IReL journal backfile purchases

Posted in Research on September 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“IReL has purchased journal backfile collections from Sage, American Medical Association and Wiley. Typically, our publisher subscription agreements do not give us access to all issues of a journal: our so-called frontfile entitlements give us access to issues published from the late 1990s (when journals first became available online) to present. The backfiles, issues published in print format before this date, were digitised and licensed separately …” (more)

[IReL, 16 September]

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Covid, masks and the case for funding engineering research

Posted in Research on September 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“One of the more surprising aspects of the Covid crisis – for me at any rate – is the fact there has been so much disagreement about the wearing of facemasks and the mode of transmission of Covid 19. Yes, it’s a new virus but it strikes me that given the threat that pathogens pose to mankind, one would have thought that the underlying physics of sprays and aerosols, not to mention the transport of particles through multilayer membranes might be very well understood at this stage, especially given the computing power at our disposal. But apparently not …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 11 September]

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‘Student views on transition to higher education in Ireland: Challenges, impacts and suggestions’

Posted in Research on September 7th, 2020 by steve

IrelandAbstract: This paper examines students’ perspectives on the main transitional challenges experienced when commencing higher education. It explores which students are most affected by the transition and is the first paper to provide an overview of student recommendations to help improve the transition in an Irish context. The study involves large‐scale surveys and focus groups across four higher education institutions and explores a range of transitional challenges (including academic, social and course‐specific aspects). Over 1,100 student suggestions to improve transition are analysed and many of these recommendations could be easily implemented beyond Ireland. Ten overall recommendations are made which include, among others, specific supports for mature students and those with longer commuting distances, course‐specific introductory skills modules to be given by current students, a first year ‘starter’ pack with course‐specific orientation materials, and the introduction of a student‐shadowing programme for prospective students.

Eleanor Denny, Student views on transition to higher education in Ireland: Challenges, impacts and suggestions, Higher Education Quarterly, First published: 6 September 2020.

How will COVID-19 affect research collaboration?

Posted in Research on September 6th, 2020 by steve

International“A key question for research universities is how the coronavirus pandemic will affect research and international collaboration in the future. How well has virtual communication worked and how will the expected financial stringency affect us? …” (more)

[David Bogle, University World News, 5 September]

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Don’t be a prig in peer review

Posted in Research on September 2nd, 2020 by steve

International“I very much enjoy being a peer reviewer. Reviewing manuscripts allows me to stay up to date on the most-current research in my field, and I feel a sense of accomplishment when helping authors to effectively disseminate their science. However, I have been discouraged by some comments from fellow reviewers that I’ve seen relayed to authors …” (more)

[Jeff Clements, Nature, 1 September]


COVID-19 pandemic – Years of potential intellectual life lost

Posted in Research on August 30th, 2020 by steve

International“During the coronavirus pandemic, teachers, professors and parents worldwide have realised that we are falling behind in education, research and intellectual progress. How much will the pandemic slow the academic progress of each country and of the world? We could borrow and modify a parallel measurement from the medical field to measure the slowdown …” (more)

[John Richard Schrock, University World News, 7 August]


Sustainable Open Access – What’s Next?

Posted in Research on August 27th, 2020 by steve

International“Early last year, I interviewed Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-in-Chief of Annual Reviews about the organization’s rationale for pursuing open access (OA) and details of their Subscribe to Open approach. A few months ago, Lisa Hinchliffe offered us an update on Annual Reviews, providing both an expanded definition of Subscribe to Open and an overview of some of the advantages and challenges of the model …” (more)

[Ann Michael, The Scholarly Kitchen, 27 August]

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‘Examining university leadership and the increase in workplace hostility through a Bourdieusian lens’

Posted in Research on August 26th, 2020 by steve

Abstract: Research has noted an increase in negative workplace behaviours in the higher education sector between leaders and staff. A component of this change has been attributed to the managerial shift associated with faculty leadership roles. Positions such as dean are now sometimes filled via evidence of management experience when traditionally these roles were awarded to senior academics. This paper argues that the workplace divides between leaders employed due to management expertise (and with less regard to their research accomplishments) and academics has created new fault lines in institutional hierarchies that are impacting on intra‐faculty relationships as each group adjusts to contemporary institutional management strategies. Bourdieu’s notions of habitus, capital, and field are used to dissect these fault lines and hierarchical structures to assist in understanding why the leadership shift is causing divides, if the issue is likely to continue creating rifts, and if the divide can be repaired.

Troy Heffernan, Examining university leadership and the increase in workplace hostility through a Bourdieusian lens, Higher Education Quarterly, First published: 24 August 2020.

