IS doc students—
This post from the Science of Team Science community  is interesting to think about when considering both interdisciplinary work AND communicating from experts to non-experts.  It is not new but it is good to renew the discussion.  It is also something to consider as you hone your teaching skills — helping students learn to write simply and directly may help them be successful with their career beyond being a student.  


Suzie Allard, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research, College of Communication & Information
Professor, School of Information Sciences
Director, Center for Information & Communication Studies

University of Tennessee
1345 Circle Park Drive | 423 Communications Building| Knoxville, TN | 37996-0341 | USA
T  865.974.1369 | F  865.974.7878 | E [log in to unmask] | W

From: "Science of Team Science (SciTS) Listserv" <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of "Fiore, Steve" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "Fiore, Steve" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 12:40 AM
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing

Here’s a nice piece in The Atlantic on a topic on the opaqueness of academic writing.  The author does a nice job of describing some of the problems emerging from academic cultures and how/why we are trained to write so opaquely (e.g., disciplines as gate keepers).  I’m sharing it here because this has come up before in our discussions of interdisciplinarity and the challenges of working across disciplines. Although this articles focuses more on communicating clearly with the public, this would obviously facilitate knowledge sharing and knowledge building for those collaborating (and reading) across disciplines.   


What is particularly interesting is the brief discussion of the “Plain Writing Act of 2010” (see There is also mention of NIH’s “RePORT website” and the need to use plain language (similar to what NSF dictates for their grant abstracts).  But the larger question to be asked is whether something like the “Plain Writing Act” should be pursued for academic writing more broadly, particularly in this era of increasing team science?





Stephen M. Fiore, Ph.D.

University of Central Florida

President, Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup)

INGRoup 11th Annual Conference (July 14-16, 2016 - Helsinki, Finland)



The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing

A new movement strives for simplicity


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