Rage against the academic publishing machine does not have to be futile

Posted in Research on December 21st, 2017 by steve

“The ‘unstoppable machine’. That is how Yiannis Gabriel, one of the UK’s leading social thinkers, labelled the academic-publishing complex in a recent piece for Times Higher Education (‘We must rescue social science research from obscurity’, Opinion, August 10). His ire was directed, in particular, at social science research, which he sees as falling into aimless, bloated obscurity, its only purpose being to provide career tokens to academics, ranking tokens to institutions and vast profits to publishers …” (more)

[Mike Marinetto, Times Higher Education, 21 December]

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Peer Review in the Humanities and Social Sciences: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?

Posted in Research on September 21st, 2016 by steve

USA“While much of the contemporary debate around peer review focuses on both journal articles and STEM fields, here we are going to focus on humanities and social science (HSS) fields where both longer articles and book-length projects are more common. Does HSS peer review have the same functions, goals, and challenges as STEM peer review? …” (more)

[Alison Mudditt, The Scholarly Kitchen, 21 September]

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QUB to Merge Seven Schools

Posted in Governance and administration on December 16th, 2015 by steve

UK“Queen’s University Belfast has discussed plans to merge schools within the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences faculty, the Gown has learned from a University source …” (more)

[Niamh McGovern, The Gown, 16 December]

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Are you there, State funding? It’s us, social sciences

Posted in Research on May 28th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“We hear a lot these days, and rightly so, about the importance of the Stem disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. There is broad understanding of the need for strong research in these disciplines, to deliver talented individuals and new thinking, and to underpin a vibrant enterprise sector and an informed society …” (more)

[Orla Feely, Irish Times, 28 May]

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Irish Research Council launches publication to mark global celebration of Irish culture

Posted in Research on March 16th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“To mark St Patrick’s Day 2015, the Irish Research Council has launched Creating Ireland, a publication highlighting the contribution of humanities and social sciences to Irish society …” (more)

[Karina Corbett, Business and Leadership, 16 March]

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Why are so many social scientists left-liberal?

Posted in Governance and administration on February 5th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Every social scientist I ever met was liberal-left. This uniformity always struck me as very odd. I accidentally came across a new, rigorous academic analysis of this question in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences …” (more)

[William Reville, Irish Times, 5 February]


Time for the social sciences

Posted in Research on December 31st, 2014 by steve

UK“Physics, chemistry, biology and the environmental sciences can deliver wonderful solutions to some of the challenges facing individuals and societies, but whether those solutions will gain traction depends on factors beyond their discoverers’ ken …” (more)

[Nature, 30 December]

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Social sciences suffer from severe publication bias

Posted in Research on August 29th, 2014 by steve

“When an experiment fails to produce an interesting effect, researchers often shelve the data and move on to another problem. But withholding null results skews the literature in a field, and is a particular worry for clinical medicine and the social sciences …” (more)

[Mark Peplow, Nature News & Comment, 28 August]

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Benchmarking Journals via Google Scholar

Posted in Research on July 20th, 2014 by steve

“How can arts and social science faculty show their quality to be just as high as STEM? One of the things that becomes clear when you spend any time engaged in the promotions or hiring process of universities is that there is an increased drive towards metrics …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 19 July]

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Are UK policies preventing humanities research from reaching an international audience?

Posted in Research on April 17th, 2014 by steve

“Report points to ‘serious dangers for the international standing of UK research’ in humanities and social sciences. Today marks the launch of another report on open access, a topic area that is rapidly becoming saturated …” (more)

[Martin Paul Eve, Guardian Professional, 17 April]

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Going digital: a lightbulb moment for arts graduates

Posted in Teaching on March 11th, 2014 by steve

“A rudimentary search for postgraduate courses with ‘digital’ in the title now throws up dozens of options across the university and Institutes of Technology sectors, many of which have only been established within the past couple of years …” (more)

[Louise Holden, Irish Times, 11 March]

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Use ‘impact agenda’ to prove value, social sciences urged

Posted in Research on January 10th, 2014 by steve

“Researchers at the London School of Economics have urged social scientists to join forces across disciplines and make far better use of the ‘impact’ agenda to demonstrate how much they can contribute to the economy and society …” (more)

[Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 9 January]

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Exploratory analysis of researcher behaviour challenges the assumption that STEM subjects are more societally useful than SSH

Posted in Research on October 28th, 2013 by steve

“Anyone active in research cannot help but notice increased recent pressure from research funders to maximise its wider societal benefits. Ensuring public benefits in return for funding is clearly reasonable in a democratic society, but this increasing drive for impact has brought with it a rather undesirable set of policy assumptions …” (more)

[Paul Benneworth, Impact of Social Sciences, 28 October]

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Social science graduates ‘have best job prospects’

Posted in Life on October 28th, 2013 by steve

“Students with an eye on their job prospects should take social science degrees, research suggests. Social science graduates are more likely to be in paid employment than arts or science graduates, according to analysis of official data …” (more)

[Judith Burns, BBC News, 28 October]

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Don’t just complain, take the lead! Social Sciences and Humanities must look to integrate into Horizon 2020 targets

Posted in Research on October 10th, 2013 by steve

EU“It is a crucial point in time for the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) to demonstrate their value and relevance. Nothing would be more fatal than to fall back to the ‘complaining mode’, argues Helga Nowotny …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 10 October]

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The New Rankings Frontier: Media Mentions

Posted in Research on October 8th, 2013 by steve

“Scholars often despair over the dumbed-down state of public discourse. At the same time, academics with relevant expertise can be absent from the popular news media’s treatment of the issues of the day …” (more)

[Dan Berrett, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 October]

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The Right to Open Access to Humanities and Social Science Research

Posted in Research on August 23rd, 2013 by steve

“Ernesto Priego sets the open access movement in context, outlining the key initiatives and policies that have emerged over the years …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 23 August]

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Let’s Shake Up the Social Sciences

Posted in Research on July 20th, 2013 by steve

“… I’m not suggesting that social scientists stop teaching and investigating classic topics like monopoly power, racial profiling and health inequality. But everyone knows that monopoly power is bad for markets, that people are racially biased and that illness is unequally distributed by social class. There are diminishing returns from the continuing study of many such topics …” (more)

[Nicholas Christakis, New York Times, 19 July]


Social sciences targeted in ‘ideological’ war on research

Posted in Research on July 4th, 2013 by steve

“Tom Coburn was perplexed to see the US federal government spending $188,206 (£120,440) of its increasingly limited research money to pay for a study into why political candidates make vague statements and what the consequences might be …” (more)

[Jon Marcus, Times Higher Education, 4 July]

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Humanities and Social Sciences Are Central to National Goals, Report Argues

Posted in Teaching on June 19th, 2013 by steve

“A new report commissioned by a bipartisan quartet of lawmakers seeks to bolster the sagging fortunes of the humanities and social sciences, arguing that those disciplines are central to the nation’s civic, cultural, economic, and diplomatic future …” (more)

[Dan Berrett, Chronicle of Higher Education, 18 June]

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