Higher Education and academic research
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Higher education and academic/non-profit research in the world
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US: A radical change in peer review

US: A radical change in peer review | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

A pilot project to ease pressure on NSF's vaunted peer-review system required grant applicants to review seven competing proposals.

 

A recent pilot project by the National Science Foundation (NSF) aimed at easing the strain on its vaunted merit review system featured an unusual twist: Grant applicants were required to review seven proposals from peers competing for the same pot of money. The approach created a captive—and highly motivated—pool of reviewers for program managers within NSF's Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division, saving them time. And using mail reviews rather than panels also saved NSF money. The quality of the reviews also seemed to be comparable to what is generated with NSF's traditional approach to peer review. NSF officials are weighing whether to expand the pilot to other programs. (...) - by Jeffrey Mervis, Science, 17 July 2014

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After #MassiveTeaching, questions about MOOC quality control

After #MassiveTeaching, questions about MOOC quality control | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

If students in a face-to-face course emailed their provost with concerns that their professor had stopped lecturing, chances are that someone -- a department head or an administrator -- would intervene. But what if the students were scattered across different countries and time zones in a not-for-credit massive open online course? (...) - by Carl Straumsheim, @insidehighered, July 15, 2014,

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UK: Universities minister quits as PM changes face of government

David Willetts, the United Kingdom universities and science minister in David Cameron's coalition government since 2010, has quit to return to the back benches and will leave parliament at the next general election in 2015.

His decision to leave the job coincided with a far-reaching cabinet reshuffle aimed at overcoming the prime minister's perceived problem with women by promoting more into senior posts.

Cameron’s allies presented the reshuffle as a bold move to shift perceptions of his cabinet as dominated by public school educated male toffs from the Tory heartlands of the shires. (...) - University World News, by David Jobbins, 16 July 2014 Issue No:329

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Publish or perish – are women disadvantaged by current measures of scientific ‘success’?

Publish or perish – are women disadvantaged by current measures of scientific ‘success’? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

87% of the most highly cited articles are authored by fewer than 1% of scientists. That is the finding of a recent study by John Ioannidis and colleagues published in PLOS One.
The authors examined the entire SCOPUS database to determine the number and characteristics of scientists who had an uninterrupted continuous publication record (UCP) for a period of 16yrs from 1996 to 2011.
Out of over 15 million authors, 150,608 had such a UCP record, and of those, 73.3% could be deemed ‘successful’ as determined by citation metrics and the author’s H index – a measure of their productivity as well as the impact of their work. This proportion is significantly diminished to 43.7% for researchers who skipped only one year. (...) - Blog biomedcentral, by Jigisha Patel, July 15, 2014

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First Modi budget spells austerity for Indian science

First Modi budget spells austerity for Indian science | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Funding drops in real terms, but researchers hopeful things will improve. 

The Indian government's first budget has not delivered the good days, or achhe din, promised by new prime minister Narendra Modi. A below-inflation funding increase has disappointed scientists, but many are optimistic that the government will come up with the funds eventually. (...) by K.S. Jayaraman, Nature, 11 July 2014

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[Ukraine] From higher education legislation to implementation

[Ukraine] From higher education legislation to implementation | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

The lights turned green for Ukrainian universities two weeks ago – parliament adopted a new law, which is a starting point for fundamental change in the country’s higher education system.

University World News has repeatedly written about the major changes the law introduces. However, these fruitful results would not have arisen if it wasn’t for several years of struggle by a considerable number of people.

Therefore this is a success story that deserves to be told to the world. (...) - University World News, by Yegor Stadny, 11 July 2014 Issue No:328

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Rankings and university performance: a conditional multidimensional approach

Dans cet article de l’Université de Rome, les auteurs décrivent une nouvelle approche de classement universitaire qui intègre de nouveaux types d’information et utilise de nouvelles techniques de classement.

L’approche tente de surmonter les quatre principales critiques au sujet des classements universitaires : (...) - MESRS.gouv.ca, 07/10/2014

Collectif PAPERA's insight:

The article from Rome university in English: http://www.dis.uniroma1.it/~bibdis/RePEc/aeg/report/2014-09.pdf

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US: Scripps ends merger talks with USC

US: Scripps ends merger talks with USC | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Faculty revolt seems to have sunk a plan to bail out cash-strapped research institute.

 

The marriage is off. Officials at the Scripps Research Institute announced yesterday that they’ve called off discussions with the University of Southern California (USC) on a possible merger. The two institutions began exploring the idea of partnering last month. But a bitter revolt from Scripps faculty seems to have scuttled the talks. (...) - by Robert F. Service, Science, 10 July 2014

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Former Polish PM to lead European Parliament's research committee

Former Polish PM to lead European Parliament's research committee | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Jerzy Buzek, a chemical engineer, was elected by acclamation.

