New York Times: They Wanted Research Funding, So They Entered the Lottery

New York Times: They Wanted Research Funding, So They Entered the Lottery. “Since 2013, the New Zealand council has dedicated around 2 percent of its annual funding expenditure to what it calls explorer grants, asking applicants to submit proposals they think are ‘transformative, innovative, exploratory or unconventional, and have potential for major impact.’ Such lotteries have been used in other countries, and some have the goal of increasing the diversity of grant recipients, as well as assisting researchers in earlier stages of their career who might struggle to find funding.”

ProPublica: Dollars for Profs

ProPublica: Dollars for Profs. “Professors’ outside income can influence their research topics and findings, policy views and legislative testimony. But these conflicts of interest have largely stayed hidden — until now. This unique database allows you to search records from multiple state universities and the National Institutes of Health for outside income and conflicts of interest of professors, researchers and staff.”

The Conversation: Science needs myths to thrive

The Conversation: Science needs myths to thrive. “What helped me develop as a researcher was reading stories about those who came before me. For scientific research to be successful in the long term, I think researchers need a strong set of values, including an unwavering commitment to the truth, and a drive to test any idea to destruction. Though they may seem opposed to the ideals of the rigorous scientific method, the best way of instilling these values is, as ever, through the stories and myths that we tell ourselves.”

Phys .org: Researchers suggest better communication needed to convince public of findings

Phys .org: Researchers suggest better communication needed to convince public of findings. “A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.S. has published a Perspective piece in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discussing the growing problem of acceptance of findings by scientists by the general public. They suggest several possible approaches that researchers could use to promote more effective signals of trustworthiness to the public.”

Chronicle of Higher Education: As Scholars Are Driven to Less Prestigious Journals, New Measures of Quality Emerge

Chronicle of Higher Education: As Scholars Are Driven to Less Prestigious Journals, New Measures of Quality Emerge. “As more scholars publish in less-recognized open-access journals, the search is on for other ways to measure the impact of their research. One potential measure of reach is in online sharing: posts on Twitter, blog links, and other engagement metrics of various kinds. HuMetricsHSS, a humanities and social-sciences project that tracks indicators in those fields, includes as another such metric ‘openness,’ including a researcher’s ‘transparency, candor, and accountability, in addition to the practice of making one’s research open access at all stages.'”

Chronicle of Higher Education: If History Is Any Guide, End of Federal Shutdown Won’t Bring Quick Relief for College Researchers

Chronicle of Higher Education: If History Is Any Guide, End of Federal Shutdown Won’t Bring Quick Relief for College Researchers. “Neal F. Lane didn’t mince words when he spoke at the 1996 American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, in Baltimore. On the heels of a 21-day government shutdown, then the longest in U.S. history, the National Science Foundation’s director was reeling. Funds for many continuing grants had run out. He expected funding gaps for renewals and delays in funding new awards. New programs could be pushed back significantly — perhaps six months to a year — or canceled. The shutdown, he said, had ‘demoralized our work force and destroyed any efficient timetable for our already pressured work.'”

Nature: Crowdfunding research flips science’s traditional reward model

Nature: Crowdfunding research flips science’s traditional reward model. “No papers? No problem. Scientists who have historically been at a disadvantage when pursuing traditional funding sources — for example, those who lack extensive experience or who do not demonstrate a good publication record — are now the most successful at sourcing money from the public.”

Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong (Vox)

Vox: Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong. “Julia Rohrer wants to create a radical new culture for social scientists. A personality psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Rohrer is trying to get her peers to publicly, willingly admit it when they are wrong. To do this, she, along with some colleagues, started up something called the Loss of Confidence Project. It’s designed to be an academic safe space for researchers to declare for all to see that they no longer believe in the accuracy of one of their previous findings. “

TechCrunch: Morressier makes it easy to share early research

TechCrunch: Morressier makes it easy to share early research . “Morressier is a service for early-stage research. This means it allows researchers to ‘raise the profile of their conference posters, presentations and abstracts and showcase their work from the very beginning.’ Because most early-stage research appears at conferences few of us ever see, by making projects more visible at those conferences we all get better research.”

Scientific Data: An open database of productivity in Vietnam’s social sciences and humanities for public use

Scientific Data: An open database of productivity in Vietnam’s social sciences and humanities for public use. “This study presents a description of an open database on scientific output of Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities, one that corrects for the shortcomings in current research publication databases such as data duplication, slow update, and a substantial cost of doing science. Here, using scientists’ self-reports, open online sources and cross-checking with Scopus database, we introduce a manual system and its semi-automated version of the database on the profiles of 657 Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities who have published in Scopus-indexed journals from 2008 to 2018.”

Twitter for Scientists: an Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come? (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Chronicle of Higher Education: Twitter for Scientists: an Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come?. “There’s abundant evidence that widely sharing a research finding in just one or two simple sentences greatly increases its use and effectiveness. But, ugh, that usually means Twitter — in the eyes of many, a low-attention-span cesspool of trolls, political partisans, and amateur comedians known more for braggadocio and snark than reason and facts. Now, with federal backing, there’s another option.”

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?”

Nature: Top Chinese university to consider social-media posts in researcher evaluations

Nature: Top Chinese university to consider social-media posts in researcher evaluations. “One of China’s most prestigious universities plans to give some articles in newspapers and posts on major social-media outlets the same weight as peer-reviewed publications when it evaluates researchers. The policy has sparked a vigorous debate among Chinese academics. Proponents say it will encourage researchers to engage with the public, but many are concerned that it will promote those who toe the party line established by China’s strictly censored media and social media, at the expense of more highly qualified researchers.”

Google Scholar Blog: Follow Related Research for Key Authors

Google Scholar Blog: Follow Related Research for Key Authors. “Scholar provides several ways to keep up with research in your area. You can set up keyword alerts, get recommendations related to your publications and follow your colleagues’ profiles. Today, we are adding another approach to stay up to date in areas of your interest. Now, in addition to following articles by and citations to an author, you can follow research that is related to her work.”