Presenting a collection of diary-style entries as though from a single academic year, Les Back chronicles three decades of his career in Academic Diary: Or Why Higher Education Still Matters. The book offers witty and thought-provoking insight into such topics as writing, PhD supervision, viva examiners and dealing with academic colleagues, as well as reflecting on some of the serious […]
The significant absence of expert women’s voices from media debates and academic events related to the EU Referendum has been widely reported. Roberta Guerrina, Toni Haastrup, Katharine Wright share a list of women EU experts and argue there are in fact many women voices on these issues and they are not difficult to find. More work needs to be done by political […]
Accuracy, Transparency and Improv! Best practices for building trust between scientists and communications staff
Researchers are increasingly considering the communication of their work, but it is equally worth considering the many actors at universities and external organisations that are already engaged in these activities. Often, misunderstandings and unclear objectives of the collaboration lead to a breakdown in trust. Aaron Huertas looks at how scientists and communications staff can build effective relationships.
A lot of […]
From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences. But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper articles or blogs and require a level of skill and undoubtedly a greater amount of patience. Here Jennifer Raff has prepared a helpful guide for non-scientists on how to read a scientific paper. These steps […]
Taking Culture Seriously: How can we build positive change and coherent practice within our research communities?
Change in higher education often progresses slowly. If scholars are serious about wanting to change disciplinary and institutional cultures and not merely to wait for Cultural Change to magically happen, Cameron Neylon argues we need to consider the differing approaches to how certain cultures operate, interact and eventually change. Ultimately, change in higher education requires a variety of levers […]
Nine things you need to know about copyright: A good practice guide for administrators, librarians and academics.
It is impossible to work in a university and avoid coming into contact with copyright at some point, especially given the ease with which online content can be copied, pasted, streamed, downloaded and shared. Chris Morrison and Jane Secker provide a helpful explainer of copyright in universities and break down the complexity of how copyright works in practice.
The Association […]
Disrupting implicit bias: Crowdsourced database highlights women experts in the social sciences #WomenAlsoKnowStuff
Women academics face inherent biases in the profession that limit career progression and influence. Emily Beaulieu and Kathleen Searles reflect on the extent of the gender gap in political science and how we might address this gap. One example is the #WomenAlsoKnowStuff website, a searchable database of women experts which has become a rallying cry, with hundreds of expert […]
The Tough Life of an Academic Entrepreneur: Innovative commercial and non-commercial ventures must be encouraged.
Academic entrepreneurs are a valuable asset for universities. However, most academic entrepreneurs are forced to live double lives. Performance assessments rarely factor in their experimental and unconventional activities. Asit Biswas and Julian Kirchherr outline incentives needed to unleash the creative potential of scholars for the overall benefit of society.
Cheli Cresswell’s last meeting with her PhD assessors was odd. Her assessors, renowned scholars […]
Moving interdisciplinary research forward: Top down organising force needed to help classify diverse practices.
What does “interdisciplinarity” actually mean? Gabriele Bammer argues lumping interdisciplinary work together may be prohibiting an effective evaluation of how this kind of research is faring. A much more intuitive approach is needed to distinguishing between aspects of diverse research practices. Furthermore, developing effective professional organisations is also a key task for moving interdisciplinary research forward.
In a recent special issue of the journal […]
85% of Health Research is Wasted: How to do great research, get it published, and improve health outcomes.
Trish Groves reflects on the scandal of waste, error, and misconduct in clinical and public health research and describes a new effort to tackle research and publication integrity from both ends. This challenge matters everywhere, but it’s specially urgent in low and middle income countries. The University of California, San Francisco and BMJ have teamed up to develop an eLearning programme for […]
Challenging the print paradigm: Web-powered scholarship is set to advance the creation and distribution of research.
Our containers for scholarly works – papers, monographs, PDFs – are anachronistic. Marcus A. Banks argues the Web is flexible enough to facilitate far more opportunities for scholarship in a way that print could never do. A print piece is necessarily reductive, while Web-oriented scholarship can be as capacious as required. He highlights three innovations in particular that are set to transform […]
When researchers reach the point of actually writing up their analyses, the writing can often centre around the data itself. Howard Aldrich argues this kind of “data first” strategy to writing goes against the spirit of disciplined inquiry and also severely limits creativity and imagination. Literature reviews and conceptual planning phases in particular would benefit if researchers explored the range of ideas […]