Category: Featured

Which subjects bring the best career outcomes for UK university students?

Next Steps is a longitudinal study capturing information about young people’s educational trajectories, personal and family characteristics, and current occupational outcomes. As Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster explains, data reveals that STEM graduates seem to have an advantage in gaining professional graduate employment and in enhanced mental wellbeing, but this isn’t reflected by increased incomes. One of the most important dilemmas young […]

Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

How much have the open science movement’s practices and principles permeated researcher behaviour and attitudes in India? Arul George Scaria, Satheesh Menon and Shreyashi Ray have conducted a survey among researchers working across five different disciplines in India and reveal that more can be done to promote open science within its research institutions. While a majority of respondents believe open science […]

Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the “open” label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not only […]

Rather than promoting economic value, evaluation can be reclaimed by universities to combat its misuse and negative impacts

To critics across higher education, evaluation frameworks such as the REF and TEF represent mechanisms of control, the generation of a “target and terror” culture. Deirdre Duffy explains how the REF and TEF resonate most closely with impact evaluation, a form of evaluation that can prove useful for a simple cost-benefit analysis but can also be problematic as it encourages […]

There are clear reasons for the increasing award of first-class degrees. A lowering of standards isn’t one of them.

Recent HESA figures revealing yet another increase in the award of first-class degrees have provoked predictable consternation among commentators. Liz Morrish provides some clarity and insight into why student achievement has risen sharply in recent years. The higher education system, and its culture of metrics and key performance indicators, has constructed a student who is a consumer with anxieties which must […]

Increasingly collaborative researcher behaviour is the real threat to the resilient academic publishing sector

Traditional academic publishing has been rumoured to be imperilled for decades now. Despite continued criticism over pricing and a growing open access movement, a number of recent reports point to the sector’s resilience. Francis Dodds suggests this is partly attributable to the adaptability of academic publishers but also highlights attitudes of researchers surprisingly committed to the status quo as another […]

How to plan, create and launch a successful multi-author academic blog

A multi-author blog collective is an effective way for a university or other knowledge-based institution to host discussion and debate. As part of a series previewing their book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams look at how to set up an institution-based multi-author blog platform; from planning all the way to launch. Planning and launching a social […]

The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015

Using open data and open services, a large-scale study of the state of open and free access has found both the number and proportion of articles freely available to the public is growing, having reached 45% of the literature published in 2015. Juan Pablo Alperin reveals more about this study and suggests we are at the beginning of a new […]

Seven functionalities the scholarly literature should have

Some of the most basic functionalities to be expected of a digital object continue to elude scholarly articles, making the literature much less useful than it could be. Björn Brembs has compiled a short list of seven such functionalities that academic publishers looking to modernise their operations might invest in; from unencumbered access and improved social components, to dynamic data […]

New digital methods can be used to analyse linguistic terms and better understand Reddit communities

Reddit is now the fourth most visited website in the US. Yet, surprisingly, given its position as an extremely large community, it has been the subject of relatively little research. Tim Squirrell has developed methods of studying the genealogy, spread, and use of particular words on Reddit, as demonstrated by this case study of The_Donald, the largest pro-Trump community on […]