Which side are you on boys?

As promised, I publish here a recent correspondence between Angel Correa, a colleague at the Brain, Mind & Behaviour Research Center of the University of Granada, and the editor of an Elsevier journal. I do not wish to express my opinion here —although the title and image of this post may be giving a hint— nor to reveal the identity of the editor. I prefer to listen to what my fellow colleagues think about which are the obligations and responsibilities of authors and journal editors in the emerging landscape of open scholarly communication.

Open scientists in the shoes of frustrated academics part I: Open-minded scepticism

Last week I was in Oslo, invited by the organising committee of Eurodoc2017, to give an introductory talk on Open Science [1]. One thing that became apparent during this two-day event was that, although irresistibly trendy, Open Science remains an elusive concept. Many continue to confuse Open Science with Open Access, not to mention that almost everyone still thinks Open Access is equivalent to publishing in open access journals. In this series of posts, I will discuss a few issues that will hopefully help clarify the meaning of Open Science, why is it important, and how individual scientists can make a difference.

Our paper on University rankings makes the headlines of “Vima Science”

The feature article on last Sunday’s Vima Science discussing University Rankings presented a research paper authored by Michael Taylor, Varvara Trachana, Stelios Gialis and myself. The Vima Science article uses data and arguments presented in our paper to criticise current University indices that are constructed from a list of arbitrary indicators combined using subjective weightings. The article specifically focuses on how these rankings fail to capture the high productivity of Greek scientists and University students as measured through citation data, and discusses Michael’s suggestions on what criteria should students and parents use in order to select a suitable University.

New article published at Prometheus, Critical Studies in Innovation: Academic self-publishing: a not-so-distant future

After a long delay, our debate article “Academic self-publishing: a not-so-distant future” finally appeared at Prometheus, a journal publishing critical studies in innovation. The journal issue hosting our article was originally expected in September 2013, but a series of unfortunate events resulted in an eight-month standoff between the journal’s editorial team and its publisher Taylor & Francis. In short, the debate proposition paper, authored by four academics from the University of Leicester’s School of Management, harshly criticized the large profits made by major publishing firms on the back of academics’ labors and the failure of the Finch report on open access to address this problem.

Our article on University Rankings published in the Journal of Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics

Global university rankings are a powerful force shaping higher education policy worldwide. Several different ranking systems exist, but they all suffer from the same mathematical shortcoming – their ranking index is constructed from a list of arbitrary indicators combined using subjective weightings. Yet, different ranking systems consistently point to a cohort of mostly US and UK privately-funded universities as being the ‘best’. Moreover, the status of these nations as leaders in global higher education is reinforced each year with the exclusion of world-class universities from other countries from the top 200.