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

Mistakes I’ve made as an early career researcher

As I come to the end of my current postdoc and tenure as a bona fide early career researcher (at least according to several grant-awarding bodies), I look back on the past 10 years since I started my master’s with wizened eyes. Here are some of the mistakes I have made – from the trivial to the fundamental – plus some hand-waving advice on better practice. I don’t have all the answers by a long shot, but I’m still… Read more

Breaking the traditional mould of peer review: Why we need a more transparent process of research evaluation.

Jon Tennant takes a look at the transformations underway aimed at tackling the widespread dissatisfaction with the system of peer review. He provides further background on the platform ScienceOpen, which seeks to enable a process of transparent, self-regulating, peer review, where knowledge sharing is encouraged, valued, and rewarded. By adopting a more transparent process of research evaluation, we move… Read more

Research Resilience: Why academics and funders alike should care about #RIPTwitter

Twitter is under close scrutiny these days with news that its timeline could be subject to further algorithmic control. Farida Vis looks at what such dramatic changes could mean for research. There is a great need for both funding councils and researchers to better understand the potential impact of these data and platform politics. Strategies must be developed to encourage lesser reliance on a single social… Read more

Confronting the suspicion (and misconceptions) of co-authorship

Philosophers Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum speak up for the benefits of writing collaboratively Our writing partnership in philosophy began in 2007, when Anjum arrived at Nottingham as a postdoctoral fellow. Since then, we have written three books and about 40 papers together, which seems rare, especially in philosophy. We think it’s time to issue a statement about our writing partnership, for at least four… Read more

Seven reasons why blogging can make you a better academic writer

Why do academics blog? What do academic bloggers get from blogging? Discussions about scholarly blogging most often centre on the need for we academics to write in ways that attract new audiences. If we write blogs, we are told, we can communicate our research more effectively. Blogs enhance impact, they are a medium for public engagement. The advocacy goes on… Blogs (and other social media) can point readers to our… Read more

Elinor Chisholm: On dampness and progress, or, how research makes a difference

It’s awful to live in a damp home. We know it from experience, or from stories, like the one told by Kayla at the Wellington Renters United launch: of multi-coloured mould, of asthma, of a damp bed, of the loss of home as a sanctuary, of a dehumidifier covered in mould, of “a spacer prescribed to you because you no longer had the respiratory capability to use your asthma inhaler [which] has mould on it.” We also know… Read more

An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously

Before I started teaching at LSE in January, I had the impression that the academics and researchers around the school were totally social media savvy – prolific tweeters like Charlie Beckett and top blogs like LSE Impact are high up on my follow list. It turned out the impression was, ahem, a little misleading. A good proportion of the people I have come across may be brilliant in their field, but when it comes to using… Read more

Researcher, organise thyself

Recently I put together a promotion application. For those of you unfamiliar with the Australian system, this is similar to a tenure application in the U.S.A. You must compile everything you have done in your academic career, assess its impact and present it all as a legible ‘story’ of your contribution to your discipline and your university. Colleagues warned me that doing a good promotion application is a lot… Read more

Social Science, Snow, and Safety Communications – Why do people ignore safety warnings? Guest blogger Leleiga Taito

Hailing from Upper Hutt, Leleiga Taito is an Honours Student at Massey University studying doing her Bachelor of Communications in Public Relations and Expressive Arts. In October 2014 I was approached by one of my Massey University lecturers about applying for a research scholarship with GNS Science. The scholarship involved living in Whakapapa Village, Mt Ruapehu for a few months during the ski season, doing… Read more