natural result of research, rather than for the purpose of fulfilling some kind of obligations or attaining a specific quota. First-class teachers in advanced and elite universities in the US and Japan can be categorised as belonging to such a class. Those elite professors who wish to establish their legacy usually follow such a practice in their research as well.

Let me cite some easy-to-understand examples to illustrate my point: are articles of value based on where they are published? Were Nobel Prizes awarded to Mo Yan and Charles Kao Kuen because their works were published by a particular publishing house and some SCI, SSCI journals? Did the films directed by Ang Lee win Oscars because they were produced and issued by certain film studios or because they had star-studded casts? Were major academic prizes given due attention because they were published in particular journals rather than for their impact? Obviously, the answers to these questions are all negative.

It is not unusual that quite a few world-renowned scholars do not have doctoral degrees. In the past fifteen years, at least two Nobel laureates, one in physics and one in chemistry (note: not literature or peace), were not doctoral degree holders, while some who do have doctoral degrees could be doing things they are not supposed to do. Who do you think contribute more significantly to the progress of society and the advancement of civilisation: scholars without doctoral degrees or those with doctoral degrees?

Some people lack proper exposure: not only have they never eaten beef but they haven't seen how cattle wind their way through the meadows, either. If our academic climate is adversely affected by political views or crude opinions, we are bound to trail behind advanced standards. It is an acknowledged truth that people with inferior academic capabilities trifle away their time while people with average academic capabilities closely follow the rules and regulations, only people with superior academic capabilities are always ready to create something new.

November 11, 2013

 

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