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.
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.
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.
I recently came back from Brussels where I attended the Information Days on the Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures Work Programme. I was there to present the LIBRE project and to have the chance to meet other project coordinators looking for European funding.
Today I made a brief presentation of Open Scholar and the LIBRE project at the Information Days on Horizon 2020 that was held in Brussels from 12-14 of February. I had the chance to receive first hand information about the e-Infrastructures calls, listen to many interesting proposals and discuss about possible collaborations with potential partners.
On Thursday 5th of December, I gave a talk on how to move beyond open access and face academia’s real problems, at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. The talk focused on how the journal monopoly over three of the most basic processes in scholarly communication —validation, evaluation and dissemination— is creating problems even more important than the lack of accessibility to research output. The LIBRE platform was presented as an alternative, free, journal-independent, community-based model of research validation and evaluation where the author is at the center of an open and transparent peer review process.
On Friday 8th of November, together with Michael Taylor we gave a 5-minute talk on the future of academic peer review also presenting the forthcoming platform LIBRE at the SpotOn 2013 event.
The first press release about Open Scholar and the LIBRE project is out!