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On becoming an Expert

posted 19 Dec 2011, 03:09 by Dan James   [ updated 19 Dec 2011, 03:10 ]
With the recent publication success of members of our research centre at the upcoming Asia Pacific Congress on Sports Technology  has come unsolicited email invitations to present and submit related work elsewhere and several researchers have been asking why?
Below are the papers in question, which have just recently been published in Elsiviers'  Procedia  Engineering and index and available online through science direct
An unobtrusive swimming monitoring system for recreational and elite performance monitoring  
ADAT: A Matlab toolbox for handling time series athlete performance data  
iPhone sensor platforms: Applications to sports monitoring  
Determining over ground running speed using inertial sensors  
Inertial sensor, 3D and 2D assessment of stroke phases in freestyle swimming  
Inertial monitoring of style & accuracy at 10,000 feet  
Triaxial accelerometer sensor trials for bat swing interpretation in cricket  
Towards determining absolute velocity of freestyle swimming using 3-axis accelerometers 
(see the papers online here)  
As published members of the academic community the work has been judged by peers to be of a high standard, in other words the researchers are becoming or considered something of an expert in their areas of specialisation. The sharing of expertise is important to the growth of knowledge and thus the work and potentially related work is considered valuable and thus is attractive to other journals and conferences. This is particularly so in the sports engineering discipline because of its relevance to the fields of sports, engineering and related disciplines like health.
Conferences and journals act in a symbiosis with the research community. Each needing the other to further the availability of and the creation of new knowledge.
If you are fortunate enough to be invited to attend and present at a conference or submit work to a journal this symbiosis is something to be mindful of. Submitting to a well known conference of journal enhances the reputation of your work, submitting to a lessor known conference or journal may enhance their reputation more. Its often worth doing a little detective work on where you work is being invited to, This take take the form of seeing if any of the major professional societies support them, who is on the scientific committee or editorial board to get an understanding of the likely reputation.
Conferences are often put in exotic locations because they have to be somewhere in the world and a nice location can make attendance more attractive. Many developing scientific nations are eager to develop their growing reputation in science through the hosting of conferences and or journals. Costs associated with attending a conference can be substantial so its something else to weigh up along with the benefits, however occasionally you may be invited to speak and have your registration and travel costs covered by the conference. Conferences also need to cover costs and so the recruitment of speakers as paying participants  is an additional consideration. 
Australia has been through a lengthy process of ranking journals (which has been recently discarded at the official level), also there exist international ranking factors (like the IF impact factor, the number of times you work has been read online by others and cited in theor own papers) and wether the journal or conference proceedings is indexed (e.g. through science direct, ISI thompson, IEEExplore to name a few) . increasingly having articles available online, meaning others can easily find your work is growing in populatity.
A common rule of thumb is it takes around 10yrs to become an expert in a specialisation