Academic Travel Culture is Not Only Bad for the Planet, It is Also Bad for the Diversity and Equity of Research
Financial and social burdens of academic travel add an additional barrier to participation in research. If academia wants to address issues of diversity and equity in research, it must first acknowledge the effects of academic travel culture.
Beware the Well-intentioned Advice of Unusually Successful Academics
There is a wealth of advice and 'how to' guides available to academics on the subject of how research can have an impact on policy and practice. In this post Kathryn Oliver and Paul Cairney assess the value of this literature, arguing that unless researchers seek to situate research impact within processes of policymaking and academic knowledge production, this advice can ultimately reinforce current inequalities in research impact.
Gender Bias in Peer Review - Opening Up the Black Box
Gender bias in peer review has been much discussed in the wider research community. However, there have been few attempts to analyse the issue within the social sciences. This post highlights research undertaken by the Regional Studies Association to investigate the effect of gender on peer review outcomes.
The Open Tide - How Openness in Research and Communication is Becoming the Default Setting
The UK has benefitted from funder incentives that make Open Access appealing for authors, while US funders have taken a less interventionist approach to Open Access. This in turn has led to increased international collaboration for UK researchers.
What Do Countries in the Global South Stand to Gain from Signing Up to Europe's Open Access Strategy?
Plan S raises challenging questions for the Global South. Even if Plan S fails to achieve its objectives the growing determination in Europe to trigger a “global flip” to open access suggests developing countries will have to develop an alternative strategy.
Counting is Not Enough - How Plain Language Statements Could Improve Research Assessment
Academic hiring and promotion committees and funding bodies often use publication lists as a shortcut to assessing the quality of applications.In order to avoid bias towards prestigious titles, plain language statements should become a standard feature of academic assessment.
Predatory conferences (conferences promoted to fraudulently make money from attendance fees) are becoming an increasingly common part of academic life. This post presents the Think. Check. Attend. initiative, which provides academics with an easy to use checklist to ascertain if a conference is legitimate or predatory.
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.
The way institutions conceptualise doctoral candidates - as individuals without baggage, able to devote all their time to their research - has very real consequences for those who do not fit this profile.
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.
The "Problem" of Predatory Publishing Remains a Relatively Small One and Should Not Be Allowed to Defame Open Access
A recent investigation led by an international group of journalists raised concerns over the scale of the problem of deceptive publishing practices, but the problem of predatory publishing was overstated while at the same time discrediting open access publishing.
The New, Younger Generation of Scientists Is Much More Open to Dialogue With Society
A new generation of scientists is confounding expectations and proving much more willing to engage with the public, not only because it benefits their development as researchers but also out of a sense of duty to society and a desire to have a positive impact on public perceptions of science.
Making Research Evaluation Processes in Europe More Transparent
What models or practices could be developed to help incentivize and reward innovation and diverse forms of scholarly communication and public engagement while reducing the risk to those who are seen to be diverging from traditional modes of professional practices and advancement?
Against Metrics: How Measuring Performance by Numbers Backfires
By tying rewards to metrics, organisations risk incentivising gaming and encouraging behaviours that may be at odds with their larger purpose. The culture of short-termism engendered by metrics also impedes innovation and stifles the entrepreneurial element of human nature.
Writing a Page-Turner: How to Tell a Story in Your Scientific Paper
Storytelling is easy to implement in your manuscript provided you know how. Think of the six plot elements - character, setting, tension, action, climax, resolution - and the three other story essentials - main theme, chronology, purpose. You’ll soon outline the backbone of your narrative and be ready to write a paper that is concise, compelling, and easy to understand.
The Academic Papers Researchers Regard as Significant Are Not Those That Are Highly Cited
Academia has relied on citation count as the main way to measure the impact or importance of research, informing metrics such as the Impact Factor and the h-index. But how well do these metrics actually align with researchers’ subjective evaluation of impact and significance?
Conflicting Academic Attitudes to Copyright Are Slowing the Move to Open Access
The open access movement has prompted a shift towards retention of rights and the use of creative commons licenses to control how works are used by publishers. However, in many cases, researchers continue to agree to standard assignment terms offered by publishers without fully investigating or understanding them.