Students Will Need to Book Study Spaces in Library

Posted in Research, Teaching on August 21st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The James Joyce library will provide limited study spaces for undergraduate students this trimester in an effort to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and physical distancing guidelines. Additionally, opening hours have been minimised and there is currently no access to other UCD library locations …” (more)

[Emma Hanrahan, College Tribune, 21 August]

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Women less likely to critique men’s research in academic journals

Posted in Research on August 20th, 2020 by steve

“Women researchers are less likely to comment on academic work, and it shows a subtle gender bias in academia. If women are less likely to comment, they could be excluded from or marginalized in important scholarly debates and networks …” (more)

[Cary Wu, Rima Wilkes and Sylvia Fuller, Academic Matters, 19 August]

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Consultation for National Research Plan to Begin ‘Shortly’, Says Harris

Posted in Research on August 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The consultation process for a new national plan for research will begin ‘shortly’, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said today. The plan will be the successor to Innovation 2020, which was launched as Ireland’s strategy for research in 2015 and aimed to build on existing infrastructures and encourage private-public collaborations …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 19 August]


Minister Harris announces €4.3 million investment in enterprise research partnerships

Posted in Research on August 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Today, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, announced a €4.3 million investment in the Irish Research Council’s Enterprise Partnership Scheme, providing funding for fifty enterprise-focused research awards …” (more)

[Rebecca Deasy-Millar, Trinity News, 17 August]

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Signs of ‘citation hacking’ flagged in scientific papers

Posted in Research on August 15th, 2020 by steve

“Scientists who get too many references to their own work inserted in others’ papers – whether by prior arrangement or by asking for extra references during peer review – might leave telltale fingerprints in the citation record, say two researchers who have developed a way to detect what they call citation hacking …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature, 14 August]


‘The emergence of the higher education research field (1976–2018): preferential attachment, smallworldness and fragmentation in its collaboration networks’

Posted in Research on August 14th, 2020 by steve

Abstract: The field of higher education research is fast-growing, both in number of publications and in geographical reach. There is however limited evidence on how this growth in publication influences the structure of the underlying co-authorship network. This is important as structural network parameters can change quickly in a fast-growing network, leading to fundamental different network structures, e.g., in terms of hierarchy, fragmentation, and inequality. Ultimately, these network structures can influence the current and future innovation and knowledge production in the field. Empirically, we construct 34 different co-authorship networks of all authors published in 28 higher education journals listed in Web of Science between 1976 and 2018 and perform bibliometric network analyses …

Jef Vlegels and Jeroen Huisman, The emergence of the higher education research field (1976–2018): preferential attachment, smallworldness and fragmentation in its collaboration networks, Higher Education (2020).

UCD ag-tech spin out raises €6m to develop patent crop spray equipment

Posted in Research on August 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Maggrow, the Dublin-based pioneering agricultural technology company has raised €6m in series A funding to hire new recruits and develop its patented crop spraying equipment for potential use in making irrigation, sanitisation and fruit and vine growing more efficient and environmentally sustainable …” (more)

[John Reynolds, Independent, 6 August]

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Founders of Trinity spin-out IdentiGEN share in €50m sale to MSD

Posted in Research on August 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“An Irish company that can trace food from farm to fork using animal DNA – helping to eliminate fraud and contamination – has been sold for €50m. IdentiGEN was set up in 1996 as a Trinity College campus spin-out by scientists Ciaran Meghen and Ronan Loftus. They still lead the business and are among shareholders set to benefit from the sale. Taxpayers are set to gain too through the Enterprise Ireland-backed MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland …” (more)

[Shawn Pogatchnik, Independent, 6 August]

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Ten takeaways from ten years at Retraction Watch

Posted in Research on August 4th, 2020 by steve

International“As we celebrate our tenth birthday and look forward to our second decade, we thought it would be a good time to take stock and reflect on some lessons we – and others – have learned …” (more)

[Ivan Oransky, Retraction Watch, 3 August]


Trinity College spin-out Volograms raises €1.5m in funding

Posted in Research on July 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Volograms, a start-up that is developing technology which can record footage of real people and then use this to create a dynamic 3D hologram of them for use in a wide range of content, including on social media, has raised €1.5 million in funding …” (more)

[Charlie Taylor, Irish Times, 29 July]

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Science publishing has opened up during the coronavirus pandemic. It won’t be easy to keep it that way

Posted in Research on July 28th, 2020 by steve

International“Scientific publishing is not known for moving rapidly. In normal times, publishing new research can take months, if not years. Researchers prepare a first version of a paper on new findings and submit it to a journal, where it is often rejected, before being resubmitted to another journal, peer-reviewed, revised and, eventually, hopefully published …” (more)

[Virginia Barbour, The Conversation, 27 July]

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UCD spinout seeks €30m, McDonagh’s new service station, and hydrogen testing

Posted in Research on July 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“UCD spinout drug company Atxa Therapeutics, which is developing novel therapies that tackle a deadly heart condition, is seeking to raise $30 million to bring its treatment through clinical trials and secure regulatory approval …” (more)

[Ciarán Hancock, Irish Times, 27 July]

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