National research priorities

Posted in Research on March 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – On Wednesday the Government published its refreshed 14 research priorities for 2018-2023. It claims that these priorities are critical to social and economic progress. Yet all of them favour technological solutions only and promote business interests. They completely ignore areas such as housing, deprivation, education, community development, economics, public administration, law, planning, culture, and the wider public good …” (more)

[Rob Kitchin, Irish Times, 19 March]

Facebook deal lands €565k for UCC staff

Posted in Research on March 16th, 2018 by steve

“More than 160 University College Cork employees earned average payouts of €3,400 for contributions to a campus tech firm that sold to a Facebook subsidiary. The value of the 2016 purchase of spinout company InfiniLED by virtual technology company Oculus has also emerged as being well over €20m. UCC records show it got an initial payment of €1.659m for its 12.6% share in InfiniLED, which developed low-energy LED lighting at the university’s Tyndall National Institute research centre …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 16 March]

Tags: , ,

The hidden costs of research assessment exercises: the curious case of Australia

Posted in Research on March 13th, 2018 by steve

“Research assessment exercises provide the government and wider public with assurance of the quality of university research, with the guiding principles being accountability, transparency, and openness. But is there the same accountability and openness when it comes to the public cost of these large-scale exercises? …” (more)

[Ksenia Sawczak, LSE Impact Blog, 13 March]

Tags: ,

Is it time to nationalise academic publishers?

Posted in Research on March 5th, 2018 by steve

“After decades of free-market ideological dominance on both sides of the Atlantic, nationalisation (or at least anti-monopoly state intervention) is back on the agenda. ‘Rail, water, energy, Royal Mail, we’re taking them back’, shadow chancellor John McDonnell​ (above) told a Labour Party on the brink of power last year …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 2 March]

Tags: , , ,

Self-driving car tech to be developed in Ireland’s wet west

Posted in Research on March 1st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“NUIG, Lero, Valeo teamwork will lead to robotic cars better able for bad weather. Lero, the software research group, has announced a collaboration with Valeo, the French car components and technology giant. The plan is to develop new sensor technology for autonomous cars …” (more)

[Neil Briscoe, Irish Times, 1 March]


It’s time to stand up to the academic publishing industry

Posted in Research on February 27th, 2018 by steve

“Academia is unique in that professionals with highly specialized expertise, who are paid by public institutions, write articles and provide peer reviews to corporations who profit greatly without giving back to the research enterprise. In any other industry, such experts would charge up to $1,500/hour for their services; in academia, this expertise is given away to for-profit companies …” (more)

[Adriane Macdonald and Nicole Eva, University Affairs, 26 February]

Tags: ,

Psst … Need a PhD thesis? That’ll be $63,000

Posted in Research on February 26th, 2018 by steve

“Many readers may have heard whisper of companies that offer a range of writing services – some more ethical than others. Although some companies offer to edit and polish writing, others can write PhD research proposals, masters’ theses, or even a dissertation …” (more)

[Retraction Watch, 22 February]

Tags: , ,

Brexit: German universities among those poised to benefit if researchers and funding shift

Posted in Research on February 23rd, 2018 by steve

“The UK is currently the second-largest recipient of competitive research funding from the EU: 6% of students and 17% of staff in UK universities are from other EU countries. Nearly half of academic papers produced by the UK are written in collaboration with at least one international partner – and among the top 20 countries UK academics cooperate the most with, 13 are in the EU …” (more)

[IOE London Blog, 23 February]

Tags: , , ,

Irish Research Council

Posted in Research on February 22nd, 2018 by steve

IrelandCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the sum of moneys allocated by the Irish Research Council in each of the years 2012 to 2017 and to date in 2018 under the enterprise partnership schemes or employment led schemes; the amount recouped from employers in each of those years; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 21 February]

Tags: , , ,

A Revolt Over Journal Archives

Posted in Research on February 22nd, 2018 by steve

“Publisher Taylor & Francis has dropped plans to charge extra for access to older research papers online, after more than 110 universities signed a letter of protest. The latest renewal of British universities’ deal with Taylor & Francis, which was agreed in principle at the end of January but is yet to be signed, for the first time covered papers published only in the past 20 years …” (more)

