THE uncovers more pockets of research excellence

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on November 15th, 2018 by steve

International“I don’t want to do this. I really would like to start blogging about whether rankings should measure third missions or developing metrics for teaching and learning. But I find it difficult to stay away from the THE rankings, especially the citations indicator …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 15 November]


Do academics need pseudonyms to protect their freedom?

Posted in Research on November 14th, 2018 by steve

“In 2012, the bioethicist Francesca Minerva published a paper she co-authored entitled ‘After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?’ The research concluded that new-borns have the same ‘moral status’ as foetuses, and ethically speaking can therefore be killed in all cases where abortion is permissible. The media picked up the argument for ‘killing inconvenient babies’, as the Guardian put it …” (more)

[Anoosh Chakelian, New Statesman, 14 November]

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Are men just better at science than women?

Posted in Research on November 14th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Talk about bad timing. The day after the Government announces that it is creating dozens of ‘woman-only’ professorships in science and engineering a report appears in a respected scientific journal apparently telling us that men are simply better at science …” (more)

[John McManus, Irish Times, 14 November]

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Learned Societies and Open Access

Posted in Research on November 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Tuesday’s quick post about a letter of opposition to Plan S generated some comments from academics about the role of ‘Learned Societies’ in academic publishing. I therefore think it’s relevant to raise some points about the extent that these organizations (including, in my field, the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics) rely for their financial security upon the revenues generated by publishing traditional journals …” (more)

[In The Dark, 8 November]


Chemists against Plan S

Posted in Research on November 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There’s an ‘Open Letter’ doing the rounds which rails against the European Plan S for open access to research papers. You can find it here on Google Docs. It is apparently initiated by some chemists, and there are very few signatories who are not chemists …” (more)

[In The Dark, 6 November]


A welcome mid-term break

Posted in Life, Research on November 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Today marks the end of the mid-term break for many of us in the third level sector in Ireland. While a non-teaching week in the middle of term has been a stalwart of secondary schools for many years, the mid-term break only became common in the Irish third level sector as universities, Institutes of Technology (IoTs) and other colleges adopted the model of 12-week teaching semesters …” (more)

[Antimatter, 4 November]

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Trinity voices Brexit fears with Financial Times open letter

Posted in Research on November 1st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin has voiced its concerns about the impact of Brexit on Ireland-UK research links, in a free ad in the Financial Times. In a message to readers and the wider policymaking community, it has placed an open letter in today’s edition of the newspaper …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 1 November]

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UNICEF highlights education inequalities among children

Posted in Research on October 30th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Ireland ranks second among the 41 wealthiest countries of the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development at reducing educational inequality, according to UNICEF. Despite the positive findings, the research ‘An Unfair Start: Inequality in Children’s Education in Rich Countries’ says substantial gaps still exist between the best and worst performing students …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 30 October]

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Are Mirror Journals a Better Path to the Open Access Flip?

Posted in Research on October 29th, 2018 by steve

“Once seen as the gateway to full open access (OA), hybrid journals have either been wildly successful or a total failure. A hybrid journal is when authors can publish a paper in a subscription journal and choose to make it OA, typically by paying an article processing charge (APC). If the goal of hybrid OA was to facilitate a global flip to full OA, the goal has, at least so far, failed after decades of trying …” (more)

[Angela Cochran, The Scholarly Kitchen, 29 October]

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‘Graduate students’ experiences of plagiarism by their professors’

Posted in Legal issues, Research on October 29th, 2018 by steve

Abstract: This study expands the inquiry about an egregious form of academic misconduct. Participants consist of graduate students who reported a violation of academic integrity because a professor plagiarised their academic work. Based on data collected through interviews and documents, interpretative phenomenological analysis is used to examine participants’ experiences. A key research finding of relevance to Higher Education policy is: individuals in positions of authority failed to resolve the reports. This study calls for more education about authorship. Equally important, universities need clear reporting procedures and protections for students when they report academic violations.

Kimberly D Becker, Graduate students’ experiences of plagiarism by their professors, Higher Education Quarterly. First published: 29 October 2018.

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Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (2018)

Posted in Research on October 28th, 2018 by steve

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google …” (video)

[LSE Impact Blog, 27 October]

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PhD theses – drawing attention to the often overlooked articles in open access repositories

Posted in Research on October 28th, 2018 by steve

“Earlier this Open Access Week, university library staff throughout the UK celebrated #ThesisThursday, a day of focused attention on the less talked-about articles in open access repositories, PhD theses. Camilla Griffiths and Nancy Graham describe the work the LSE Library has led to digitise the theses of the School’s doctoral alumni, outlining the benefits of greater visibility, widespread indexing, and robust URLs …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 27 October]

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Trinity sees 33% increase in research funding over last five years

Posted in Research on October 26th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Trinity received €100.6m in research funding last year, marking an increase from the €74m raised four years ago, and a 33% increase over the last five years. Provost Patrick Prendergast outlined the funding figures at the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) Strategy Day Workshop last week …” (more)

[Peter Kelly, Trinity News, 26 October]

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Science Foundation Ireland

Posted in Research on October 26th, 2018 by steve

IrelandBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the amount allocated to the strategic partnership programme for SFI in each year since it was established; and the number of approved applicants in tabular form …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 25 October]

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Irish universities open AI research doors to China with signing of agreements

Posted in Research on October 25th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Irish educational institutions have signed deals to make closer ties between Irish and Chinese research in computer science and AI. A number of Irish universities and institutes of technology have opened their doors to Chinese research as part of a series of new deals signed between them and Chinese universities …” (more)

[Colm Gorey, Silicon Republic, 24 October]

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DIT and Chinese university join forces for cutting-edge tech research

Posted in Research on October 25th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) is teaming up with one of the leading universities in China to lead cutting-edge research into artificial intelligence, information communications technology and medical apps. The two universities will share research facilities, jointly publish academic reports and have mutual visits of staff and students. They will also apply for funding in the EU, China and internationally …” (more)

[Breda Heffernan, Independent, 25 October]

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The joy of a good conference

Posted in Research on October 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“One of the perks of academia is the thrill of presenting work at international conferences. Although the best conferences always seem to fall at the busiest moment in the teaching semester (a pet peeve) and the travel can be tiring, there is no doubt that interacting directly with one’s peers is a huge shot in the arm – not to mention the opportunity to travel to interesting locations and experience new cultures …” (more)

[Antimatter, 20 October]


The rise and rise of predatory journals

Posted in Research on October 21st, 2018 by steve

International“There has been a precipitous rise in predatory academic journals in recent years. Most researchers are probably familiar with the recruitment tactic from these scammers. If you haven’t noticed, check your spam folder. It will be littered with invitations to submit to journals tangentially related to your field. You might even have an invitation to join an editorial board or two …” (more)

[Ryan Allen, University World News, 19 October]


Research and Development Supports

Posted in Research on October 20th, 2018 by steve

IrelandBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which innovation continues to be a feature of enterprise and investment here; if she remains satisfied that new enterprises have adequate access to innovation technology and-or appropriate assistance from the European Union; and if she will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 18 October]

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Facebook defends role in project to tackle online bullying

Posted in Research on October 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Facebook has defended its role in a new campaign to provide anti-bullying and online safety training in every secondary school in Ireland. The social media firm has been at the centre of allegations that it is not doing enough to moderate harmful and illegal content …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 October]

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