Why the h-index is a bogus measure of academic impact

Posted in Research on July 8th, 2020 by steve

International“Earlier this year, French physician and microbiologist Didier Raoult generated a media uproar over his controversial promotion of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. The researcher has long pointed to his growing list of publications and high number of citations as an indication of his contribution to science, all summarized in his ‘h-index’ …” (more)

[Yves Gingras and Mahdi Khelfaoui, The Conversation, 8 July]


‘Waterford Ireland’s ICT innovation capital’: Top ranking for WIT in European research funding

Posted in Research on July 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Recent EU Commission data shows that Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has attracted more research funding from the EU in the area of ICT than all the other institutes of technology combined and more than many Irish universities and technology companies …” (more)

[Dylan White, Limerick Leader, 2 July]

Tags: , , ,

Science and research

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on July 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In response to the letter by Daniel Carey (July 1st), which suggests changing the name of the new Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Science to the Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Research …” (more)

[Kevin Nolan, Irish Times, 3 July]


Science and research

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on July 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The creation of a new department is to be welcomed, but the name – Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Science – is problematic and potentially divisive …” (more)

[Daniel Carey, Irish Times, 1 July]

Tags: ,

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals Don’t Really Do Their Job

Posted in Research on June 27th, 2020 by steve

“The rush for scientific cures and treatments for Covid-19 has opened the floodgates of direct communication between scientists and the public. Instead of waiting for their work to go through the slow process of peer review at scientific journals, scientists are now often going straight to print themselves, posting write-ups of their work to public servers as soon as they’re complete …” (more)

[Simine Vazire, Wired, 25 June]

Tags: , ,

Irish scientist wins international award previously given to Nobel prize winners

Posted in Research on June 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“An Irish scientist has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry John Jeyes Award for her research into microparticles and plastic waste. Prof Iseult Lynch, who is from Dublin but works at the University of Birmingham, was announced as winner of the prestigious biennial award on Wednesday …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 24 June]

Tags: ,

George Berkeley and slavery

Posted in Research on June 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Living a few miles from George Berkeley’s childhood home in Thomastown, Kilkenny, I have grown to admire him as a social reformer and man of true vision and humanity. The article ‘What to do about George Berkeley, Trinity figurehead and slave owner?’ (Joe Humphreys, Unthinkable, June 18th), quoting the work of Trinity academic Claire Moriarty, does him a severe injustice …” (more)

[Tony Whittle, Irish Times, 23 June]

Tags: ,

Zoom, shut up and write: How PhD students cope amid COVID-19

Posted in Research on June 22nd, 2020 by steve

International“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted researchers, academics and students worldwide. No one in academia is spared the direct or indirect consequences of this novel coronavirus. For higher degree research (HDR) students (masters and PhD students), the impact of COVID-19 on their research and how they keep themselves sane and academically productive during these unprecedented times is profound …” (more)

[Kimkong Heng and Daeul Jeong, University World News, 20 June]

Tags: ,

‘Programme for Government: Our Shared Future’ (June 2020)

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration, Legal issues, Research, Teaching on June 17th, 2020 by steve

IrelandThe full (draft) Programme is here; extracts related to third level are here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Universities Step Up the Fight for Open-Access Research

Posted in Research on June 16th, 2020 by steve

“Five years ago, when Jeffrey MacKie-Mason first joined the University of California team that negotiates with academic publishers, he asked a colleague what would happen if he failed to strike a deal. What if, instead, he simply canceled their subscription? ‘I was told I would be fired the next day’, the UC Berkeley librarian says …” (more)

[Gregory Barber, Wired, 16 June]

Tags: , , ,

Just over 50% of teens starting secondary school expect to reach third level – ESRI

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Research on June 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“One in three thirteen-year-olds whose parents expect them to go to college do not think they will make the cut. Just 51% of teens joining secondary school expect to reach third level but 79% of mothers think they will …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 11 June]

Tags: ,

HEA publishes ‘Graduate Outcomes Survey: Class of 2018’ report

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on June 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The HEA today publishes the Graduate Outcomes Survey: Class of 2018 report. Findings show high levels of employment for graduates who were seeking work at the end of 2018 and early 2019 …” (more, download)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 11 June]

Tags: , ,

Three simple questions to re-define higher education

Posted in Research on June 4th, 2020 by steve

“The purpose and future of universities, higher education and research has been subject to ceaseless debate, often focused on complex issues of the bureaucratic structure of universities and their relationship to the state. Matt Rosen argues that by returning to three basic questions about higher education – What should the end or aim of education be? What should its form or shape be? What is the picture of human life in which a notion of education with this end and form fits? – it might be possible to refocus this debate and open new pathways and opportunities to develop a more meaningful system of higher education …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 4 June]


Migrants higher unemployment despite having higher education – ESRI

Posted in Research on June 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A new study published by the Economic and Social Research Institute shows that many migrant groups have higher unemployment levels despite having higher educational qualifications. The data on migrants born in 100 countries compares differences in educational qualifications, English-language skills, unemployment and job quality to Irish people …” (more)

[Ailbhe Conneely, RTÉ News, 4 June]

Tags: ,

Why it’s difficult to be a woman in research right now

Posted in Life, Research on June 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin’s Prof Clodagh Brook discusses how women in research have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and what can be done to ensure that female researchers continue to be heard. Prof Clodagh Brook is an associate professor and head of Italian at Trinity College Dublin …” (more)

[Lisa Ardill, Silicon Republic, 2 June]

Science and the humanities in the time of pandemic: better together

Posted in Research on June 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In most of the world, expertise is making a comeback. We are placing our faith in healthcare professionals such as Dr Tony Holohan and Prof Philip Nolan to lead us through the current pandemic. In the US, where the ascent of experts is on shakier ground, Dr Anthony Fauci is the target of both immoderate adulation and inexplicable death threats …” (more)

[Kathryn Conrad, Cóilín Parsons, and Julie McCormick Weng, Irish Times, 1 June]

Tags: ,

What are scientific papers for?

Posted in Research on May 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Writing scientific papers and publishing them in academic journals is an essential part of the activity of a researcher. ‘Publish or perish’ is truer now than ever, and an extensive publication list is essential for anyone wanting to have a career in science. But what are these papers actually for? What purpose do they serve? …” (more)

[In the Dark, 30 May]


More than 1,500 scientists issue funding warning and call for department for higher education and research

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on May 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“If Ireland’s higher education and research sector is left to face its current financial challenge on its own, ‘with the State ignoring it the way it has over the last decade, then it will buckle’ – more than 1,500 leading Irish scientists have predicted …” (more)

[Kevin O’Sullivan and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 May]

Tags: , ,

Call for Papers: The Labour of COVID section of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour

Posted in Research on May 27th, 2020 by steve

International“As instructors and students brace for a fall semester taught on-line, the effects of COVID on the labour of post-secondary learning continue to set in. Course outlines and assessment criteria are being reworked. Students wrestle with rising tuition and the prospects of prolonged periods of unemployment …” (more)

[Workplace, 26 May]


Time for a Department of Higher Education and Research: COVID-19 makes it clear we need a voice for science at Cabinet

Posted in Research on May 25th, 2020 by steve

IrelandAn Open Letter to the Members of Dáil Éireann. Five years ago over 1,000 Irish scientists wrote to government urging a rebalancing of funding toward basic research. Basic discovery research is exactly the type that produces the scientists, skills and serendipitous solutions we need when faced with an unexpected challenge like COVID-19. Half a decade on from that letter little has changed for the better …” (more)

[IrishScientists.org, 25 May]

Tags: ,