Category: Government

Finch Group reviews progress in implementing open access transition amid ongoing criticisms.

The working group which first released the Finch Report on expanding access to published research in June 2012 has issued a new progress update. Following the UK government’s unilateral acceptance of these recommendations, criticisms have mounted against this so-called ‘push for … Continue reading

The availability of open data and new trends in data visualisation will transform how we understand our cities.

Due to the increasing availability of large urban datasets, it is now becoming easier to produce online visualisations that capture and help interpret the complex spatial dynamics of cities. Duncan A. Smith argues that as further open datasets are made available, … Continue reading

Five recommendations for maximising the relevance of social science research for policy-making in the big data era

The quantity and influence of generalisable data presents challenges and opportunities for public policy making. Helen Margetts discusses how social scientists can help policy-makers in this changed environment, ensuring that social science research remains relevant, and warns that social science … Continue reading

A replicated study on nuclear proliferation shows the critical necessity of reviewing accepted scientific results.

In replicating a 2009 study on the role of asymmetric nuclear weapons possession, Mark Bell and Nicholas Miller found that a computational error led to the overestimation of the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons by a factor of several million. It is … Continue reading

Impact-monitoring research leads to clear EU policy recommendations to improve services for children of prisoners.

In England and Wales there are an estimated 200,000 children with a parent in prison, and on any given day, an estimated 800,000 children have a parent in prison in the European Union. The COPING team argue that this area … Continue reading

There is sufficient evidence to suggest Whitehall is leaning on researchers to produce politically useful research.

The quality of scientific evidence in government heavily depends upon the independent assessment of research. Pressure from those commissioning the research may pose a threat to scientific integrity and rigorous policy-making. Edward Page reports that whilst there is strong evidence of government leaning, … Continue reading

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

Using a database with information on over 1,500 researchers, statistical analysis was recently undertaken to test the hypothesis that technical STEM subjects were more societally useful than social science and humanities (SSH) subjects. Paul Benneworth describes the research process and … Continue reading

Open access initiatives in the Global South affirm the lasting value of a shared scholarly communications system.

Developing countries stand to benefit greatly from a more open and equitable international scholarly communication system, but Dominique Babini argues new commercial enclosures to access are also emerging. The international community would do well to follow the examples of initiatives in Latin America, … Continue reading

Open access legislation in the US and Canada looks to prioritise post-publication archiving, not publishers’ profits.

Providing further context on open access policy, Heather Morrison presents cases from the U.S. and Canada, where each are also grappling with how to provide wider access to publicly funded research. If passed, the U.S.’s FASTR Act would require ‘green’ … Continue reading