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Articles (1 - 18 of 18)

Citations, bibliometrics, “publish or perish”: why must we constantly assess research? Shutterstock

Explainer: how and why is research assessed?

Governments and taxpayers deserve to know that their money is being spent on something worthwhile to society. Individuals and groups who are making the greatest contribution to science and to the community…
UNSW Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer at the National Press Club in Canberra. AAP/Alan Porritt

Hilmer: unis should copy approach of mining industry

Universities must adopt the campaign tactics of the mining industry if they are to have any chance against oppressive government…
Australia’s boom investment conditions will begin tailing off by 2014, according to a Deloitte Access Economics report - so what does this mean for current labour shortages?

No boom without bust: a cautionary note about mining and employment

Much public discussion around the current mining boom focuses on the lack of qualified staff to fill an expanding employment market. But yesterday’s report by Deloitte Access Economics warning that the…
How best to quantify the performance of Australian researchers? Storyvillegirl

Strength in numbers: do ERA rankings add up for universities?

The Excellence in Research for Australia Initiative (ERA) is the federal government’s latest attempt to quantify the “excellence” (or otherwise) of Australian researchers. And just a few short weeks ago…
Do we need new vocabulary for measuring the “engagement”, “use”, “relevance” and “appropriateness” of research? spettacolopuro

The ‘impact’ of research carries weight (but ripples matter more)

What has been the impact of the invention of the telescope? What has been the impact of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, or the splitting of the atom? Yes, that’s right: the idea of measuring the…
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…
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…
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…
Kim Carr has canned the journal rankings system: but what should be next? AAP

Why the ERA had to change and what we should do next

There was much celebrating around Australia’s university campuses when the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr announced changes to the “Excellence in Research for…
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…
The university funding system discourages research on volunteers like these men who are risking their lives to help their community. Flickr/Rob Down Under

In universities obsessed with research here’s what falls between the cracks

In Australian universities at the moment research is everything. They obsess over the rankings in the new ERA system which measures research performance. For academics publishing in the top journals isn’t…

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