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July 2015

Is SciELO a Publication Favela?

Open access.

Scholarly open-access publishing has little value when it’s effectively hidden and almost no one reads the published research. It’s possible for a scholarly article to be open-access but largely hidden from the world. Here’s how.

Commercial publisher platforms effectively help expose and promote published research. Publishers maintain close connections with libraries and very effectively distribute their content— both subscription journals and open-access journals — to actual library users, including faculty, students, and postdocs. Commercial publishers work with databases to ensure their published content is indexed. They add value to published articles by making it easy for citation management metadata to be easily exportable. The make available alerting services so researchers know when a new article relevant to their research appears.

Thus, commercial publisher platforms are nice neighborhoods for scholarly publications. On the other hand, some open-access platforms are more like publication favelas.

SciELO and Redalyc

The SciELO and Redalyc logos.

Meta-publishers such as SciELO and Redalyc aggregate scholarly content but do a poor job of distributing it or increasing its visibility, despite the fact that both services are open-access. Many North American scholars have never even heard of these meta-publishers or the journals they aggregate. Their content is largely hidden, the neighborhood remote and unfamiliar.

The Brazilian government is aware of this, and last year it invited representatives from six of the world’s top scholarly publishers to give presentations and bid on taking over the management of some Brazilian open-access journals.

The government knows that commercial publishers would do a much better job of exposing Brazilian research, and it wanted to take advantage of this, for the benefit of Brazilians. The effort was halted, however, when excluding Brazilian companies from the bidding process was determined to be illegal, a major setback for the better promotion and exposure of Brazilian science.

Thomson Reuters is making a new product available called the SciELO Citation Index. It may give greater exposure to content aggregated in SciELO, but how many libraries will license the product?

Conclusion

So, what’s the best neighborhood for one’s published work? There are thousands of unaffiliated, unknown open-access journals published all over the world that are very effectively hiding the research they publish, despite being OA. Their content is not indexed (except perhaps in Google Scholar, a database poisoned by fringe science), and it’s just sitting there with little value added to it. Much of it will disappear over time. Because copyright of the articles is retained by authors, there may be little future interest in maintaining, publishing, and promoting the content.

By: Jeffrey Beall
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Source: Scholarly Open Access

Comments:

Michael Bragg says:

July 30, 2015 at 10:33 AM

SciELO is available on the Web of Science platform to support for search and discovery of this content

Shirley Ainsworth says:

July 30, 2015 at 11:54 AM

I am not at all convinced that the inclusion of Brazilian and other Latin American journals on ‘top scholarly publisher sites’ is any panacea. This year has seen a significant migration of them to Elsevier and to a lesser extent Springer, mostly maintaining their OA status whilst paying large dollar amounts for the privilege and services rendered. It is noticeable the number of Arab and Chinese journals that are employing the same ‘get rich quick’ techniques.

However their inclusion in important databases like Pubmed is indeed crucial.

For those interested, a new OA book “Hecho en Latinoamérica. Acceso abierto, revistas académicas e innovaciones regionales” edited by Juan Pablo Alperin and Gustavo Fischman was published this month by CLACSO
http://www.clacso.org.ar/libreria-latinoamericana/libro_detalle.php?orden=&id_libro=988&pageNum_rs_libros=0&totalRows_rs_libros=954

Anderson says:

July 30, 2015 at 12:07 PM

Could you please explain better your concept of Favela? Thank you…

Andre Serradas says:

July 30, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Maybe your post is useful to publicize SciELO and Redalyc to american researchers!

dzrlib says:

July 30, 2015 at 1:19 PM

As an aside, the SciELO concept is expanding:

“It is with great pleasure that I divulge the new Brazilian Portal of
Scientific Publications in Open Access (oasisbr), completely reworked. This is an important initiative of the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology (IBICT), and aims at gathering the Brazilian scientific publications in open access in a single search portal. Are scientific articles, books, book chapters, theses, dissertations and papers published in scientific events available in open access on the internet.

