Category: free

In order to fully realise the value of open data researchers must first address the quality of the datasets

There has been a phenomenal increase in the availability of data over the last decade. Open data is provided as a means of empowering users with information and in the hope of sparking innovation and increased efficiency in governments and businesses. However, in spite of the many success stories based on the open data paradigm, concerns remain over the quality […]

Making research articles freely available can help to negate gender citation effects in political science

Advocates of open access (OA) argue that being freely available gives OA articles a citation advantage over pay-to-access-only articles. Indeed, while results are mixed, available research does tend to support that argument. However, is this advantage enough to overcome other factors that affect individual scholars’ citation rates, such as gender, race, and academic rank? Amy Atchison has conducted research into […]

Book Review: Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities by Donald J. Nicolson

What role do academic conferences play in the construction of an academic career? In Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities, Donald J. Nicolson examines the link between the value attributed to participation in academic conferences and the broader neoliberalisation of the academy. Fawzia Haeri Mazanderani welcomes this short book for beginning a meaningful conversation about the significance of this aspect of academic life. This […]

Anarchy in the academy: why create an academic poster?

Conventional academic research communication is formulated in sentences and paragraphs, charts and graphs, chapters or papers. PhD students are required to do a lot of reading and writing; obsessing over chapter and thesis structure, often becoming lost in multi-clausal sentences. For Sarah Foxen, the academic poster is a form of knowledge communication which explodes the boundary walls of academic convention, […]

Female scientists are considerably more likely to be mistakenly cited as if they were males than vice versa

Gender stereotypes appear so enduring that certain prestigious professions continue to be almost exclusively associated with the male gender. Michał Krawczyk sought to discover if scientist was one such profession by studying the citations to a large sample of academic publications and identifying cases of gender misattribution of the cited author. Although the overall prevalence of gender misattributions is quite […]

Engaging with sensor-based methods for social sciences research is necessary, overdue and potentially rewarding

Sensors are an important source of big data. Developments at the heart of “smart cities” or the exploding “quantified self” movement are all reliant on sensors. However, attempts by social scientists to engage with sensors from a methodological perspective have been rare. Jörg Müller argues that such engagement is not only necessary and overdue, but also potentially rewarding. It’s important […]

Book Review: The Data Librarian’s Handbook by Robin Rice and John Southall

In The Data Librarian’s Handbook, Robin Rice and John Southall examine the role of the data librarian, an emergent profession increasingly vital for academic libraries to support activities around Research Data Management (RDM). This is an accessible and engaging book full of interesting case studies and insights that will be essential for any information professional looking to broaden their knowledge of data management, […]

Science is a social process: facilitating community interactions across the research lifecycle

Modern day research practice is incredibly collaborative, increasingly interdisciplinary and a very social process. Sierra Williams underlines the importance of researchers and publishers alike recognising publication as one aspect of a much wider social process. By way of introduction to her role at peer-reviewed open access publisher PeerJ, she reflects on the purpose of community in science communication. Where do […]

What are the barriers to post-publication peer review?

Post-publication peer review emerged in response to increased calls for continuous moderation of the published research literature, consistent questioning of the functionality of the traditional peer review model, and a recognition that scientific discourse does not stop at the point of publication. However, uptake remains low overall. Jon Tennant sets out what the barriers to more widespread adoption of post-publication […]