Ancient fermentation techniques are an example of African chemistry in action.
Knowledge is power. If you own it, you can control those without it. Since so much knowledge about Africa doesn't sit on the continent, it's apparent that Africa lacks power in this regard.
Sampling is a powerful scientific tool - when it’s used honestly.
Some water researchers are ignoring the evidence offered by sampling if it doesn't fit their preconceived notions. But science should always be honest and open.
Professor Peter Higgs, joint winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The unavoidable regime of publication pervades contemporary academic life across the world. While presented as a virtuous thing, it can actually suffocate the academic profession.
What is the best way to return ‘Africa’ to African Studies?
African Studies remains a colonised space rife with misrepresentation, homogenisation and essentialising about Africa.
More medical experts should contribute to Wikipedia to ensure its health pages are accurate.
The academic medical community largely views Wikipedia with suspicion. But some traditional journals are starting to take the site more seriously – and some journals work very closely with it.
Sci-Hub, a free online repository of academic articles, is the subject of a battle at the heart of open access.
What’s the point of academics producing amazing research if they don’t share it widely with the general public?
Very few academics do a great deal to share their often important and relevant research with the general public. What's holding them back?
Too many academic careers are shaped around writing journal articles nobody reads and planning twice-weekly lectures to a diminishing class of students.
Prime Minister Turnbull has signalled a desire to move away from a 'publish or perish' academic culture toward one that prioritises public impact and engagement. It's a challenge scholars should embrace.
There is amazing research and knowledge coming out of Africa – you just need to know where to look.
African research is largely invisible, kept in the shadows by publishing barriers and structural obstacles. A platform built in Brazil and rolled out across the developing world could be the solution.
There are sharks in the research water – predatory journals are becoming more common in Africa.
African academics and universities have been caught in the predatory journal web. It's time for the continent's universities to start taking this threat to their integrity seriously.
Access to free, accurate information is as important to learning as access to desks, chairs and science labs.
A lack of access to quality, peer-reviewed information can actually contribute to societal and educational inequality. How can Open Access help?
A majority of academic research is still locked away from public eyes.
We have the technology and the will to expand open access to publicly funded research, but large vested interests are still putting up stiff resistance.
Somali university students celebrate their graduation. Universities that fare well on national measures may be ignored by international ranking systems.
The news that African universities will soon be ranked has generated a great deal of hype. But the initiative seems likely to be doomed from the start.
Pay wall or no pay wall? Students study at the Humboldt University Library in Berlin, one of the most advanced scientific libraries in Germany.
Much of what's being said in support of open access publishing misses one key point: that is there is always a value chain and costs are incurred. Someone somewhere is paying for open access.
Open access is crucial for South Africa and other developing countries.
South Africa does some amazing research but cannot share it globally because of restrictive copyright laws or unreasonable policies and embargo periods set by publishers that limit their audience.
If academics are willing to steal others’ ideas and concepts, what’s stopping their students from doing the same?
Academics' own propensity for plagiarism may be contributing to high levels of student plagiarism.
If you map the world by scientific research output, things look rather uneven.
There are huge global inequalities in knowledge production and exchange. What drives this inequality and how can it be corrected?
Taking a closer look at the details.
Small print by Shutterstock
After we were stung, we realised just how much of a threat misconduct and cherry picked data is to health.
A good scoring system can help the best rise to the top.
Academic metrics are only problematic if they're poorly implemented. If they're used carefully, they can be a powerful tool to allow talent to rise to the top.
Reading via Shevs/Shutterstock
When McDonald’s came under sustained criticism from campaigners in the 1980s, the company responded by constructing a carefully crafted image of corporate social responsibility. It insisted that it cared…