The Ebook R/Evolution – Not as Easy as It Seems

Posted in Research on April 24th, 2017 by steve

“Earlier this month at the 12th annual Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) conference, the evolution of the ebook and its place in the library and scholarly community was an undeniable sub-theme – one that left me thinking any revolutionary vision for ebooks has been greatly stymied by disconnects between end-user perspectives and the agendas of scholarly resource suppliers …” (more)

[Lettie Conrad, The Scholarly Kitchen, 24 April]

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Why I didn’t march for science

Posted in Research on April 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This is the age of Science Communication. Science communication used to conjure up images of the BBC’s Horizon programme (when it used to be good) or of Carl Sagan talking about ‘billions and billions of suns’ or, if we go back far enough, of Jacob Bronowski talking about the Ascent of Man. These days, though, science communication has become big business …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 23 April]


Third Level Funding: Research and Development

Posted in Research on April 13th, 2017 by steve

IrelandCarol Nolan (Offaly, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the allocation to third level research and development over each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 12 April]

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Rather than simply moving from ‘paying to read’ to ‘paying to publish’, it’s time for a European Open Access Platform

Posted in Research on April 10th, 2017 by steve

“Open access is here to stay. Massive support from academic institutions and research funders makes it the likeliest future scenario for scholarly publications, leaving only the question of how the transition is made. Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Isabella Peters and Gert G Wagner argue that current policy efforts do not go far enough …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 10 April]


Call for Papers – Freedom of speech and Higher Education: The case of the academic boycott of Israel

Posted in Research on April 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Academic freedom includes the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfil their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction …” (more)

[Academics for Palestine, 6 April]

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Ministers Bruton and Halligan announce the launch of the Irish Research Council’s €2.5m Frontier Research (LAUREATE) Programme

Posted in Research on April 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, today (Thursday) announced the launch of the Irish Research Council’s €2.5 Million Frontier Research Programme, which will be titled the Irish Research Council’s Laureate Awards. The Programme will aim to attract world class researchers to Ireland …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 6 April]

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It’s not just you: science papers are getting harder to read

Posted in Research on March 31st, 2017 by steve

International“Modern scientific texts are more impenetrable than they were over a century ago, suggests a team of researchers in Sweden. It’s easy to believe that …” (more)

[Philip Ball, Nature News, 30 March]


In Praise of ‘B’ Journals

Posted in Research on March 29th, 2017 by steve

“Every university has a list of A journals, those it considers to be the most prestigious in its field. Even the journals that rank institutions have such lists, and many universities use them to measure their impact. As a result, academics establish their credentials by publishing in these journals, and universities grant tenure and promotion for the same …” (more)

[Andrew Hoffman, Inside Higher Ed, 28 March]


Research and Development Funding

Posted in Research on March 24th, 2017 by steve

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she is satisfied with the level of funding allocated to the programme for research in third level institutions on an annual basis in 2017; and the amount of funding that has been ring-fenced for research and frontier research in 2017 …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 23 March]

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UK universities’ confusion on Brexit ‘toxic’, says Germany’s U15

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

“UK higher education institutions have failed to set out a clear strategy for staying in the European Union’s research framework, and this uncertainty is proving ‘toxic’ for new joint projects, the chair of an association of the biggest research universities in Germany has warned …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 23 March]

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Is the importance of female role models in science overstated?

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I recently watched the movie Hidden Figures and was incredibly moved by the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who worked at Nasa during the space race of the 1960s. These women, originally employed as human computers in the coloured section at Nasa, became trail-blazers in their fields of mathematics, physics, engineering and computer science, breaking not only gender but also racial stereotypes of the time …” (more)

[Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Irish Times, 23 March]

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Academia is fucked-up. So why isn’t anyone doing something about it?

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

“A week or so ago, a list of perverse incentives in academia made rounds. It offers examples like ‘rewarding an increased number of citations’ that – instead of encouraging work of high quality and impact – results in inflated citation lists, an academic tit-for-tat which has become standard practice. Likewise, rewarding a high number of publications doesn’t produce more good science, but merely finer slices of the same science …” (more)

[Sabine Hossenfelder, Backreaction, 22 March]


Gender bias distorts peer review across field

Posted in Research on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

International“In many scientific fields, women publish fewer papers than men, are less likely to be listed as first authors and are less likely to receive glowing letters of recommendation from their advisers. These disparities have decreased over time, but they persist. Now, a study finds that some journal editors might be inadvertently taking gender into account when selecting reviewers for papers …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 21 March]

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Students fear they lack skills to set up business

Posted in Research on March 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Many third-level students want to set up their own businesses after graduation, but college supports to do so might be lacking, a new study suggests. While one-in-six have the strongest ambitions to start their own ventures in the future, barely half said their college encouraged entrepreneurial activities …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 March]

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Every attempt to manage academia makes it worse

Posted in Research on March 19th, 2017 by steve

“I’ve been on Twitter since April 2011 — nearly six years. A few weeks ago, for the first time, something I tweeted broke the thousand-retweets barrier. And I am really unhappy about it. For two reasons. First, it’s not my own content …” (more)

[Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week, 17 March]


Trinity’s Total Research Budget Increases, with 68% of Budget from State Funding

Posted in Research on March 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s research accounts for last year show that 68% of research income came from state funding, accounting for nearly €68 million, while Trinity’s four research institutes made up 14.7% of the total research income …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 17 March]

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Patchy progress on fixing global gender disparities in science

Posted in Research on March 8th, 2017 by steve

International“Although women are publishing more studies, being cited more often, and securing more coveted first-author positions than they were in the mid 1990s, overall progress towards gender parity in science varies widely by country and field. This is according to a massive report released on 8 March that is the first to examine such a broad swath of disciplines and regions of the world over time …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 8 March]

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Funding research vital to society

Posted in Research on March 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The importance of funding ‘basic research’ for the future wellbeing of Irish society and our economy is clearly articulated by John FitzGerald (‘Research to shape public policy is hard to measure – and fund’, Business Opinion, March 3rd), although he could have added that the Irish Research Council funds basic research across all disciplines …” (more)

[Jane Ohlmeyer, Irish Times, 7 March]

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UCD gets Connemara film and sound archive of artists and poets

Posted in Research on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Extensive film and audio recordings of poets Seamus Heaney, Paula Meehan and Moya Cannon and musicians Christy Moore and Bill Whelan form part of a Connemara archive which has been donated to University College Dublin (UCD) …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 28 February]


Slashing of 3rd Level research funding risking Ireland’s future economic prosperity

Posted in Research on February 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Innovation, and Enterprise, Niall Collins has said that the future health of the Irish economy is being put at risk by the failure of Minister Mitchell O’Connor to adequately fund 3rd level research …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 26 February]

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