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    Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing

Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing

Academic publishing has been transformed by digitisation over recent decades, with the review process now able to be comprehensively tracked and transparent. But despite such progress, is our publication infrastructure actually more transparent, inclusive, and with less conflict? Or are practices of exclusion and gatekeeping merely now being hidden? Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Santi Furnari, Albane Grandazzi, Marie Hasbi, Maximilian Heimstädt, […]

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    Postdocs trying to transition to non-academic careers should be offered more support by their supervisors and universities

Postdocs trying to transition to non-academic careers should be offered more support by their supervisors and universities

Despite the position being billed as a stepping stone on the way to tenure-track academic employment, many postdocs, discouraged by their poor prospects, are questioning their career choices and instead looking to non-academic jobs as an alternative. However, as Chris Hayter and Marla A. Parker reveal, making this transition is not as easy as it might first appear.

Why are […]

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    Now a symptom of that which it sought to critique? A critical reflection on the Accelerated Academy project

Now a symptom of that which it sought to critique? A critical reflection on the Accelerated Academy project

Following the fourth event in the series, Mark Carrigan and Filip Vostal consider the Accelerated Academy project as a whole and how useful and productive it remains; reflecting on its evolution, diversity of perspectives, and whether the concept’s success in becoming an “academic ear worm” has inadvertently brought about an unwelcome reductionism.

Our recent conference in Prague was the fourth event in […]

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    The evaluative inquiry: a new approach to research evaluation

The evaluative inquiry: a new approach to research evaluation

Contemporary research evaluation systems are often criticised for negative effects they can have on academic environments and even on knowledge production itself. Established in response to many of these criticisms, the evaluative inquiry is a new, less standardised approach to research assessment. Tjitske Holtrop outlines the four principles that give shape to the evaluative inquiry’s method: employing versatile methods; […]

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Let’s focus on the research process, not the outputs

The outsized importance of publications has meant too many research students focus on featuring papers in prestigous journals, despite having success in doing so feeling like something of a lottery. To Mattias Björnmalm, a strong focus on the research output instead of the research process is detrimental to research itself. Research is about increasing our understanding of the world […]

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Do we need an Open Science coalition?

What exactly is Open Science? Its lack of an appropriate common definition has meant Open Science can be a variety of things; a social justice issue, part of a political capitalist regime, or a form of traditional science. But this lack of consensus leaves room for Open Science to be co-opted and even exploited. In seeking to (re)establish a […]

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    Greater than the sum of its parts: why the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs should adopt a programme approach to research design and management

Greater than the sum of its parts: why the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs should adopt a programme approach to research design and management

Awards for the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs will soon be announced. Each of these Hubs will inevitably have to balance the different imperatives of research excellence, development impact, and collaborative processes. To improve their chances of being successful in doing so, Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray suggest that each Hub must set out with the explicit intention of being […]

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How to run a book sprint – in 16 steps

A “book sprint” is a method of writing a book collaboratively in only a short period of time, usually less than a week. Lambert Heller and Helene Brinken share insights from their own experience of facilitating a book sprint to write the Open Science Training Handbook earlier this year. Here, the process is measured out over a distance of […]

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    From scientists, for scientists, and beyond: a method to develop a comic based on your research

From scientists, for scientists, and beyond: a method to develop a comic based on your research

Scientists are increasingly challenged to communicate their work to broader, more varied audiences. Responding to this imperative, Jan Friesen and Skander Elleuche have developed a method that provides a simple, flexible framework to translate a complex scientific publication into a broadly accessible comic format.

“Even amongst scientists, communication across disciplines is tough. But to communicate scientific findings to the general […]

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    The overall incidence of published replication studies in economics is minuscule – greater incentives are required

The overall incidence of published replication studies in economics is minuscule – greater incentives are required

Replicability is considered a hallmark of good scientific practice, an important post-publication quality check. But how many studies are chosen for replication? Frank Mueller-Langer, Benedikt Fecher, Dietmar Harhoff, Gert G. Wagner have examined the economics literature and find that only one in one thousand publications are replication studies. The introduction of mandatory data disclosure policies may help to increase […]

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    The main obstacles to better research data management and sharing are cultural. But change is in our hands

The main obstacles to better research data management and sharing are cultural. But change is in our hands

Recommendations on how to better support researchers in good data management and sharing practices are typically focused on developing new tools or improving infrastructure. Yet research shows the most common obstacles are actually cultural, not technological. Marta Teperek and Alastair Dunning outline how appointing data stewards and data champions can be key to improving research data management through positive cultural change.