BRUSSELS—Following the E.U. elections in May, the European Parliament's research committee has gotten itself a high-profile chair—at least in Brussels circles. Jerzy Buzek, a conservative politician from Poland and a former chemical engineering professor, presided over the European Parliament from July 2009 to January 2012 and was prime minister in his country from 1997 to 2001. (...) - by Tania Rabesandratana, Science, 10 July 2014

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US universities: Graduate admissions test has some merit

We would like to clarify a couple of points raised by Casey Miller and Keivan Stassun in their criticism of the US Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for selection of graduate students (Nature 510, 303–304; 2014).

As documented in a meta-analysis by independent researchers, the GRE predicts more than just first-year graduate… (...) - by Brent Bridgeman, David Payne & Jacqueline Briel, Nature 511, 155 (10 July 2014)

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Not all plagiarism requires a retraction

Not all plagiarism requires a retraction | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Papers that plagiarize only text can still contribute to the literature, but any errors or omissions should be prominently corrected, says Praveen Chaddah.

The ease with which large chunks of text can be digitally scanned and compared with what has previously been published has produced a new breed of academic watchdog. Plagiarism-detection software has opened up scrutiny of scientific publications to non-experts and text that has been copied and pasted without proper attribution is now a common reason for papers being retracted. Hobby­ists and political opponents have made a cottage industry out of searching the back catalogues of high-profile individuals for evidence of such misdeeds. (...) - by Praveen Chaddah, Nature, 09 July 2014

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[Québec] Les étudiants passeront à la caisse à l'UQTR

[Québec] Les étudiants passeront à la caisse à l'UQTR | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

(Trois-Rivières) Pour atteindre son équilibre budgétaire en 2014-2015, l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) s'apprête à mettre en place des mesures de compression de l'ordre de 2,48 M$, tout en comptant sur des revenus supplémentaires d'un peu plus de 2 M$. (...) - par Olivier Gamelin, La Presse, 07/07/2014

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Updated: European neuroscientists revolt against the E.U.'s Human Brain Project

Updated: European neuroscientists revolt against the E.U.'s Human Brain Project | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Citing problems in governance and focus, opponents threaten a boycott of E.U.'s €1 billion flagship project.

*Update, 11 July, 11:58 a.m.: HBP's Board of Directors and its Executive Committee haveresponded to the the open letter in a 4-page statement releasedyesterday. They say they are “saddened” by the letter and say thatcognitive neuroscience will still be a part of the HBP's PartneringProjects. The statement expresses the hope that HBP will unite theneuroscience, medical, and computing communities. (...) - by Martin Enserink & Kai Kupferschmidt, Science, 11 July 2014

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Italy's NIH gets new leadership to address fiscal crisis

Italy's NIH gets new leadership to address fiscal crisis | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Government puts ISS into receivership after discovering €30 million budget shortfall.

The Italian government has chosen a prominent scientist to take charge of the country’s leading biomedical research institute with the goal of improving its precarious financial situation. But some researchers at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) are worried that implementing the needed fiscal reforms will also result in curtailing programs and cutting staff. (...) by Marta Paterlini, Science, 17 July 2014

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How Open is Finnish Higher Education?

How Open is Finnish Higher Education? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

I had been sufficiently impressed by the work of some Finnish geographers, though I knew little about the Nordic country’s higher education system before I accepted the position of postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki in December 2007.

I had been bent on visiting Finland for as long as I can remember. The country, its people and their culture intrigued me. Before 2008 the closest I had been to Finland was reading a school geography atlas. I spent hours studying the figures and photographs thinking that if I stared at them for long enough and longingly enough I would, by some means of teleportation, be transported into their beauty and silence.

(...) - GlobalHigherEd @insidehighered, by Kris Olds, July 14, 2014

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Interdisciplinary research: Break out : Naturejob

Interdisciplinary research: Break out : Naturejob | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Researchers working at the interface of disciplines can pursue insights without sacrificing career progress.

Compostable electronics, bacterial communication and forced-migration prediction. These seemingly unrelated research topics have underlying similarities: they are all examples of solution-oriented projects that require a broad cross-section of expertise. (...) - by Virginia Gewin, Nature 511, 371-373 (2014)

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Anne Pascucci, MPA, CRA's curator insight, August 18, 2014 9:01 AM

That's what I've been saying!

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Cuts to Australian higher education: deregulation of fees is the only option

Cuts to Australian higher education: deregulation of fees is the only option | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Give universities the power to set the price students pay and they'll drive a diverse system – it may be the UK's best bet too.

