The Research Funding Officer role is increasingly fundamental to impact, growing in importance as bidding becomes more competitive and the impact stakes get higher. Casper Hitchins and Julie Bayley argue that the dramatic elevation of impact in funding applications demands more insightful planning. Focus at the funding application stage not only generates more competitive bids, but also secures resources for […]
A session at the Royal Geographical Society’s annual conference will explore the physical, emotional and reputational risks involved in doing research, with the hope that this will in turn, provide a starting point for a more comprehensive framework for understanding how risk operates. Amiera Sawas will be co-chairing the session and writes here on her experiences with risks in […]
Book Review: Sisters in the Statehouse: Black Women and Legislative Decision Making by Nadia E. Brown
In 2013, out of 7,776 female state legislators serving across the USA, 364 are women of colour; of these 239 are African American women. Linking personal narratives to political behavior, Nadia E. Brown elicits the feminist life histories of African American women legislators to understand how their experiences with racism and sexism have influenced their legislative decision-making and policy preferences. Muireann O’Dwyer is enthusiastic […]
STM’s new publishing licenses raise antitrust concerns amid wider efforts to pollute open access standards.
Ariel Katz looks at the legal implications of STM’s move to release their own version of “open” licenses. As more and more authors consider the openness of a publication venue, publishers compete on this aspect. But by recommending STM members to adopt their specific licenses, will this limit competition? Whilst coordination amongst competitors is not by its nature illegal, antitrust […]
OpenCon to bring together students and early career researchers to advance Open Access, OER, and Open Data.
Recognition and awareness of how the next generation of scholars are transforming scholarly communication is well underway. Nick Shockey highlights OpenCon, a conference to take place in November aimed at mobilising support around open access, open educational resources and open data amongst early career researchers. Funding has been made available to cover travel to attend the conference in Washington DC […]
Having recently completed her PhD on participatory digital technologies and widening participation in the discipline of archaeology, Lorna Richardson considers the interplay between her research and her own academic practice. The impact of the many discussions she had through various online platforms on the subject of social media, archaeology and Internet technologies had an iterative effect on her work and on […]
Secrets of journal subscription prices: For-profit publishers charge libraries two to three times more than non-profits.
Ted Bergstrom writes of his involvement requesting copies of library contracts with several major publishers in order to compare journal pricing data for bundled journal access. The significant differences that exist across universities for the same content and between publishers raises some major questions on the effectiveness of such pricing models. He finds that the differences in bundle prices depend largely […]
Capturing the value of university-business collaboration in education requires flexible approach to measurement tools
Co-operation between businesses and universities is now firmly on the agenda. However, co-operation in the field of education plays something of a runner-up to co-operation in the field of research, particularly when it comes to valuing and measuring the outcomes of this. Adrian Healy recently led an exploratory study for the European Commission’s Directorate General of Education and Culture, examining […]
Low visibility of Latin American repositories in Google Scholar: technical incompatibility or lack of web strategy?
The content in many repositories in Latin America fail to come up in systematic searches largely due to the inadequate use of domain names and metadata schema, find Enrique Orduña-Malea and Emilio Delgado-López-Cózar. Institutional repositories are ultimately websites and concepts such as usability, information architecture, search engine optimization, among others, should be considered in their primary design. In a context like […]
The Impact Factor and Its Discontents: Reading list on controversies and shortcomings of the Journal Impact Factor.
Thomson Reuters have released the annual round of updates to their ranked list of journals by journal impact factor (JIF) in yesterday’s Journal Citation Reports. Impact Factors have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years for their lack of transparency and for misleading attempts at research assessment. Last year the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) took a groundbreaking stance […]
Replication of government research uncovers shaky evidence on relationship between school and degree performance.
Interested in the statistical analysis used to justify the Department of Education’s reforms, Ron Johnston, Kelvyn Jones, David Manley, Tony Hoare and Richard Harris requested the data related to school performance and degree results via a Freedom of Information request. One year later the dataset was finally made available and they were able to identify some substantial flaws in the government research including sample […]
The Web of Science and its corresponding Journal Impact Factor are inadequate for an understanding of the impact of scholarly work from developing regions, argues Juan Pablo Alperin. Alternative metrics offer the opportunity to redirect incentive structures towards problems that contribute to development, or at least to local priorities. But the altmetrics community needs to actively engage with scholars from developing regions to […]
In this book David E. Gray introduces readers to the essential aspects of the research process, covering topics ranging from best approaches to the design of appropriate research tools, to issues of data collection, analysis, and writing up. The author skilfully explains complex and daunting concepts in an unpretentious manner that simultaneously demystifies the research process and illuminates the complexity and messiness of actual research, […]
Circulation patterns show books in STEM and social sciences are accessed just as much as humanities books.
Drawing from comprehensive circulation data showing how monographs are accessed across disciplines at the University of Notre Dame library, Parker Ladwig and Thurston Miller challenge the assumption that STEM and social science books are accessed less frequently over time than monographs in the humanities. This data and similar studies can help to improve library services by providing a more informed understanding […]
Improving on “Access to Research”: Restrictive access and licensing fail to meet the needs of the 21st century.
Major academic publishers have supported an initiative equipping public libraries with free access to a number of subscription journal articles. Cameron Neylon argues this Access to Research scheme is an empty political gesture that fails to meet the needs of the UK public. By web scraping the information provided by the initiative’s site, Neylon shows that the scope of the service […]
Coventry University have devoted time, talent and resources to come up with an embedded management tool to help academics plan and capture the impact of their research. Julie Bayley discusses the lessons learnt through the process of creating a functional, self-service solution that appeals to administrators and academics. As we head away from REF 2014, the HE community is […]
Why do academics choose useless titles for articles and chapters? Four steps to getting a better title.
An informative title for an article or chapter maximizes the likelihood that your audience correctly remembers enough about your arguments to re-discover what they are looking for. Without embedded cues, your work will sit undisturbed on other scholars’ PDF libraries, or languish unread among hundreds of millions of other documents on the Web. Patrick Dunleavy presents examples of frequently used […]
Investigating tenure controversies: Basing faculty promotion on flawed variables doesn’t help the selection of competent academics.
Controversies regarding whether tenure encourages a culture of incompetence have led many US institutions to tighten up their decision making procedures. But many of these attempts to repair the system reflect little empirical research. In response, John Rothgeb conducted two large scale surveys across political science departments to investigate the variables that most affect the probability of denial of tenure and probability of incompetence at various […]
Book Review: Oral History off the Record: Toward an Ethnography of Practice by Anna Sheftel and Stacey Zembrzycki
Most discussions of oral history method are rooted in abstract ideas about what interviewing should be and should achieve. However, interviews are ultimately personal interactions between human beings, and rarely conform to a methodological ideal. The struggles interviewers face while conducting interviews mostly go unacknowledged, and this collection aims to show that a full account of oral history methodology must […]