It’s almost 1,000,000 of Brazilian scientific publications in open access. The oasisbr has, today, in total, more than 1,200,000 documents because it brings together scientific production also present in Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal (RCAAP)

lpanebr says:

July 30, 2015 at 1:55 PM

Scielo is currently undertaking the final steps in a major refactoring of all its platform. They now got all journals to send them near-JATS XML of the articles fulltext. Aggregating more value and promoting visibility is in the work and will come eventually.

Major international journals (eLife, plos and others) are already leaving the copyright of the articles with authors. What is the relationship of the copyright been retained by authors with the future interest in maintaining them.

Vitor Duarte Teodoro says:

July 30, 2015 at 3:50 PM

This a very controversial issue!
“Commercial publisher platforms effectively help expose and promote published research. Publishers maintain close connections with libraries and very effectively distribute their content— both subscription journals and open-access journals — to actual library users, including faculty, students, and postdocs.”

janerikfrantsvag says:

July 31, 2015 at 12:34 AM

I think you are pointing to an important problem with small, stand-alone journals here. Lack of publishing (not scholarly) competence results in low-visibility research, often of a quality that would merit better visibility.

Pero Šipka says:

July 31, 2015 at 8:43 AM

What about non-commercial OA meta-publishers, such as national citation databases providers in small, developing countries?

One of those, CEON/CEES that publishes the Serbian Citation Index (scindeks.ceon.rs), adds more value to the papers than commercial publishers/aggregators: by providing standard visibility, searchability and downlodability, plus by normalizing author names and affiliations, by linking references both internally and externally, by checking legitimacy of references in all and plagiarism in some papers, and more. Journals are monitored, evaluated and ranked. Those violating ethical codes are suppressed or suspended more strictly and transparently than done by Web of Science.
CEON/CEES is a non-for-profit organization, and SCIndeks is an OA service. Journals pay the average amount equivalent to 300 USD a year for the whole job. Would any commercial aggregator do it?
I would say that the question of “publication favelas” (raised for good reason and quite properly labeled) is a matter of public responsibility, academic virtue, and business ethics, rather than commercial vs. non-commercial, or OA vs. subscription-based dichotomy.

Jeffrey Beall says:

July 31, 2015 at 8:48 AM

Few people in North America have ever heard of it.
I imagine it’s subsidized by the government, so of course the price will be lower.

Seattle Council Letter About Big Bertha

Seattle Council should use El Chapo's team to dig tunnel

Dear City of Seattle Councilmembers,

Looks like Big Bertha news hit the paper again. This morning they admitted that the water main replacement is tied to damage from the tunnel project. Awhile back they were saying it had nothing to do with it but it brought to mind how that project is looked to people outside of Seattle. I am cutting and pasting a suggestion that was Emailed to me because I don’t want to change the wording one bit. I could not improve on it and want you to read it.

“Big Bertha has turned out to less than dependable and not big enough for the job. City should contact the tunnel diggers that broke the Mexican drug dealer out of jail. Let them know that Seattle is a sanctuary city and they will be able to do what ever they want on their free time and take advantage of lots of free programs. They used an old beat up motorcycle to transport miles of dirt and the city could offer them a brand new motorcycle to use that would be pennies on the dollar compared to Big Bertha. Once they complete the tunnel they could keep the motorcycle free and clear and sell Marijuana full time without having to worry about breaking the law as it is legal here. The additional rapes, assaults and murders they would commit would hardly be noticeable in Seattle. The crimes might even be beneficial in the long run as they could be used as proof we need more tax increases to combat the crime we are inviting.—– Original Message —– ”

The Mexican tunnel crew is getting to sound better all the time because the Big Bertha project does not want to give up and will keep going until all the taxpayer funds have ran out and we still wont have a tunnel.

