Not all academics are comfortable with the idea of open peer review

Posted in Research on September 14th, 2018 by steve

“There are many arguments in favour of open peer review, from anticipated improvements to the speed and quality of reviews brought about by the greater accountability, through to the likely reduction in unfair or illogical decisions because of the system’s transparency. Despite this, not all academics are comfortable with open peer review and remain fearful of their comments and views being subject to public scrutiny …” (more)

[Jaime A Teixeira da Silva, LSE Impact Blog, 14 September]


‘I have a sense that it’s probably quite bad … but because I don’t see it, I don’t know’: Lad culture in higher education

Posted in Research on September 14th, 2018 by steve

“Lad culture in English universities is often perceived by university staff as involving ‘extreme’ behaviour and as being carried out by only a handful of ‘bad apples’ rather than as a widespread culture that fosters gender-based harassment and violence. But new research, led by Lancaster University, says this perception stems from various factors, including many staff having limited understandings of lad culture which reflect the way it is portrayed in the media …” (more)

[AlphaGalileo, 13 September]


Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We fund the research – it should be free

Posted in Legal issues, Research on September 13th, 2018 by steve

“Never underestimate the power of one determined person. What Carole Cadwalladr has done to Facebook and big data, and Edward Snowden has done to the state security complex, Alexandra Elbakyan has done to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls. Sci-Hub, her pirate web scraper service, has done more than any government to tackle one of the biggest rip-offs of the modern era …” (more)

[George Monbiot, Guardian, 13 September]

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Linguistic analysis reveals the hidden details of research grant proposal peer review reports

Posted in Research on September 10th, 2018 by steve

“Despite peer review panels being the most common way of selecting applicants for research funding, little is known about how selections are made. New methods for large-scale text analysis allow for review panels’ written reports to be analysed and studied for patterns. Peter van den Besselaar and Ulf Sandström show how the frequency of positive and negative evaluation words correlate with applicants’ final scores …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 10 September]

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Fascism and the University

Posted in Research on September 9th, 2018 by steve

International“Higher education has historically been a bulwark against authoritarianism – or its pawn. What’ll it be this time? In recent years, several countries across the world have been overtaken by a certain kind of far-right nationalism; the list includes Russia, Hungary, Poland, India, Turkey, and the United States …” (more)

[Jason Stanley, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 September]


The Uberification of the university

Posted in Research on September 9th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The contemporary university’s implications for the future organization of labor. The Uberfication of the University analyzes the emergence of the sharing economy and the companies behind it: LinkedIn, Uber, and Airbnb. The book considers the contemporary university, itself subject to such entrepreneurial practices, as one polemical site for the affirmative disruption of this model.”

Hall, G (2016) The Uberification of the university. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. RIAN, 2018-09-08.

All but one of 14 institutes of technology have yet to apply for gender equality benchmark

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on September 5th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“All but one of the 14 institutes of technology have yet to submit an application for the gender equality benchmark needed by the end of next year to be eligible for public research funding. Although institutes of technology (ITs) involved in planned mergers to become technological universities (TUs) have a longer timeframe in which to secure the Athena Swan bronze award, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has submitted its application this summer …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 4 September]

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Number of visitors to National Library falls to lowest level in four years

Posted in Research on September 5th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The number of visitors to the National Library of Ireland (NLI) has fallen to its lowest in four years as collections go digital, new figures have revealed. In an annual review of the 140 year old institution, figures showed 197,000 people visited the library last year down 20% on the 247,000 who visited in 2016 …” (more)

[Conor McCrave, Independent, 4 September]


Read and Publish: Is It Good for the Academy?

Posted in Research on September 4th, 2018 by steve

“With Elsevier cutting off access to its licensed content products at dozens if not hundreds of German and Swedish universities as a result of contract lapses, the European dynamics are taking another interesting turn …” (more)

[Roger C Schonfeld, The Scholarly Kitchen, 4 September]

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Hard Brexit – The risk to postgraduate research

Posted in Research on September 1st, 2018 by steve

“… We offer a more fine-grained analysis, focusing on one dimension of higher education and research with many ramifications, that is, the role of non-UK postgraduate research students in UK research. These students substantially enhance UK research capacity and teaching excellence and UK higher education institutions are highly dependent on them …” (more)

[Ludovic Highman and Simon Marginson, University World News, 31 August]

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World-Class Universities: what are they, and why are they relevant?

