The live interview format requires researchers to be concise and succinct when discussing bodies of complex knowledge. But how should researchers respond when asked questions outside their field of expertise? David Spiegelhalter recommends to spend some time prior to the interviews examining the human context of the numbers and be ready to summarise what social scientists have said about how your research […]
Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.
The high-profile political science study on same-sex marriage views in the U.S., now determined to be fraudulent, is the latest case exposing the need for incentive structures that make academic research open, transparent, and replicable. The U.S. study has been retracted, largely thanks to the discovery of inconsistencies in the data by an outside group. The academic community must […]
Towards ‘Health Information for All’: Medical content on Wikipedia received 6.5 billion page views in 2013.
The medical content in Wikipedia receives substantial online traffic, links to a great body of academic scholarship and presents a massive opportunity for health care information. James Heilman and Andrew West present their findings on the wider editorial landscape looking to improving the quality and impact of medical content on the web. Data points to the enormous potential of these efforts, and further analysis […]
“Who would want to live in a world made up entirely of scientists?” Australia’s Chief Scientist calls for cooperation
Reporting on a recent workshop where Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb outlined the key priorities for research and funding, Jacqui Hoepner discusses the long-term future of Australian research. Professor Chubb stressed the importance of having a broader national conversation about how they will achieve societal change and how researchers should work to meet those ends.
A few weeks ago Australia’s […]
The Porous University: Impact is not some added extra of academic life, but lies at the core of what we do.
The current university set up has led to a deep malaise. The culture of retreat and lack of an inclusive commitment has fed public perceptions that universities are unapproachable. Michael Stewart argues that thinking more creatively about impact and problem-based learning could help overcome these failures. The management terminology is brittle and ugly, but all impact means is that we are engaged with […]
Empirical analysis reveals significant discrepancy between journal reputation and perceived relevance in economics.
Using survey data on the evaluations of 150 economics journals, a recent study explored the relationship between economics journals’ reputation and perceived relevance amongst economists working in the field. Justus Haucap shares some of the headline findings from the analysis based on the survey data. The findings suggest that a journal’s relevance is driven by average article quality, while reputation depends […]
In this volume, seventeen distinguished anthropologists draw on personal and professional histories to describe avenues to mutuality through collaborative fieldwork, community-based projects and consultations, advocacy, and museum exhibits. Sander Hölsgens thinks that although this book might not be all that accessible for those outside the field of anthropology, its value is located on the level of the anecdote: what does the notion […]
MSF Scientific Day 2015: Innovation for a faster, leaner research model to tackle public health threats.
A two-day conference taking place in London, New Delhi, and online will explore what innovation really means in a humanitarian organisation. Sarah Venis provides an overview of the ‘conference without borders’ where a key aim is to bring together medical, operational, and technological audiences to help guide field operations, influence policy, and increase the benefit for the populations in which research is […]
How long does a scientific paper need to be? Length limits can have a detrimental effect on scientific reporting.
In principle, length limits should help with the accessibility and readability of a scientific paper. But in practice these limits often achieve the opposite effect. Now that journals are becoming online-only, Dorothy Bishop argues, lengths limits are far less relevant. Yes, we should encourage authors to be succinct, but not so succinct that scientific communication is compromised.
There was an interesting exchange a […]
Robust empirical research shows that women are less likely to be hired for STEM jobs, as well as promoted, remunerated and professionally recognised in every respect of academic life. Earlier this month, however, a widely reported study suggested gender bias is largely a myth. Zuleyka Zevallos evaluates the study and argues it fails to simulate the conditions in which hiring decisions […]
Fast and made to last: Academic blogs look to ensure long-term accessibility and stability of content.
Academic blogging has distinct advantages over traditional forms of scholarly communication but questions on their lasting preservation still remain to be seen. Who makes sure academic blog content stays online in the long term? Who guarantees that links to the post remains the same? Who ensures that the text will not be modified later on? Christof Schöch argues these are issues that […]
As in the sciences, the humanities also feel the pressure to demonstrate societal relevance. Applied philosophy is a natural place to look. But how has it fared in terms of having an impact? Adam Briggle, Robert Frodeman, and Kelli Barr are investigating the impact of philosophical work on both the STEM disciplines and society. Historically, philosophers have not been particularly self-conscious about […]
What exactly is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and how does it help in the management and long-term preservation of research? Laurence Horton explains the basic structure and purpose of a DOI and also points to some limitations. DOIs are not the only way of providing fixed, persisting references to objects, but they have emerged as the leading system.
A DOI is a Digital […]
Scholarly behaviour and evaluation criteria: Uncovering the superficial characteristics that lead to higher citations
Do scholars adjust their publication behaviour depending on the criteria used in their evaluation? Maarten van Wesel presents findings showing how the publishing behaviour of scholars changed when evaluation switched from emphasising ‘publish-or-perish’ to impact factors. Whilst this may suggest a shift from quantity to quality, the number of citations a paper receives not only depends on its scholarly value, […]
Are we addressing research data management? Diverse skillset and mindset needed for era of digital data.
Developing and implementing a robust solution to Research Data Management needs to draw upon policies, processes and resources and must be relevant to disciplinary requirements with as few barriers as possible for researchers. Rachel Bruce reflects on the skillset required to improve long-term research management strategies. As each university grapples with this landscape, a shift towards shared services and infrastructure may […]
A clear distinction is needed between replication tests and the evaluation of robustness in social science literature
Confusion over the meaning of replication is harming social science, argues Michael Clemens. There has been a profound evolution in methods and concepts, particularly with the rise of empirical social science, but our terminology has not yet caught up. The meaning of replication must be standardized so that researchers can easily distinguish between replication efforts and the evaluation of robustness.
In Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable […]
Five Minutes with Carl Cullinane on the Democratic Dashboard: “There’s a big difference between open data and accessible data.”
Sierra Williams caught up with Carl Cullinane, the project lead behind the Democratic Dashboard, a voter information resource making constituency data open and accessible in the run-up to the UK’s General Election. Because of the variety of data sources used, it was a huge job to harmonise the structure and formatting of the datasets to make them compatible. The Democratic Dashboard is […]