A couple Emails later from this same out of town person added a few more tweaks to the above. He said the Mexicans could guarantee accuracy to come up right under any toilet along the way. They can guarantee that there will be no interruptions or interference with traffic and only the few bribed officials will even know its going on until they come out of the end of the tunnel. They will need section 8 rental houses along the way to expedite dirt removal and digging. and after work pot parties. The city will be happy to hear that because they want to punish property owners in Seattle because we bitch a about wanting to control our own property. We want to screen our tenants, rent to who we feel is desirable. We don’t want rent control. I’m sure you and out Mayor would love to see landlords punished somehow. there was a picture of a lot of showing of hands who want rent control. My suggestion is “why not take a showing of hands of how many who would like to live in their houses without paying any rent at all: You would get even more raised hands. cant cure stupid.

This is how stupid we look to people outside our city who have no dog in the fight at all.

LL

SWUN Math – Company Overview

Student Struggling With Math

SWUN Math is a award winning education program focused on increasing mathematically student learning. Located in California and founded in 2011 by Si Swun. Their goal is to enhance the learning of all students. They work directly with schools and districts to make sure this mission is achieved. They provide training, guides, assessments, and regular meetings for their partners. They provide K-8 Common Core curriculum.

Mr. Si Swun struggled with math himself growing up. While learning the English language and being immigrant, he faced a lot challenges. Later he returned to the classroom and over came the challenges he faced growing up. He wanted to develop a math curriculum so others wouldn’t have to face all the challenges he did. In the late 1990s, Si Swun became a teacher and the rest is history. Si created a program to faced the many challenges he had to overcome (accents, language, ethnicity, to name a few). The program have been widely accepted in the state of California. Mr. Swun has been featured on the Colleague Alumni Magazine at Pepperdine.

Swun Math is very active and are “in this for the long haul”. Their passion is real and comes from a man who clearly understands the difficulties students are facing in the World today.

Quick Overview:
Company Name: SWUN Math LLC
Founder: Si Swun
Employees: 11-55
Headquarters: Cypress, California
Address: 10073 Valley View St #116, Cypress, CA 90630
Phone:  (714) 600-1130
Hours of Operation: 8AM-5PM (closed Saturday & Sunday)

Districts Using Their Curriculum:

Learning Materials / Resources:
Swun Math YouTube.com
App via iTunes
Books via Amazon.com

Popular News about SWUN Math:
Helping Students With Math – SWUN Math | Emerald City Journal
In the classroom: Students adjust to less-rigid lessons
Core Strength – Colleague Alumni Magazine

Popular Videos:

The Hiking Trail to Fragrance Lake

Hiking Fragrance Lake from Seattle, WA

My cousin Damon is the go-to guy when it comes to finding good trails. Most of the time we plan two to three-day backpacking trips, but when doesn’t allow I can always call on him for a day hike that is worth my while. Fragrance Lake is no exception. Located in Larrabee State Park near Bellingham, Washington, this 5.5 mile loop provides excellent views of Samish Bay in a fresh, woodsy setting.

If you are not familiar with the Bellingham area the best way to find the trail is by going straight to the main entrance of Larabee park. The trailhead is directly across the street on Chuckanut Drive. A Discover Pass is required to park at any of the spaces in the park, so plan accordingly.

We began our journey around noon. Knowing this was not going to take all day, we figured there was no reason to hurry out. That’s the great thing about day hikes, you may not be able to truly escape civilization as you would on a backpacking trip, but at least you don’t have to do as much planning.

The trail to Fragrance Lake has an elevation gain of 950 feet, so be prepared for a bit of a climb. The good news is the climb is somewhat gradual, so you’ll be winded, but experienced hikers won’t find it terribly grueling.

It didn’t take long to discover that this trail was dog friendly. This is not uncommon in Bellingham as the city pays particular attention to its parks. From bike trails to campsites, Bellingham is full of options.