This […]

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    Towards more consistent, transparent, and multi-purpose national bibliographic databases for research output

Towards more consistent, transparent, and multi-purpose national bibliographic databases for research output

National bibliographic databases for research output collect metadata on universities’ scholarly publications, such as journal articles, monographs, and conference papers. As this sort of research information is increasingly used in assessments, funding allocation, and other academic reward structures, the value in developing comprehensive and reliable national databases becomes more and more clear. Linda Sīle, Raf Guns and Tim Engels […]

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    Less than 5% of papers on the use of research in health policymaking tested interventions to see what worked. But those studies reveal a number of strategies for improvement

Less than 5% of papers on the use of research in health policymaking tested interventions to see what worked. But those studies reveal a number of strategies for improvement

Population health policies stand a much better chance of succeeding if they’re informed by research evidence. But what are the best ways of making sure this happens? Danielle Campbell and Gabriel Moore conducted a rapid review of the literature on the subject and found that very few studies actually concerned testing interventions to see whether they worked. Those articles […]

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    A librarian perspective on Sci-Hub: the true solution to the scholarly communication crisis is in the hands of the academic community, not librarians

A librarian perspective on Sci-Hub: the true solution to the scholarly communication crisis is in the hands of the academic community, not librarians

Sci-Hub is a pirate website that provides free access to millions of research papers otherwise locked behind paywalls. Widespread dissatisfaction with scholarly communications has led many to overlook or dismiss concerns over the site’s legality, praising its disruptive technology and seeing justification in the free access it affords people all over the world. Ruth Harrison, Yvonne Nobis and Charles […]

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    “Interdisciplinary, like everyone else.” But are you being interdisciplinary for the wrong reasons?

“Interdisciplinary, like everyone else.” But are you being interdisciplinary for the wrong reasons?

Interdisciplinarity is the talk of the town. Funding agencies favour interdisciplinary research proposals, teaching programmes focus on developing interdisciplinary courses, and the publication of interdisciplinary studies has surged over recent decades. Lakshmi Balachandran Nair considers whether interdisciplinarity remains a strategy to surpass the limits of the methodological tools, theories, and views offered by a single discipline or has instead […]

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    Tips for negotiating the peer-reviewed journal publication process as an early-career researcher

Tips for negotiating the peer-reviewed journal publication process as an early-career researcher

Early-career researchers are subject to higher levels of scrutiny than ever before, with publication in academic journals essential to how they are funded and evaluated, and how their careers will be built. Margaret K. Merga, Shannon Mason and Julia E. Morris share insights from their own experiences of navigating the journal submission and publication process as ECRs, emphasising the […]

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    The perpetual tango: what exactly is “evidence-informed policymaking” premised on and working towards?

The perpetual tango: what exactly is “evidence-informed policymaking” premised on and working towards?

Given the field of evidence-informed policymaking has existed for some time, experts’ confusion, knowledge gaps, and inconsistencies around the fundamentals is bewildering. Reporting on a recent Ontario case study, Jacqueline Sohn considers how evidence-informed policymaking works in practice, likening the swift and abrupt movements that eventually lead to policies being developed to a perpetual tango, and reveals how research […]

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    The growing, high-stakes audit culture within the academy has brought about a different kind of publishing crisis

The growing, high-stakes audit culture within the academy has brought about a different kind of publishing crisis

The spate of high-profile cases of fraudulent publications has revealed a widening replication, or outright deception, crisis in the social sciences. To Marc Spooner, researchers “cooking up” findings and the deliberate faking of science is a result of extreme pressures to publish, brought about by an increasingly pervasive audit culture within the academy.

By now most readers will have heard […]

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    How to save space and stick to the limit when writing research funding applications

How to save space and stick to the limit when writing research funding applications

Research funders impose length limits on applications for practical reasons: to discourage epic submissions, and to ease the burden on reviewers. It’s also true that concise ideas are generally stronger ideas. But sticking to these limits can often seem a difficult and frustrating task. Jonathan O’Donnell offers advice to researchers looking to find a little more space in their […]

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