Monday, November 3, 2008

Where does academy and industry differ?

Both academy and industry aim to produce work for the good of humanity. Although underlying personal aims could be different, such as greed to publish papers, higher profits, etc., they all satisfy in some demand due to human beings' needs or questions.

The methods that are used by both theoretical and practical sides support themselves, they all root back to scientific method. While academic production has very detailed reviewing steps, it is easier to assess the output of an industrial work. While many less credited academic works show great benefits in the industry, many academic milestone works cannot find a chance of direct implementation into practice.

Both industry and academy need themselves to survive. There would not be any problems to solve if there was not industry or industry would fail due to myopic solutions if there was not more global insight of the academy.

But where does an academic work differ from an industrial work? Even enabling a very highly complex system to work with little flaws needs a lot of intellectual work in itself. Everyday practice translates into improvement in many cases. However, this may not be considered as credible academically. Academy needs a new problem to be defined, or a new method to be developed to solve an existing problem or a better method than existing solution methods to solve an existing problem. Someone other than the researcher gives the final decision how academically credible the work the researcher has done. There are not always objective evaluation methods as opposed to evaluation methods that industry has. While an expert can consider a work substantially contributory, another cannot see any contribution. It is a hard job for both the researcher and the referee to decide on the quality of a paper.

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