When we reached the main viewpoint, we were pleasantly surprised to see the San Juan Islands. Depending on one’s preferences this may in fact be the highlight of the hike. The viewpoint has enough space that hikers often pack a lunch just to eat and enjoy the view.

For those who seek solitude, the lake itself isn’t too far from the viewpoint. When you arrive you will note the lake is very quiet considering its relative distance from the city. In fact, one would never even guess that a city is nearby. The water is very calm, with plenty of space to explore around it. We saw several people throwing sticks in the lake for their dogs to retrieve them. If you want to get away from other hikers, the lake is large enough that there is bound to be a private spot somewhere along the shoreline.

Much to our surprise, it just happened that the one day we chose to hike up to Fragrance Lake was the exact day of Bellingham’s Ski to Sea Race. This relay race requires teams of skiers, mountain bikers, runners, and kayakers to race from Mt. Baker all the way into the Bay. From our vantage point we could actually see some of the Kayakers rowing into the finish line. It was quite a day!

Author: Nic Poe

Enchanted Valley: The Best Trail in the Pacific Northwest

Hiking Enchanted Valley Pacific Northwest

“Are there bears?” I asked my cousin Damon.

“I’ve been there two times and I’ve never seen a bear.” he replied, laughing. I had been on several hikes with Damon before, but never overnight. This would be my first overnight backpacking trip and we were heading on a three-day excursion into Enchanted Valley, an unbelievably picturesque destination in the Olympic National Park.

Enchanted Valley is home to the Enchanted Valley Chalet, a magnificent log cabin built in 1930 that rests along the edge of the Quinault River. The trail to Enchanted Valley is 26 miles with an elevation gain of 1700 feet, so it’s not impossible to complete in a shorter trip, but we really wanted to take our time and enjoy ourselves, so we made a weekend out of it.

The drive along Highway 101 is beautiful. From the town of Hoquiam, Washington, it’s takes about an hour and a half to get to the trailhead. You’ll want to turn east onto South Shore Road and go about 13.5 miles, then go right at the junction at Quinault River Bridge. After the junction, you will continue down a lonely stretch of road for about six miles until you reach the trailhead. This last portion of the trip may seem like the wrong way, just because there really aren’t any signs or mileposts, but as long as you go right at the junction you will know you are heading on the right path. If you hike pretty often you probably already know this, but remember your cellphone will likely not work at this point, or at any point within the National Park.

Hiking Enchanted Valley Seattle

Being that it was my first overnight backpacking experience, I was a little nervous as to whether or not I had packed enough food. Luckily Damon was a pretty experienced hiker, so he provided me with a list of what I should bring. All together, I packed about six Mountain House meals for both breakfast and dinner, along with several granola and energy bars for snacks along the way. Peanut Butter tubes are great for a cheap on-the-go alternative as well. Of course, the most important thing to pack on a long hike is water, and in our case that meant packing our Camelbaks and water filtration systems. For this trip, we brought along our Platypus water filter system. This trail runs along the river, so filtering water is not too much of a hassle.

One of the first things I noticed as we made our way from the trailhead was the incredible height and width of the old growth trees. Perhaps even more incredible than the trees was the behavior of the animals. Mice, chipmunks, and even deer weren’t even the least bit afraid of people. On the first night of our hike a deer came within about seven feet from me and didn’t even jump when I got up. I was able to snap a close photo of it. It’s amazing to consider how much human behavior dictates the behavior of animals.

By day two I was already starting to get used to being in the forest. In fact, I was really enjoying it. We rarely came across other people, and when we did, they were usually extremely friendly. The calm of the forest was such a welcome change from the constant buzz of traffic and activity in the city. On the trail, the only sound I could hear was the sound of the Quinault River. I was getting used to seeing deer and other small animals along the trail, but as we neared the seventh mile of our thirteen mile pathway we came upon a small herd of elk. As if the herd of elk wasn’t enough, rounding a corner I encountered a sight that is as fresh in my mind as if it had happened yesterday. There, in the trail, a mere twenty yards ahead of me, a large black bear glanced my way as it meandered down toward the river, stopping me in my tracks.

