ECPG seminar: Calling it! Strategies to deal with discrimination and harassment in the Academy

From seemingly small forms of discrimination such as inappropriate comments to sexual assault, the academy is not immune from discrimination and harassment. What do we do when we encounter it? How do we navigate uneven power relations but still ‘call it’? In serious cases, what might institutions do? This panel discussion will explore strategies for ‘calling out’ a range of different types of discrimination… Read more

Early Career Researcher Advice article of the week: Ten tips that will help you build your academic reputation by Robert MacIntosh

Pick an area and stick to it Academia is characterised by demarcation into specialist areas. Few would be able to straddle mathematics, physics, chemistry and alchemy in the manner of Isaac Newton. He, like many of our other great thinkers, might not have been REF-returnable. Modern academia is a terrain that is marked out in specialist territories where people will spend entire careers. These days, skimming the surface… Read more
illustration of a woman's face under a microscope

Formanowicz, Cislak, and Saguy: Research on gender bias receives less attention than research on other types of bias

Being a woman in academia is hardly a competitive edge. Female scientists are underrepresented in academic institutions, especially among the higher ranks. Women receive shorter, less appreciative recommendation letters; are paid less; are awarded fewer funding grants for their research; and find themselves with less prestigious authorship positions and lower citation rates. These differences simply cannot… Read more
Image of a man and a woman standing on a set of scales

John Ross: Universities ‘must not retreat from challenges of post-truth era’

Universities confronting the “post-truth” age must meet the challenge head-on rather than retreating into an isolated comfort zone of teaching and research, according to an Australian sector leader. Dawn Freshwater, vice-chancellor of the University of Western Australia, said that evidence-based policy was vital during times of political stability, let alone today’s “highly febrile” geopolitical… Read more
Children's wooden alhabet blocks spelling out the word "fake" but the last two blocks are being turned to spell "fact"

Rosemary Overell: Some reflections on using social media as an academic / inspired by an eSocSci discussion with Katrina McChesney; Nikki Harre and Karen Nairn

First thoughts A recent memory: I stand in front of a group of 70 young women in school uniforms. I am trying to energise them about doing a Bachelor of Arts. A girl in the backrow – netball fit; rolled up skirt, groans and slides down in her chair, as I get more and more shrill about the benefits of a BA. … a job in the public service is for life … that’s what you get with a BA … The girl rolls her eyes. “Ladies! Now listen… Read more
Social media icons hanging from the ceiling on a blue string.

Book Review: Publish or Perish: Perceived Benefits Versus Unintended Consequences by Imad A. Moosa

If this book were half the price, it would reach more than double its audience (though a more affordable version is available as a reduced price ebook here). Authored by Imad A. Moosa, Professor of Finance at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Publish or Perish: Perceived Benefits versus Unintended Consequences is a diatribe against modern academic working and publishing practices.  Across ten… Read more

David Matthews: Report lifts lid on cost of subscription deals with publishers

European universities and research organisations could save hundreds of millions of euros a year by switching to an open access publishing system, a new analysis of subscription deals with publishers has concluded. The report by the European University Association (EUA) warns of growing publisher profit margins as research budgets are squeezed – and comes as university consortia in France and GermanyRead more
A scientist breaking open a padlocked book saying "Research" and throwing the lock away behind them

Holly Else: Sister act: is the academic sisterhood too good to be true?

“We all sat around talking about men who were sexually harassing and, by chance, the vast majority in the room all named a man who was a terrible predator – he had a bed in his office.” The occasion, according to Miriam David, a professor at the UCL Institute of Education, was a mid-1970s meeting of female academics from universities across the south west of England, who were discussing forming a women’s network… Read more
Women marching in a protest line in what looks like either the 60s or 70s.

Robertson and Travaglia: An emerging iron cage? Understanding the risks of increased use of big data applications in social policy

Big data technologies are increasingly being utilised in the field of social policy, including in areas such as policing, crime and justice, education, and social services. Although these sectors often seek to use big data methods and strategies as a form of evidence-based policy development, big data techniques do not of themselves guarantee the production of objective knowledge regimes. The level of caution… Read more
View down the inside of a glass stairwell

Michael Cameron: Loss aversion, ideology and the peer review process

Last month, Andrew Gelman wrote an interesting blog post about peer review, or more accurately about how researchers steer their papers through the peer review process: …researchers are taught to be open to new ideas, research is all about finding new things and being aware of flaws in existing paradigms—but researchers can be sooooo reluctant to abandon their own pet ideas… My story goes like this.… Read more
Cartoon of a stick figure person crawling along a rope over a shark tank to illustrate what the peer review process feels like