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Articles on Academia

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The ARWU ranking system scored the University of Melbourne as Australia’s top research university, and number 60 in the world – up two places on last year’s rankings. Flickr/Pip_Wilson

University of Melbourne moves up global rankings

The University of Melbourne has pushed out the Australian National University (ANU) to claim the number one spot in a table…
Universities already stockpile academic papers so they can report their output to the government. But stockpiling the wrong version of the paper can restrict their right to make the paper available on open access. Flickr/Gideon Burton

How one small fix could open access to research

Providing equitable access to the findings of scholarly research is an expensive and vexed business, as many recent stories here on The Conversation have highlighted. Open access offers a way to freely…
Breaking free of the stranglehold of academic publishers holds appeal – but what are the dangers? Flickr

The pros and perils of ditching academic publishers

There are three tensions in the field of academic publishing (1) who pays to publish research? (2) who decides what gets published? and (3) who takes any profits? In the traditional model, based on publishing…
Frustration with copyright restrictions placed on scholarly work in many journals has helped fuel the Creative Commons and Open Access movements. Flickr/TilarX

Copyright or copywrong? How journals control access to research

Back in 1991, in the very earliest days of the internet, a group of high energy physicists began sharing their findings on a Los Alamos-based online archive called Arxiv. Their early experiments in the…
A growing number of academic institutions are building free online databases of their scholarly output. But publication in a big name academic journal still holds cachet for most academics. Flickr/mandiberg

Explainer: Open access vs traditional academic journal publishers

As the cost of accessing academic journal articles increases, a growing number of academic institutions are building publicly accessible databases of scholarly work. But how much of a threat to the traditional…
International education might not be as healthy as it seems Tim Ellis/Flickr.

Figures for international student enrolments can be misleading

International education has become a vital industry for the Australian economy, in recent years rivalling coal and iron ore as one of our largest export industries. But the way we’re calculating international…
How does the high cost of academic journal subscriptions impact the developing world? Flickr/Book Aid International

How academic journals price out developing countries

Universities libraries in the developed world are struggling to pay academic journal subscription costs – so how can universities in developing countries hope to pay? In this Q+A, Professor Adam Habib…
Does the cost of academic journals stymie learning? Flickr/the.Firebottle

Putting a price on knowledge: the high cost of academic journals

The phrase ‘publish or perish’ is familiar to all academics, who face enormous pressure to have their work featured in the top academic journals. Career progression, job security and pay rises can depend…
Academics should talk more openly about their research and help influence public policy AAP.

Why academics should get involved in public debate

Raymond Da Silva Rosa’s article, also published on The Conversation, kindly refers to my recent piece in the Australian Literary Review, which examined why generally academics exert so little impact on…
Are these the sorts of speakers you go to a university to hear? AAP.

Why academics should steer clear of public debate

The most important issue raised by Lord Monckton’s controversial appearance on two Western Australian campuses is not the limit of free speech or Monckton’s scientific competence. Rather it is whether…
When is comes to research, it seems quantity has become much more important than quality. Flickr/Iscan

How ‘publish or perish’ is ruining finance education

Imagine the following conversation between a finance academic and his or her supervisor during an annual performance review: Academic: So, do you think I am ready for a promotion? Supervisor: Well, I see…
Why is writing grant proposals the bane of scientists’ lives? Fotolia

Putting the fun back into research funding

Getting research money, especially the no-strings-attached kind that government agencies give out, is difficult. Researchers spend months on each proposal with only a small chance of getting funded. Winning…

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