 

Australian and UK higher education policy have a remarkable ability to leap frog each other without learning too much from the experience of the other. Issues such a research assessment exercises, income-contingent loans and financing the ever expanding costs of higher education are good examples. (...) - by Ian Young, The Guardian, 14 July, 2014

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[UK] Research evaluation creates ‘perverse’ consequences

The changing nature of research evaluation in higher education in the United Kingdom is creating perverse and damaging consequences. Higher education research is increasingly characterised by ‘McDonaldised’ audit cultures that reduce complex issues of quality to quantified assessment measures, writes David Collinson for the Financial Times.

These processes reinforce an excessively narrow definition of what counts as ‘high quality’ research. Within the discipline of business and management in particular, the status of the journal in which the research appears is now viewed as the primary indicator of the article’s ‘quality’.(...) - University World News, by Financial Times, 11 July 2014 Issue No:328

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[Europe] Record 270,000 study abroad through Erasmus in a year

A record 270,000 students obtained European Union grants to study or train abroad in 2012-13, according to statistics released by the European Commission last Thursday. The most popular destination countries were Spain, Germany and France.

“Countries sending the highest number of students as a proportion of their graduate population were Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Finland, Latvia and Spain,” according to a commission press release.  (...) - University World News, 11 July 2014 Issue No:328

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[Côte d'Ivoire] Recherche scientifique : universités et grandes écoles s’imprègnent du modèle suisse

[Côte d'Ivoire] Recherche scientifique : universités et grandes écoles s’imprègnent du modèle suisse | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Le Programme d’appuistratégique à la recherche scientifique (Pasres), en collaboration avec le ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche scientifique, a , du 9 au 17 juin, organisé un voyage en Suisse. De source proche de cette structure, des présidents d’universités publiques et des responsables de grandes écoles y étaient. Et ce, pour s’imprégner de la gouvernance suisse, afin d’améliorer la qualité du management de leurs institutions académiques. C’est donc
un voyage qui s’inscrit également dans le cadre d’un partage d’expériences et de l’évaluation de l’état de la coopération scientifique ivoirosuisse. (...) - abidjan.net, 10/07/2014

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Conflict erupts over landmark E.U. neuroscience plan

Conflict erupts over landmark E.U. neuroscience plan | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Scientists threaten to boycott the Human Brain Project.

 

More than 300 neuroscientists have signed an open letter sent to the European Commission on 7 July to complain about the Human Brain Project (HBP), a hugely ambitious research effort led by Henry Markram of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. HBP, which will receive up to €1 billion in funding from the European Union and its member states, aims to capture the human brain in computer models. The critics say that it is too narrowly focused and poorly managed; they threaten to boycott HBP unless the commission tightens an upcoming review of the project and makes corrections.(...) -  by Martin Enserink, Science, 10 July 2014

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[Belgique] ULg : une première session à nouveau dévastatrice

[Belgique] ULg : une première session à nouveau dévastatrice | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

LIÈGE. La première année d’université pose toujours autant de difficultés aux nouveaux étudiants.

Chaque année, au début juillet, c’est le même scénario : c’est l’hécatombe à l’Université de Liège au terme de la première session en premier baccalauréat. 2014 n’échappe pas à la règle. Seuls quelque 20 % des étudiants qui s’inscrivent pour la 1re fois à l’ULg, toutes facultés confondues, réussissent du premier coup. Une moyenne qui montera vraisemblablement à 33 % après la seconde session. (...) - Le Soir, par Luc Gochel, 10/07/2014

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[China] Anti-corruption watchdog targets top university

Some of China’s top universities are coming under scrutiny as part of the country’s anti-corruption drive, with Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University last week named and shamed by anti-graft watchdog the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

In an unusual move, the commission published its report on Fudan and some other unlinked organisations, saying it was publicising its findings in the hope of spurring “public supervision” of organisations. (....) - University World News, by Yojana Sharma, 09 July 2014 Issue No:328

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[Maroc] «L’autonomie financière, un préalable pour le développement de la recherche»

[Maroc] «L’autonomie financière, un préalable pour le développement de la recherche» | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

- Par l’amélioration de ses recettes et le renforcement de partenariat

- La R&D doit accompagner le développement du pays et promouvoir l’emploi

- Santé, agriculture, énergie, maritime, sciences sociales…, les secteurs prioritaire (...) - L’Économiste, 08/07/2014

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Open access is not enough on its own – data must be free too

Open access is not enough on its own – data must be free too | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Academics have been encouraged to make their research freely available, but their data also needs to be open to scrutiny.

 

If your research has been funded by the taxpayer, there's a good chance you'll be encouraged to publish your results on an open access basis – free at point of publication and with reuse and redistribution rights. (...) - by Susanna-Assunta Sansone, The Guardian, 26 June 2014


Via Tree of Science
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Tree of Science's curator insight, August 12, 2014 10:31 AM

Open access to the publication of the research is one on the step to the open research. To go further, this evolution in process must be linked to open data to really reach open science