The heart of the debate on open access to research is over licencing. A sharp schism has emerged between those who think the no restrictions CC-BY licence is indispensable, and those who think other licences such as the non-commercial CC-BY-NC or non-derivative CC-BY-ND, is good enough. In the software world, licensing was a similar sticking point between free software and open source advocates. […]
Across the globe, there are more than four thousand policy institutes or think tanks that research or advocate for economic and social development. Yet the relationship between these organizations and the policies they influence is not well understood. How Think Tanks Shape Social Development Policies examines case studies drawn from a range of political and economic systems worldwide to provide a […]
In a study of over 500 four year post-secondary institutions in all fifty US states from 1993-2010, Amanda Rutherford and Thomas Rabovsky find that current performance funding policies are not associated with higher levels of student performance and that these policies may in fact contribute to lower performance over a longer period of time. However, more recent policies linked to institutional base funding may produce […]
‘Robbins Rebooted’ details Labour’s approach to boosting technical skills and regional growth through higher education
Shadow Higher Education Minister Liam Byrne MP has released Robbins Rebooted, a pamphlet on the importance of higher education to the UK’s national life and economic future. Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) welcomes the pamphlet as a clear articulation of Labour’s vision for maintaining a world-class higher education sector, even if ambiguity remains over hard figures and clear […]
Lord Heseltine has called to question the UK government’s approach to counting non-EU students in its net immigration figures and has argued instead that foreign students should be excluded from government plans to cut net immigration to the UK. Higher Education is a thriving sector largely due to the diverse student body to which it seek to cater. Increasingly restricted immigration […]
Research funders across the world are implementing data management and sharing policies to maximize openness of data, transparency and accountability of the research they support. This guide aims to cover guidance on how to plan your research using a data management checklist, how to format and organize data, and how to publish and cite data. This is a useful guide for students […]
The problem with peer review today is that there is so much research being produced that there are not enough experts with enough time to peer-review it all. As we look to address this problem, issues of standards and hierarchy remain unsolved. Stevan Harnad wonders whether crowd-sourced peer review could match, exceed, or come close to the benchmark of […]
Is Habermas’ concept of the public sphere still relevant in an age of globalization, when the transnational flows of people and information have become increasingly intensive and when the nation-state can no longer be taken for granted as the natural frame for social and political debate? Stefania Vicari finds that this collection provide an insightful review of Habermas’ classical theory, but it […]
Wikimedia community are a digital age success and natural allies for academic communication and research engagement.
Wikimedians and the wider open information community are academics’ natural allies in knowledge creation, dissemination, research engagement and ultimately justifying public research funding. Cameron Neylon argues there is much these ‘amateurs’ can teach us about managing information at scale and making it accessible and usable. Scholarly knowledge is special because of the validation and assessment processes it goes though. But […]
Whilst academic involvement in blogging is on the rise, it may not yet be considered standard academic practice. Many universities remain cautious due to perceived risks associated with lack of content control. Achilleas Kostoulas finds the openness and equality of blogs is fundamentally more democratic than other forms of scholarly debate. Here he reflects on some of the basic questions relating to […]
From STEM to STEAM: The potential for arts to facilitate innovation, literacy and participatory democracy.
The value of the arts goes far beyond its monetary returns. Malaika Cunningham outlines how the arts play a huge role in boosting proficiency within STEM subjects. Creative thinking is needed for truly excellent scientists, engineers and mathematicians, and how better to foster this than a rounded education, which includes arts subjects? Arts education fosters a literate and innovative workforce and strengthens the […]
Recruiting talented researchers is easier in recessions and universities benefit from increased productivity.
Between the end of 2007 and the middle of 2009, Britain and the United States experienced the worst recession for more than half a century. Evidence suggests that during that time entry into high-paying and high-risk private sector jobs declined substantially while many talented graduates tried to stay on at university. Using data of economics PhD graduates, Michael Boehm and Martin […]
Book Review: Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide, edited by Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry & Rumona Dickson
Writing a systematic review is one of the most challenging aspects of the academic process. With Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide, Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson aim to offer a detailed and effective guide to writing a successful systematic review. This takes the book beyond the usual “How to…” literature, and makes it a valuable resource for both […]
Academics in children’s picture books tend to be elderly, old men, who work in science, called Professor SomethingDumb. Why does this matter? Melissa Terras presents the findings from her two-year search on the representation of academics and argues these portrayals should be challenged. Such narrow stereotypes of academics presented and promulgated in these books continue to percolate back to those who read the […]
Book Review: C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by John Scott and Ann Nilsen
This book is a collection of essays offering current perspectives on C. Wright Mills’ influence on the field of sociological research, specifically focussing on his most famous work- The Sociological Imagination. The collection seeks to explore the general issues around the nature and significance of the sociological imagination and includes a series of reflections from scholars on the impact of Mills’ writings in […]
Paying twice or paying thrice? Open access publishing in a global system of scholarly knowledge production and consumption
UK open access policy does not exist in a vacuum. Casey Brienza argues that UK researchers represent too small a proportion of global scholarly knowledge production and consumption to rebalance scholarly expenditure. UK open access initiatives as currently formulated will instead lead to a significant de facto increase in costs for the UK. Instead of paying twice, once to fund the research and again to […]
Achieving Impact in Research aims to address the importance of understanding and achieving impact for the purposes of gaining research funding and reporting achieved impact for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).The book includes contributions from researchers and researcher developers who feel that impact is ill-defined and poorly understood despite its prevalence in policy documents, websites and institutional activities. Catherine Easton finds that this a […]
The Impact of the Social Sciences: How Academics and Their Research Make a Difference by Simon Bastow, Patrick Dunleavy, and Jane Tinkler.
The three-year Impact of Social Sciences Project has culminated in a monograph published by SAGE. The book presents thorough analysis of how academic research in the social sciences achieves public policy impacts, contributes to economic prosperity, and informs public […]
From MIT’s famed pranks to Silicon Valley’s approach to design, core values drive the clever, ethical, enjoyable, excellence-seeking behaviour of a civic-oriented hackers mindset. Tanya Snook makes the case for everyday hacking and provides five principles that you can use to rethink situations, re-evaluate problems, and hack everything you do. When I say “hacker” what images come to mind? Some pimply-faced kid in […]