“Bear.” I whispered to my hiking mates. Just as soon as it glanced our way it simply continued on its path. The bear undoubtedly knew we were there, but it had no interest in us whatsoever. This feeling was not mutual. Damon had seen bears before, so the first thought he had was to break out the camera and snap a picture. On the other hand, my heart was racing, and I simply wanted to get as far away from it as possible. Fortunately Damon was able to snap this one photo, but we never saw it again. That night I barely slept. Although I knew there was absolutely no rational reason to fear the bear, my fight or flight instincts had kicked in and my adrenaline was still pumping well into the night. I couldn’t believe the awesome size and strength of this creature. As black bears go, it was probably only average size, roughly 300-400 pounds, but even an average bear makes for a large animal. I’d seen one from my car before, but seeing one up close when there is no barrier between yourself and the bear can be quite an experience.

Bear At Enchanted Valley National Park

We planned our trip so that the first day we only had to travel about 6.5 miles, then days two would take us an additional 6.5, so that the final day we would travel back the entire 13 miles. It’s not that it’s impossible to travel the 13 miles in one day, in fact one of the young park rangers did so regularly. We just wanted to take our time and enjoy the experience and we certainly did. By the end of day two we had reached Enchanted Valley, and I must say the Enchanted Valley Chalet was quite a sight. As you will see in the photo, it’s hard to imagine a better place to have a cabin. It’s used by the Park Rangers, so you aren’t really able to go inside, but if a Ranger is nearby I am sure they would let you have a look. We spent the majority of our time in the Valley just enjoying the view of the mountains and the river. Our 13 mile trek home the next day wasn’t too bad, considering we were on our way back we just took less stops and everything went fine. If someone were to ask me what the best hike in the Pacific Northwest is I would definitely say this is the one. It’s not the most challenging, but it’s certainly the most rewarding.

Author: Nic Poe

Nic Poe lives in Longview, Washington where he teaches English. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Writing from Marylhurst University. His short story The Batros, appeared in the November 2011 issue of Beyond Centauri.
Connect: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Nicholas-Poe.

Perry Rogers: How the Internet Has Changed Public Relations

Perry Rogers PR Partners Firm

The nature of marketing is changing. Not only is it getting more complex, but the growth is happening at an alarming rate. Identifying the nature of each marketing job is nearly impossible, and journalists and Internet experts are as involved as marketing as public relations. I have worked in PR for my entire life, and people approach Perry Rogers and PR Partners because we have managed to stay on top of the newest trends.

About Perry Rogers:
Serves as the President of PR Partners (Started in 2008). Graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in Accounting as well as attended the University of Arizona where he successfully completed his law degree. Mr. Perry Rogers is a board member of one of the most popular theme parks in the country, Six Flags. He knows business very well and he has several ventures which continue to be a success. One of those includes being a co-founder of Meadows Bank. He also has held an interest in PURE Nightclub which is located in Caesars Palace Las Vegas. [Full Resume for Perry Rogers]

His company, PR Partners, focuses on managing the careers, PR, and legacies, of the highest valued sports professionals. They offer a variety of services including endorsement management, NBA contract negotiations, media packets, TV, Radio, Print & Web exposure . A few of their clients include Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Todd Wilbur, George Whitfield Jr., and Shaquille O’Neal. His company has proven to be successful in their client’s careers and even beyond. One of the biggest benefits of his firm is not only his personal experience but to their contacts which can provide tremendous opportunities not only for sports professionals but actors as well.

You can read much more about him and his company on his LinkedIn below:
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/perry-rogers/98/b73/a79

The Changing Climate

How has my job changed? Well, today I do not just wriggle brands into the public eye using journalists. I need to influence people online using social medial. I market content to improve public image. My company deals with sports professionals as much as newspapers/media. Regardless of how much the field changes, there are two overriding principles I believe will always hold true:

1) Trust matters. If a person does not believe in my client’s brand, the client’s business suffers. Whether he or she fears the ability to perform a service or deliver a quality product on schedule, trust guides purchasing decisions.

