In a recent blog post, I introduced the Database of Cross-Linguistic Norms, Ratings, and Relations for Words and Concepts (NoRaRe) and demonstrated how to add new data sets (Tjuka 2021). The database currently includes 65 unique word and concept properties based on 98 different data sets across 40 languages (NoRaRe v0.2, Tjuka et al. 2021a) and can easily be expanded further. But what can we do with the data? The article presenting the NoRaRe database already included three case studies that illustrate the application of the database (Tjuka et al. 2021b). This blog post, therefore, provides a tutorial on how to compare NoRaRe data sets in R by conducting a new case study that correlates ratings on arousal in English and Dutch.
Over the past year, the doctoral students of our department have been organizing a weekly journal club. For me as a linguist, the discussions of various research articles opened up a whole new perspective on science in general and linguistics in particular. I learned about the interests and viewpoints of my fellow doctoral students and other researchers in our department working on historical linguistics, language documentation, and cultural evolution. In addition, organizing a journal club also helped me learn how to spark and lead a discussion. I hope the following personal insights offer some ideas and guidelines on how you can organize a journal club of your own.
Writing reviews for a journal is one of those things which most scientists never actively learn. For laypeople, this may be surprising, given how often the scientific method with its rigorous peer review procedure is being mentioned in the news nowadays. How can it be, one may ask oneself, that this procedure that is usually presented as the core principle of scientific reasoning, is never really actively taught? If the review by experts is the core of the scientific method and what decides about the acceptance of an article, how can it be that scientists do never take a course on article reviewing, and how can it be that reviewers are (as I have previously discussed in a German blogpost) themselves never reviewed or graded?