Cornell University: Tear down academic silos: Take an ‘undisciplinary’ approach

Cornell University: Tear down academic silos: Take an ‘undisciplinary’ approach. “Solving societal problems such as climate change could require dismantling rigid academic boundaries, so that researchers from varying disciplines could work together collaboratively – through an ‘undisciplinary’ approach, a new Cornell study suggests. Instead of rallying around a specific mission, it’s best to incorporate a human approach and fixate on the process to find solutions. The work published May 16 in Nature’s Humanities and Social Sciences Communications.”

New York Times: Russian Academics Aim to Punish Colleagues Who Backed Ukraine Invasion

New York Times: Russian Academics Aim to Punish Colleagues Who Backed Ukraine Invasion. “Some academic researchers in Russia are quietly working to prevent colleagues who have supported their country’s invasion of Ukraine from being elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences this month. If they succeed, they will deny those who back the war a prized credential that confers prestige in Russian institutions of higher learning. Their campaign could also show that some acts of protest remain possible despite a government crackdown on dissent.”

Salon: Influencer culture is everywhere — even in academia

Salon: Influencer culture is everywhere — even in academia. “Several years ago, while writing a book on social media labor, I noticed how the accounts furnished by aspiring YouTubers and Instagrammers resonated deeply with my experiences as a then-junior academic. These social media hopefuls had an acutely perceived need to remain ‘on brand’ and an unabashed pursuit of metrics. As an academic, this felt all too familiar. Their media kit was my tenure dossier, except ‘likes’ and ‘views’ were swapped out for Google Scholar citations and h-indexes–two indices of our ‘impact.’ I felt compelled to be eminently visible — not unlike the pressures on influencers to ‘game’ the algorithms or ratchet up their engagement.”

Phys .org: COVID-19 forced us to move a conference from a Greek island to the web, and quickly. Here’s what we learned

Phys .org: COVID-19 forced us to move a conference from a Greek island to the web, and quickly. Here’s what we learned. “In May this year, we were convening a dream conference: 140 like-minded academics on a Greek island for three-and-a-half days to work on a topic we cared about—organizing sustainably…. Then the universe threw us a curveball in the form of COVID-19, which made us rethink sustainable organizing. Despite a complete lack of experience, and no funding, we decided to move online. More than 100 participants, across 14 time zones, decided to experiment with us.”

‘Naked intimidation’: how universities silence academics on social media (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘Naked intimidation’: how universities silence academics on social media. “Universities increasingly recognise the value in academics having a social media presence – it helps recruit students, disseminate research and increase brand awareness. They also, generally, recognise that you don’t achieve this by tightly controlling what academics say – they need to find their own voice. ‘But when that individual voice is in conflict with the official brand it creates a tension,’ says Martin Weller, professor of educational technology at the Open University.”

Forbes: Why Are Academics Upset With Facebook’s New Privacy Rules?

Forbes: Why Are Academics Upset With Facebook’s New Privacy Rules?. “Last month a group of leading academics signed an open letter condemning Facebook’s new privacy rules and API changes that greatly restrict the ability of outsiders to mass harvest data from the platform without the knowledge or consent of users. The letter reflects the view across a broad swath of the academic community that any increase in user privacy protections that prevents them from being able to harvest our personal private information without our knowledge or against our will and turn us all into digital lab rats is simply unacceptable. What does this tell us about the future of online privacy and whether the very academic community that is so quick to condemn Facebook’s own research is willing to apply the same standards to their own work?”

Times Higher Education: The Facebook scandal won’t end the infuriating allure of academic social media

Times Higher Education: The Facebook scandal won’t end the infuriating allure of academic social media. “Those people predicting a mass flight from Facebook as a result of the recent revelations over the misuse of their data for political purposes are probably underestimating the addictive power of social media. One person who will definitely have to pursue other interests, though, is Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge academic who harvested the data and who has now had his Facebook account closed down. But if he is like most academics, he will probably just spend more time on higher education’s very own social media instead.”

The Conversation: Academic journal publishing is headed for a day of reckoning

The Conversation: Academic journal publishing is headed for a day of reckoning. “Imagine a researcher working under deadline on a funding proposal for a new project. This is the day she’s dedicated to literature review – pulling examples from existing research in published journals to provide evidence for her great idea. Creating an up-to-date picture of where things stand in this narrow corner of her field involves 30 references, but she has access to only 27 of those via her library’s journal subscriptions. Now what?”

Phys.org: Social media data use needs tighter research controls, experts say

Phys.org: Social media data use needs tighter research controls, experts say . “Information shared on social media is being regularly used in research projects without users’ consent, a study suggests. Experts have called for tighter control of the practice, with fresh guidelines needed to ensure personal data is being used appropriately. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh say ethics frameworks around consent, privacy and ownership for such studies are not keeping pace with technological developments.”

New York Times: Many Academics Are Eager to Publish in Worthless Journals

New York Times: Many Academics Are Eager to Publish in Worthless Journals. “Call it a classic case of supply meeting demand. Universities, colleges, even community colleges insist that faculty publish scholarly research, and the more papers the better. Academics and the schools they teach at rely on these publications to bolster their reputations, and with an oversupply of Ph.D.’s vying for jobs, careers hang in the balance.”

Tool Helps Researchers Promote Their Papers Across Social Media

A new-to-me tool (it launched in May 2014) helps researchers promote their papers. “It’s not the job of researchers to become experts in public relations — that’s why universities have press offices, says Matt Shipman, research communications lead at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. But he recommends scientists toot their own horns as well. Increasingly, researchers across the scientific spectrum are coming to the same conclusion. That demand has led to the emergence of an online tool for managing the practice: a free site called Kudos, which aims to help researchers maximize the reach and impact of their papers on social media, and measure the effects of their efforts.”