Category: free

Three ways to support the democratisation of academic journals

Much of the move towards open access in academic publishing has been funded by article processing charges. However, in recent years APCs have risen by 6%, making them prohibitively expensive for some of the academic and non-profit institutions primarily funding them. Reporting on a recently published white paper, Danielle Padula argues that in order to rein in journal prices and […]

Rather than simply moving from “paying to read” to “paying to publish”, it’s time for a European Open Access Platform

Open access is here to stay. Massive support from academic institutions and research funders makes it the likeliest future scenario for scholarly publications, leaving only the question of how the transition is made. Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Isabella Peters and Gert G. Wagner argue that current policy efforts do not go far enough. Scholarly publishing in a digital age would […]

Book Review: Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies edited by Ben Campkin and Ger Duijzings

In Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies, editors Ben Campkin and GerDuijzings bring together contributors who are challenging assumptions surrounding urban research methodologies. Exploring questions of authorship, expertise and situated knowledge, this is a well-designed and timely book that showcases an array of creative and critical approaches to urban research, finds Helen Traill. This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books and […]

Citations are more than merely assigning credit – their inclusion (or not) conditions how colleagues regard and evaluate your work

The significance of citations goes far beyond energising and rewarding academic competition. Patrick Dunleavy outlines why citations are so important; from setting up a specialist discourse in an economical and highly-focused manner, guiding readers seeking to follow your extended chain of reasoning, right through to showing you have comprehensively surveyed all relevant work and pointed out its consistencies (or otherwise) […]

With great power comes great responsibility: crowdsourcing raises methodological and ethical questions for academia

Crowdsourcing offers researchers ready access to large numbers of participants, while enabling the processing of huge, unique datasets. However, the power of crowdsourcing raises several issues, including whether or not what initially emerged as a business practice can be transformed into a sound research method. Isabell Stamm and Lina Eklund argue that the complexities of managing large numbers of people […]

Announcing Unpaywall: unlocking #openaccess versions of paywalled research articles as you browse

Today marks the official launch of Unpaywall, a web browser extension that links users directly to free full-text versions of research articles. Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem of Impactstory, the team behind Unpaywall, report on the successful pre-release phase, and explain how two decades of investment, a slew of new tools, and a flurry of new government mandates have helped […]

The pace of academic life is not the problem—the lack of autonomy is

To many disgruntled with the quantification of scholarship, its impossible demands and meaningless metrics, it is the heightened pace of academic life that is the problem. For Alison Edwards, the crux of the problem is actually a lack of autonomy. Is it time for academics to take back control? This post is inspired in part by the Impact Blog’s Accelerated […]

The UK’s Teaching Excellence Framework does not foster the inclusion of international students as equals

Of the criticisms that have been levelled at the government’s proposed teaching excellence framework (TEF), very few have focused on what the exercise means for international students’ status in British education. Aneta Hayes argues that the absence of TEF metrics that would measure respectful engagement with international students in the classroom means nothing will be done to help their inclusion […]

Eight lessons on fostering learning in large research and development programmes

Learning-driven, adaptive approaches to designing research and implementing programmes are increasingly popular in fields such as international development. Among funding agencies there is also a growing trend towards “multi-project programmes”, the grouping together of many projects under a single umbrella programme, the aim being to enhance how projects, organisations and individuals exchange knowledge and learn from one another. Tiina Pasanen […]

Research funding is a gamble so let’s give out money by lottery

Under the current system of research funding, expert reviewers take time to identify the best work and allocate grant money accordingly. But as applications increase and success rates fall, this often means more adventurous proposals are not funded. Moreover, evidence shows peer review assessments are biased, with women and minorities less likely to secure grants. Wouldn’t it be better, asks Shahar Avin, to […]