Reactive, Reflective, and Recognized: Understanding Research in TPC


For several years, I will admit that I have been on a rant about research in technical and professional communication (TPC). See my presentations at the Symposium for Communicating Complex Information. I was delighted to keynote in 2015 and it was the end of a three year arc where I systematically ranted about research. So what is my problem you ask? Well, it’s a little complicated.

I truly do use conferences as a why to try out material so I opted to not write a proceedings paper from my keynote. It was a provocative address. That’s the only thing you can call it when I stand in front of a group of my peers and say a lot of research disappoints me, and we need to fundamentally rethink a lot of what we’ve been taught about research because well, it’s not helpful.

So this project, which is an article length manuscript, is a step toward articulating what I see as the problems with research and how it’s taught  in the field, and since I do not believe in pointing out the problems without offering a solution, it ends with some possible ways we can do better.

It is definitely pushing the envelope. We’ll see if it can get through peer review 🙂


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