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Articles on Academia

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Embarking on the path to a PhD is a scary business. Shutterstock

Want to do your PhD in Africa? Here’s what you need to know

Many people are left floundering when they try to get working on their PhDs. In Africa, this is often because the skills they need haven't been developed earlier in their academic careers.
Does citing a scholar run the risk of being perceived as validating not only the research, but the researcher? Michael Brace/flickr

Should academics cite those who have breached moral and humane borders?

Scholars have long encountered skeletons in the academic closets of peers and intellectual heroes. But is there a point where a scholar's behaviour is so taboo that their research should be consigned to the academic junk pile?
Gold miners appear after being trapped underground at a mine in Carltonville, west of Johannesburg. Managing their safety has been a major issue as South Africa has among the deepest and most dangerous mines. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lessons learnt from taking sides as a sociologist in unjust times

When sociologists, driven by their value commitments, go beyond the relative comfort of the classroom and engage with organisations outside the university, they dirty their hands.
Too many academic careers are shaped around writing journal articles nobody reads and planning twice-weekly lectures to a diminishing class of students. flickr/Sixth Lie

Shift away from ‘publish or perish’ puts the public back into publication

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.
The more academics fear being involved in media storms, the less they feel free to explore topics they consider important. Tim Ellis/Flickr

Talking about our work is important but it can land researchers in trouble

Public engagement of academics has increased enormously in recent decades. But this new level of engagement is producing problems and conflicts for which many academics are ill-prepared.

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