Blind Luck – Could lotteries be a more efficient mechanism for allocating research funds than peer review?

Peer review is integral to the award of funds for academic research. However, as an increasingly large number of researchers attempt to secure limited funding, it is clear that much funding is awarded based on marginal assessments of the quality of different proposals. In this post, Lambros Roumbanis argues that randomly awarding research funding via lotteries presents a more rational, […]

The Library of Congress joins the Digital Preservation Coalition

Today’s guest post is from Kate Murray, a Digital Projects Coordinator in the Digital Collections and Services Division at the Library of Congress. Digital information drives our economy, spurs our culture, and connects our community. But it requires special care to ensure that our expanding archives of digital information will be there for the future. […]

Old-fashioned peer review is still seen as the best way to allocate grants, but reviewers deserve greater recognition

The allocation of research funding on the basis of peer review has recently come under scrutiny, due to the difficulty of assessing the difference between growing numbers of high quality applications. Presenting evidence from a large-scale survey of academics involved in the peer review of grant applications, James Hardcastle argues that academics largely see peer review as the best mechanism […]

To make PhDs fit for the 21st century we need to develop evidence based policies

The growth of PhD level education globally and in the UK has changed the nature of what it means to be a PhD holder. However, despite there being more PhDs and more value placed on producing them, there is still a severely limited evidence base for understanding PhD outcomes. Drawing on their recent working paper, Sally Hancock and Paul Wakeling […]

Book Review: Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media by Sarah T. Roberts

In Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media, Sarah T. Roberts explores the work conditions and experiences of people employed in ‘commercial content moderation’, drawing on interviews with those tasked with detecting and removing harmful and upsetting online content. As the problems faced by CCM workers reveal the economic, social and political distortions of the digital age, this book […]