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Is there a (text)book on how academia works?

I agree that it looks like a shopping request as its current form, but it is stemmed from the question "how to have a systematic understanding on how science and academia work (without having to browse Academia.SE too much)?", and I don't think that is of any off-topic reason. Isn't looking for a research field about academia and/or science will give me a systematic understanding on them? It's also hard to ask questions on science and academia separately since they are convoluted and I want to have a broadest view first.

  • By stating your specific requirements. For a similar discussion, see: math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21514/… – Trilarion Nov 10 '17 at 13:56
  • I agree that in principle a book request should have specific requirements. But would it be a catch-22 if the OP is required to list what they're looking for when what they're looking for is to know what they're looking for? – Ooker Nov 10 '17 at 14:34
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    I don't think it is a catch-22. If you don't know what you need, how can anyone else help you? The question would then evolve about how to find out what you actually want/need? People can always give more context, what they already know, what their background is, what they expect, .... All these things would enable the answers to be actually useful. – Trilarion Nov 10 '17 at 15:11
  • @Trilarion I agree. It just that I've seen many book requests that only merely ask what books to learn X. I know that they can provide more information, but it seems that everyone sees them clear enough – Ooker Nov 10 '17 at 17:04
  • I'm not sure they see them clear enough. We have no control how much the recommendation really helped. In the worst case we just get popularity contests/polls about recommended resources. – Trilarion Nov 10 '17 at 18:12
  • @Trilarion doesn't the vote number reflect how the question helps? At least in Math and Physics, I see reference requests are always in wiki posts – Ooker Nov 10 '17 at 19:26
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Perhaps we need to carve out an exception for books on the practice of academia, since that is (usually) an on-topic discussion here.

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    I agree and I'd add to the exception also books about the history of academia. – Massimo Ortolano Nov 4 '17 at 17:15
  • And research fields too? – Ooker Nov 4 '17 at 19:46
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    @Ooker No, research fields no: there are specific SE communities for many fields, so better ask there, taking into account that they might have different rules about reference requests. – Massimo Ortolano Nov 4 '17 at 20:12
  • I think anything that is a reference request for a reference regarding this site’s topic should be an exception. – Wrzlprmft Nov 4 '17 at 20:43
  • @MassimoOrtolano sorry, I should have been clearer. What I mean is the fields, areas, branches that related to the study of science/academia exclusively. For example in my question you can meet several fields/branches such as "science studies", "sociology/history/anthropology/philology of science". I can even invent more terms like "political academia, interstellar academia"... – Ooker Nov 4 '17 at 23:02
  • I disagree. A shopping question about good sources to learn about science is still not a good fit. – xLeitix Nov 9 '17 at 12:06
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Asking for a textbook on how science works is too broad. There is lots that has been published on that subject, and it's not clear how to narrow down among them.

Asking for a textbook on how academia or science works is even broader. Asking how academia works is quite different from asking how science works, so you shouldn't ask for both in a single question.

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