2) The message must reach as many people as possible. It does not matter how great your message is or how trustworthy the brand appears. If nobody knows about a company, they cannot use their services.

Improving Reach

Speaking very broadly, the internet has divided reach into a two-pronged campaign for every client we take on:

1) Journalists. PR experts have historically relied on journalists to convey their message. Press releases and articles are written by or on behalf of clients, and they need to be published somewhere. Journalists are a trusted source of material. Reading the newspaper used to be a daily or weekly occurrence. The hard-working father reading the newspaper with his morning coffee was a stereotype for a reason.

However, a journalist’s reach is limited by what medium he or she uses to reach the public. There is a stark difference between publishing in a local paper versus The Washington Post.

2) Online. Influencing customers online and establishing trust is perhaps more dynamic than using traditional print and TV media, but the basic principles are the same. Customers have to be aware of the brand, the company’s message, and its content. Content quality and customer interaction are much more important. Social media determines how effective a company is at interacting with and responding to customer’s criticisms and concerns.

Both of these outlets for improving reach are important, and each company needs to use them differently. A company selling software specifically to younger audiences will rely more heavily on internet marketing, while an established, respected corporation will likely use both more evenly.

Other companies strive to let their customers do their work for them. Not directly, of course, but there are a lot of industry bloggers carving out their online niches and customer bases by simply reporting on certain fields. The best PR firms know how to influence those bloggers, either directly or indirectly, by personalizing their reach and pitching marketing campaigns directly to those bloggers.

This is a great approach because the public more implicitly trusts bloggers than they do direct advertisements. Ads are created by a company, and thus they are biased. Bloggers and internet personalities are seen as a kind of defense: a public phalanx set to weed out potentially misleading material and promote what is best for the consumer.

Changes Due to Social Media

Social media is turning PR into the dynamic, challenging field it has become today. The question we often get is, “How do you use social media to control public image of my company?” This is a valid question because simple mistakes now go viral and can cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars in damage in a matter of hours.

Let us think back to the Encarta Encyclopedia. This was seen as one of the best, most powerful informational tools of its time. Developed by Microsoft, it appeared on the surface to have every possible advantage. After all, Microsoft is a Forbes 100 company with a near-infinite budget, and it had cornered the encyclopedia publishing market. This was not just due to marketing; Encarta was a great product that offered better information for a lower price.

Then Wikipedia came along, and in less than a decade, the Encarta giant was dead. In another ten years, few people will remember the name. Wikipedia was created for far less money and written by the public. Experts from all over the World have donated millions of hours writing billions of words.

Social media operates much in the same way. PR firms no longer write the entirety of their own content – the public does it for them. What companies need in a quality PR firm these days is the ability to guide that content and ensure the information spreading around supplements your brand and improves your overall image.

Dr. Robi Ludwig: Getting Married? Here is What to Expect, Statistically

First Time Married by Dr. Robi Ludwig

Disney movies seem to have the whole “romance equals marriage” thing figured out. What Disney movies fail to include in their happy-go-lucky outlook is that marriage, at times, can be work. Watching Prince Charming kiss Snow White to wakefulness may make you question the romance in your own marriage, but it helps to remind yourself that the romances Disney portrays are often dated, idealistic notions of love. And, as it turns out, they are only really documenting early stages. Psychologists have studied the marriage track and concluded that most married couples go through many stages, stages that most couples will hit in their marriage. Sometimes, these require more dedication and care.

Married couples can attest even happy marriages require work. Vows merge one life to another and suddenly personal gain must give way toward a common goal. Your partner has equal share of your burdens, and you of theirs. As spouses spend more time together, they tend to go through several, predictable stages. These stages occur as your personal identity gives up control, even in small amounts, and embraces the nature of a true union.

