Working from home comes with many distractions.
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Many scientists stuck at home during university closures dealt with increased domestic responsibilities. But some groups had it worse than others.
In many other countries, a majority of research publications are now open access, but the system of paying for access still dominates academic publishing in Australia.
Scientists and science publishers are sharing information as fast as they can during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speed and openness bring new challenges, but they are the way forward for research.
A portrait of Albert Einstein on a transformer station in St.Petersburg, Russia.
The h-index has become an indicator of quality for many researchers and may influence the allocation of research funds. But some question its value.
Rules about coronavirus research have been relaxed.
If expert advice on the pandemic turns out to be wrong, it will have dire consequences for how reliable scientific evidence is treated in other policy areas, such as climate change.
Creativity isn’t the only route to discovery – automated analysis of huge amounts of data works too.
For now, it’s going to be trickier for the University of California community to access some academic journals.
The UC libraries let their Elsevier journal subscriptions lapse and now the publisher has cut their online access. It’s a painful milestone in the fight UC hopes may transform how journals get paid.
Libraries subscribe digitally to academic journals – and are left with nothing in the stacks when the contract expires.
Digital publishing hasn’t resulted in the free and open access to information many envisioned. Universities are increasingly fed up with a system they see as charging them for their own scholars’ labor.
Overselling slim results can get research findings into the hands of news consumers.
Breathless press releases, over-interpreted meta-analyses and other ‘crud factors’ mean that weak research results can get overhyped to the public. It’s time for a cultural change in the social sciences.
It’s not good if women’s research isn’t in the library stacks.
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Women are underrepresented in academic science. New research finds the problem is even worse in terms of who authors high-profile journal articles – bad news for women’s career advancement.
It may take time for a tiny step forward to show its worth.
Scientists are rewarded with funding and publications when they come up with innovative findings. But in the midst of a ‘reproducibility crisis,’ being new isn’t the only thing to value about research.
Research findings are published in peer-reviewed academic journals, many of which charge universities subscription fees.
Universities in New Zealand spent close to US$15 million on subscriptions to just four publishers in 2016, data that was only released following a request to the Ombudsman.
Locking articles away behind a paywall stifles access.
In our institutions of higher education and our research labs, scholars first produce, then buy back, their own content. With the costs rising and access restricted, something’s got to give.
Opening up data and materials helps with research transparency.
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Partly in response to the so-called ‘reproducibility crisis’ in science, researchers are embracing a set of practices that aim to make the whole endeavor more transparent, more reliable – and better.
The scientific refereeing process can be tedious, time-consuming and isn’t very rewarding.
There are major systemic problems associated with peer review that are negatively affecting scientific credibility.
The number of predatory scientific journals has exploded in recent years.
A leading website that monitored predatory open access journals has closed. This will make it harder to keep tabs on this corrosive force within science.
More is less in the world of research publications.
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The traditional mode of publishing scientific research faces much criticism – primarily for being too slow and sometimes shoddily done. Maybe fewer publications of higher quality is the way forward.
Experiment design affects the quality of the results.
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Embracing more rigorous scientific methods would mean getting science right more often than we currently do. But the way we value and reward scientists makes this a challenge.
Can new ideas break through preconceived notions?
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The very goal of science, to discover the new and unknown, is hampered by any outdated personal beliefs scientists hold.
Scientists themselves may be the key to finding the right balance.
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The public loses when their only choices are inaccessible, impenetrable journal articles or overhyped click-bait about science. Scientists themselves need to step up and help bridge the divide.