Posted in Research on August 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“In this article, published in Ireland’s Yearbook of Education 2017-2018, Professor Deeks discusses the characteristics of world-class universities, how these are measured, the challenges facing universities, their core role and their contribution to the economy and society …” (more)

[Education Matters, 31 August]

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A no-deal Brexit will betray British science

Posted in Research on August 28th, 2018 by steve

“On 14 June 2014, just over a week before the EU referendum, Vote Leave were keen to calm the fears of British scientists, farmers and others who relied on European funds …” (more)

[Mike Galsworthy, Guardian, 28 August]

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For some, borders are now an insurmountable barrier to attending international academic conferences

Posted in Research on August 28th, 2018 by steve

International“Conference attendance is an important part of an academic’s work, offering opportunities to present and receive feedback on recent research, and also to make new connections and expand professional networks. When deciding whether or not to attend an event, the cost of travel or having an abstract accepted remain the determining factors to many. But for some, as Donald Nicolson writes, more restrictive border policies have meant securing a visa and obtaining clearance to attend international events can be difficult or even impossible …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 28 August]

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University research projects at risk of ‘collapse’ amid no-deal Brexit, union leader says

Posted in Research on August 27th, 2018 by steve

“Vital research and collaboration projects at universities are at risk of collapsing if the UK exits the EU without a deal, the leader of the largest union of higher education staff has warned. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), which has more than 100,000 members, said the fall-out from Brexit is the ‘biggest challenge facing higher education’ …” (more)

[Eleanor Busby, Independent, 26 August]

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Don’t Even Think of Publishing in This Journal

Posted in Research on August 16th, 2018 by steve

“A major higher education research journal is suspending submissions to clear out a two-year backlog. Some see this case pointing to broad problems in academic publishing, such as the unwillingness of many scholars to review papers …” (more)

[Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 16 August]

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Despite becoming increasing institutionalised, there remains a lack of discourse about research metrics among much of academia

Posted in Research on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The active use of metrics in everyday research activities suggests academics have accepted them as standards of evaluation, that they are ‘thinking with indicators’. Yet when asked, many academics profess concern about the limitations of evaluative metrics and the extent of their use. Why is there such a discrepancy between principle and practices pertaining to metrics? …” (more)

[Lai Ma, LSE Impact Blog, 15 August]


More haste less speed in calls for grant proposals

Posted in Research on August 11th, 2018 by steve

“This blogpost was prompted by a funding call announced this week by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which included the following key dates: Opening date for proposals – 6 August 2018; Closing date for proposals – 18 September 2018; PI response invited – 23 October 2018; PI response due – 29 October 2018; Panel – 3 December 2018; Grants start – 14 February 2019 …” (more)

[BishopBlog, 11 August]

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Will THE do something about the citations indicator?

Posted in Research on August 11th, 2018 by steve

International“International university rankings can be a bit boring sometimes. It is difficult to get excited about the Shanghai rankings, especially at the upper end: Chicago down two places, Peking up one. There was a bit of excitement in 2014 when there was a switch to a new list of highly cited researchers and some universities went up and down a few places, or even a few dozen, but that seems over with now …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 11 August]

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Researcher and biotech founder in Ireland issues four retractions

Posted in Research on August 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An award-winning researcher and founder of a biotech company based in Ireland has retracted four papers and corrected another …” (more)

[Retraction Watch, 10 August]

The Brexit White Paper: what does it mean for higher education and research?

Posted in Research on August 9th, 2018 by steve

“While Theresa May pledged that ‘the days of sending vast sums of money to the EU’ are over, the UK is still very much under the illusion that the days of receiving large amounts of EU money in specific sectors are not. Hopes of an early deal allowing UK universities to remain among the highest beneficiaries of EU research funding programmes are vanishing quickly …” (more)

[Ludovic Highman, CGHE, 9 August]

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