Please select an ‘original article’ from any edition of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism (JOST) that is included in any one of the editions published in the 2020 volume. It cannot be one we are looking at in the presentation seminars (see schedule below). It must be an ‘original article’: papers such as research notes, comments, rejoinders, book reviews and editorials are not permitted. Please do not choose an article that has been published online ahead of print. If you are unsure as to the suitability of the article you would like to choose, please contact me.
The task is to write a comment paper: one that would be suitable for publication in JOST. In your comment paper you should take issue with ONE aspect of the research paper you are looking at – a flaw which you feel you can show compromises the reliability and robustness of the paper (in terms of what we can learn from it).
For example, you may feel that there is a problem with the research question not being suitably framed or with the logic of the argument use to develop the central hypothesis. Alternatively, the problem might be with the data-collection method that has been applied, or the way in statistical analysis has been done, or the conclusions that have been drawn from the data analysis.
Your comment paper should identify the flaw, explain why it is a flaw (why it in some way compromises your faith in the findings of the paper), and suggest how the problem could have been avoided and/or could be overcome in future studies of a similar kind.
Note that not all journal papers have a clear flaw in them, so you will probably need to read a few candidate papers before you find the one that contains the issue you want to comment about!
Please note that a comment paper is not the same thing as a critical review paper. A critical review would normally try to identify a number of weaknesses with (i.e. criticisms of) the journal paper, as well as its various strengths. It would then try to weigh these pros/cons up against each other and come to an overall (critical) view on the paper’s worth.
Nor am I looking for literary criticism. If a paper is, in your opinion, overly long, difficult to read or boring this should not be mentioned. It is, after all, your opinion, which cannot easily be backed up using the academic method.
The point of a comment paper is to identify the weak link in a paper: the loose baked bean can in the supermarket pyramid that, if moved slightly, brings the whole thing crashing down.
If you choose a paper that is NOT from the 2020 volume of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, you will receive ZERO MARKS for this assignment. If you are in any doubt about whether the paper you are commenting upon is eligible, please contact the module coordinator.
Comment papers invariably include citations to related journal papers, academic books, published paper, etc. Please include such citations and make a reference list at the end, using the system required by JOST.
The following marking criteria will be used:
Criterion Examples of evidence
Structure and argument Does the comment paper have a clear beginning, middle and end? Does the logic flow throughout the comment paper or are there gaps? Is the comment paper clearly identifying a crucial flaw in the paper? Does the comment paper explain the nature of the flaw? Does it discuss the implications of the flaw for the credibility of the paper being reviewed?
Application of theory Is the logic of the argument sound? Are the arguments that are being made theoretically correct? Are the arguments fair? Have the most appropriate theories been used to back up the arguments being made?
Background reading/evidence Does the comment paper show evidence of the journal paper having been read closely and carefully? Have the appropriate references in the journal paper been consulted? Have other papers on the same (or similar) topic been identified, read and sufficiently understood?
References and bibliography Does the comment paper contain enough references? Are the references appropriate sources? Has the bibliography been properly constructed according JOST style? Have all the references that have been cited been included in the bibliography? Does the bibliography contain any sources that have not actually been cited?
Style and presentation Does the comment paper keep to the word limit? Is the English correct in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation? Is the lexical choice correct and at an appropriate level? Is the comment paper arranged in appropriate sentences and paragraphs? Is the comment laid out like a comment paper in the journal would be?