Although transparency, openness and reproducibility are core values of science, the academic reward system does not sufficiently incentivize according practices. In the present reward system, excessive emphasis on innovation and the neglect of negative and null findings may undermine practices that support verification and replication. The Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Committee has now released eight standards for more open journals’ procedures and policies for publication. You can download these guidelines here and read the full article in the Science Magazine here.
The first German Summer School of Science Studies and Higher Education Research takes place on September 14-18th 2015 at Humboldt University, Berlin. It is the opening of a series of events, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.This year’s overall topic is “Quality expectations in scientific knowledge production and from academic institutions”. Here’s the call for applications and the school’s website (only in German). The school adresses PhD and master students with respective research interests. Deadline for applications is on July 15th (first come first serve).
On July 13-15th 2016, several European societies for higher education research (see GfHf for the German pendant) are organizing a conference at Amsterdam. Here’s a short abstract:
“Given the multi-level nature of the issues at stake within higher education, representatives of major EU and US networks of higher education researchers decided to combine their expertise and organize this joint conference in the Summer of 2016 at the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Also a number of national higher education associations are actively involved. Particular purpose of this conference is to unite the macro, meso and micro levels of higher education research, therefore covering the scholarship of learning, teaching and organizing.”
Submission deadline is January 15th 2016. See the website for more information.
Die Gesellschaft für Hochschulforschung (GfHf) e.V. hat ein Positionspapier zur Lage und Zukunft der Hochschulforschung in Deutschland verabschiedet. Neben einer Kurzdarstellung der gegenwärtigen Situation der Hochschulforschung in Deutschland beinhaltet das Papier Kernziele zur Weiterentwicklung des Forschungsfelds. Das Positionspapier kann unterzeichnet werden.
Wissensproduktion und gesellschaftliche Transformation sind eng miteinander verbunden: Bei der Deutung und Kritik sozialer, wirtschaftlicher, ökologischer und politischer Entwicklungen wird der Wissenschaft eine Schlüsselrolle zugeschrieben. Indes ist Wissenschaft nie losgelöst von ihren gesellschaftlichen Kontexten und den darin verankerten Macht- und Herrschaftsverhältnissen denkbar. Gesellschaftskritik und Wissenschaft zu verbinden bedeutet daher auch, jene Verfahren zu reflektieren, die zur Analyse sozialer Phänomene eingesetzt werden und die letztlich die Grundlage für Gesellschaftskritik seitens der Wissenschaft darstellen. Wissenschaftliche Erkenntnismethoden konstituieren oder verändern einerseits den Forschungsgegenstand und bedingen andererseits die Art von Wissen, die produziert wird. Die ontologische und epistemologische Struktur von Wissensgenese ist nicht gegeben, sondern durch gesellschaftliche Herrschaftsverhältnisse bedingt. Dies wirft grundsätzliche Fragen auf: In welcher Form und auf welchen normativen Grundlagen kann Wissenschaft Kritik an der Gesellschaft und Gesellschaft Kritik an der Wissenschaft üben? Wie lassen sich kritische Perspektiven auf die Rolle der Wissenschaft in gesellschaftlichen Prozessen entwickeln? Welche Rolle spielt dabei die methodologische und ethische Reflexion der eigenen Vorgehensweisen? Ist Forschungsethik ein adäquates Instrument, um historisch gewachsene und normalisierte Macht- und Herrschaftsverhältnisse zu hinterfragen und aufzubrechen? […]
Deadline für die Einreichung: 01. Juli 2015
Quelle des Auszugs und Informationen: http://www.normativeorders.net/de/veranstaltungen/nachwuchskonferenzen
One of the most frequent criticisms regarding the peer review system is a bias towards positive (i.e., confirmative) results, while negative or null findings are less likely to find approval by reviewers (although they may address no less relevant research questions and may result from equally rigorous methods).
The Journal of Business Psychology (JBP) has now announced to roll out an additional manuscript submission path that the editors hope to address the publication bias. In this alternative path, called hybrid registered reports submission path, authors submit the introduction, information on methods and measurement, as well as a plan of analysis, while no results and discussion are provided. Research is then evaluated on the merits, rigor, and quality of the project rather than what was actually found.
On the 3rd and 4th of June Jetta Frost, Fabian and me attended the 2015 EFMD Higher Education Research Conference in the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. The Conference dealt with “The Legitimacy and Impact of Business Schools and Universities”.
The first day was opened with a keynote address of Jeffrey Pfeffer who shed light on current student culture in business schools in a slightly critical manner and reflected on the role and responsibility of business schools in society. The first parallel sessions dealt with reputation, rankings and the legitimacy of the business school and competition and change in higher education. They offered interesting perspectives on topics like the relations between states, universities and business schools, institutional change in the higher education system and competition. The second parallel sessions dealt with rankings, markets and performance in higher education and the legitimacy of Chinese universities and business schools. Fabian showed the audience how the effects of performance measurement in academia can be captured through a multiple-dimensional framework of scholars’ organizational identification and gained some positive and constructive feedback. The first day was concluded with a keynote address of Mats Alvesson who took the audience on a really entertaining trip through several paradoxes of the current higher education and business school system.
The second day was introduced with a keynote of Alis Oancea who presented the audience how the impact of research is related to several values in several societal spheres and how this relation can be systematized. The parallel sessions dealt with the meaning and significance of business school impact and the entrepreneurial activities and legitimacy of universities and business schools. They offered interesting perspectives on topics like the strengthening of higher education institutions legitimacy or the complexity of higher education institutions impact. At the end Andrew Pettigrew took leave in the name of the organisational team and named the conference “best EFMD-Conference so far”.
Beside the interesting content of the presentations we could enjoy the impressive atmosphere of Oxford. We visited many of the 38 colleges that constitute the University of Oxford. On wednesday we had our dinner in the hall at Balliol College, which is the oldest Oxford College that has a lot of famous absolvents, inter alia Adam Smith and a few prime ministers. On the whole it was a really nice conference in an inspiring environment. We are looking forward to next year’s EFMD Higher Education Research Conference!
A particular interesting way to detect invisible colleges in scientific fields is to study acknowledgements in research publications. Authors usually thank their colleagues who spent time and effort to provide a “friendly review” of earlier drafts of the manuscript, or who have given other forms of support. When these efforts are reciprocated, networks of professional ties among scholars rise to the surface.
Sometimes acknowledgements reveal more than just professional networks. A Canadian paleontologist has recently published a paper in which he gives credit to the support from his colleague Lorma, who holds a PhD from the same university. So far, so good, but the acknowledgements continue surprisingly: “Lorma, will you marry me?” See the full CBC news report.