Why the Stages of Marriage Complicate Unions

Couples go through five major stages of personal development. These stages are ones of exciting, confusing growth. They are challenging for two reasons:

1. Each partner progresses through these stages at differing speeds. You may be stuck at stage three while your spouse has already ascended to stage five. This difference leads to misunderstandings, as one spouse may wonder why their partner is still stuck on petty control issues he or she has long surpassed.

2. Most people are unaware these stages exist. People tend to have a basic understanding of the stages of grief. Depression and anger are expected. The stages of marriage are every bit as natural as grief, though more tied to ego. When ego comes into play, tricky variables, like admitting fault and making compromises, seemingly evolve into impossible feats.

The good news for all married couples is when you finally find light at the other end of the tunnel, the major storms of your life are out of the way. These couples experience the full benefits of love and affection promised by matrimony.

The Five Stages of Marriage

1.) The first stage is the best-loved. This is when your body chemistry launches itself into overdrive, akin to an adolescent holding hands for the first time. This stage represents the kind of mortar love songs are about. Even the mention of a name spurs the heart into a quickened pitter-patter.

Your life seems inexplicably tied to theirs, the deep burning desire of passion increasing your positive attitude toward the other person, personal energy, sensitivity, and sexuality. This stage is common in fresh love, but often heightened during the first year or two of marriage, starting with the honeymoon.

2.) At some point a fight breaks out that spurs one partner’s doubt about the union. This stage breaks the mirror, so to speak. You realize flaws in your partner for the first time, but it is accompanied by a nagging, negative voice that says “can I live with this for the rest of my life?” Will you divorce because your partner never washes the dishes after you make dinner? The mantra here is: old habits die hard.

Stage two is the hardest to stomach, because the differential between the incredible passion of stage one and feelings of personal betrayal in stage two are so large. The newness is gone and is replaced by familiarity.

Another challenge is by the third or fourth year of marriage, the situations with impossible answers surface. Should we have kids? Do we pack up and move across the country for that incredible career opportunity? It is unfortunate that as partners begin to distrust the capabilities of their partner these questions must be addressed.

3.) In stage three usually both partners have entrenched themselves. The trenches do not have to be a stark, dividing line between tired arguments. They can manifest through habits, lifestyles, even chore procedures. At this stage both couples think his or her opinion is the best one. Relationships that lack communication struggle with this stage. During this stage, a couple may frequently tell couples’ therapists that they have tried everything but the gap will never be bridged. To pass stage three, couples must invest their time and energy to meet in the middle. The fifth year is cited as the statistically most challenging for married couples. Most are in stage three during that year.

4.) Stage four is the point where couples stop trying to change one another. They recognize the habits that will die hard, or never disappear, and resign themselves to making the best of the situation. Some may struggle, seeking advice from friends, family members, and therapists on how to live with the aspects of the marriage that are displeasing. Fights still happen, but they lack the same oomph from the early days. After years of traveling uphill, couples are finally about to stroll down the other side of the mountain, to the sunny meadows.

5.) Statistically speaking, nearly half of marriages fail. Many more couples stay together out of habit, living their lives without speaking much with one another. Maybe divorce is too expensive, or perhaps they have been together too long to make the change. Whatever the numbers are, a good number of couples never reach the last stage.

Here couples honestly appreciate the life they’ve lived together. Shared memories burn brighter, and both partners feel secure in their roles. The things that seemed so important before have been reduced to petty grievances, barely worth noticing.

As a final note by Dr. Robi Ludwig, I would like to state that communication is what drives all successful marriages. Stages 2-4 are impossible to surpass without talking through problems. Nobody ever said marriage was easy, but for some reason most first-timers assume it is.

If you found this article interesting or want to learn more about Dr. Robi Ludwig check out her article about Killer Spouses and biography history.  We cover everything about her in that article and it’s a good read.

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