[Holly Else, Inside Higher Ed, 22 February]

Tags: ,

Ali Selim: ‘I condemn FGM. I totally apologise for the confusion’

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on February 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Ali Selim regrets the controversy that followed his comments on female genital mutilation (FGM). But, he says, the furore was not all of his own creation. The spokesman for the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, Dublin and its Imam, Shaykh Hussein Halawa, came under fire after Dr Selim, on RTÉ’s Prime Time, apparently made a distinction between FGM and female circumcision …” (more)

[Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 19 February]


‘A gender equality paradox’: Countries with more gender equality have less female STEM grads

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Research on February 18th, 2018 by steve

International“Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new study has found …” (more)

[, 18 February]

Tags: , ,

Few UK universities have adopted rules against impact-factor abuse

Posted in Research on February 18th, 2018 by steve

“A survey of British institutions reveals that few have taken concrete steps to stop the much-criticized misuse of research metrics in the evaluation of academics’ work. The results offer an early insight into global efforts to clamp down on such practices …” (more)

[Nisha Gaind, Nature, 12 February]

Tags: , ,

The RAE/REF have engendered evaluation selectivity and strategic behaviour, reinforced scientific norms, and further stratified UK higher education

Posted in Research on February 13th, 2018 by steve

“The UK’s periodic research assessment exercise has grown larger and more formalised since its first iteration in 1986. Marcelo Marques, Justin JW Powell, Mike Zapp and Gert Biesta have examined what effects it has had on the submitting behaviour of institutions, considering the intended and unintended consequences in the field of education research …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 13 February]

Tags: , ,

What Does Open Access Mean #icanhazPDF

Posted in Research on February 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Like many who are cajoled to publish and share, I’ve conducted part of my professional life using assets from the internet’s pirate queen, Alexandra Elbakyan. That’s because I can’t afford to access the vast libraries of academic research behind extortionate paywalls. For most of my professional life, I’ve seen the value of sharing and sharing alike …” (more)

[Inside View, 8 February]

Tags: ,

Funding priorities of Science Foundation Ireland need re-balancing

Posted in Research on February 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), which receives the largest proportion of Irish research funding from the Government, needs to be reconfigured to ensure its supports basic third-level research more, according to Fianna Fáil spokesman on science James Lawless …” (more)

[Kevin O’Sullivan, Irish Times, 11 February]

Tags: , , ,

Reviews finds weaknesses in safeguards over sale of college spinout firms

Posted in Research on February 9th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An independent review into the sale of intellectual property by third-level colleges has found weaknesses in the way conflicts of interest among research staff are managed in the sale of lucrative spinout companies. The review was prompted by concerns raised at the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee last year over potential conflicts of interest in this sector, particularly where research staff are also shareholders in companies that end up being sold for large sums of money …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 February]

Tags: , , ,

Review of Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures in Higher Education Published

Posted in Legal issues, Research on February 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) are pleased to announce the publication of the Review of Intellectual Property Management and Conflicts of Interest, which provides a framework for the strengthening of IP policies and procedures in higher education …” (more)

[Gemma Duke, Higher Education Authority, 8 February]

Tags: , ,

Will other countries follow Germany into battle with Elsevier?

Posted in Research on February 1st, 2018 by steve

“Germany is thought to be saving more than €10 million (£8.7 million) a year in journal subscription fees after calling the bluff of the world’s biggest academic publisher during a negotiation stand-off. Elsevier, long criticised by some academics for what they see as its excessive profits and resistance to open access, is now afraid to cut off German universities’ access to its journals even though their contracts have expired, according to an outspoken negotiator for the German side …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 1 February]

Tags: , , ,

Horizon 2020 Strategy Funding

Posted in Research on February 1st, 2018 by steve

IrelandSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the amount drawn down by Ireland from the Horizon 2020 fund to date; and the areas to which the funds have been allocated …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 30 January]

Tags: , , ,