ICIS – Publish Or Perish 2014 Notes, Thoughts, Links

Publish or perish? The future of scholarly publishing and careers
UC Davis ICIS (Innovating Communication in Scholarship) Project. See http://icis.ucdavis.edu/?page_id=187 for more detail.

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Watch Detroit’s Rapid Collapse In These Side-By-Side Street-View Images

ChicagoJune 2014. Earlier this year, hundreds of workers drove down Detroit streets block by block, mapping out every abandoned home, decaying factory, and trash-filled vacant lot. They counted nearly 85,000 blighted parcels; just tearing the buildings down will cost $2 billion.

Thanks to an unending public appetite for ruin porn, these numbers aren’t necessarily surprising. The modern image of Detroit is of a city that’s falling apart. But it’s easy to forget how quickly things have changed. One Detroiter decided to turn to Google Street View and Bing Maps to show how blocks keep evolving in the GooBing Detroit Tumblr, with side-by-side views of the same street in different years.

Read & see more: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3031637/watch-detroits-rapid-collapse-in-these-side-by-side-street-view-images#22

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Science In Transition

transitionScience is in need of fundamental reform. That is the belief of the initiators of Science in Transition. Science has become a self-referential system where quality is measured mostly in bibliometric parameters and where societal relevance is undervalued.
The Science in Transition initiators have put forward their ideas in a position paper (read pdf here). This has kindled a debate among researchers and policy makers in The Netherlands. In November 2013 the Science in Transition initiative organised a two-day conference. Next, in separate meetings the initiators will be discussing the topics raised with representatives from KNAW, NWO, VSNU and others. This should lead to an agenda for change. Below a first draft for this agenda is formulated by Science in Transition.

Read more (Dutch): http://www.scienceintransition.nl/english

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Journal Of Universal Rejection

NewBannerThe founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:

You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
– There are no page-fees.
– You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
– The JofUR is one-of-a-kind. Merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.
– You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete
– Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.

Read more: http://www.universalrejection.org/#about

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Professor Nicholas Stern – Celebrating The Humanities And Being Human

BeingHumanlogobeinghumanfestival.org. Jun 2014. We live in a time when the world faces problems of trust in institutions and a weakening of confidence in existing ideas and models. The geo-political landscape is shifting fundamentally. Politicians in many countries, including the UK, are failing to inspire younger generations. The UK is seeing a decline in membership of political parties, a lack of public engagement in political issues, and it is especially true of the young. These processes are magnified and intensified by the revolution in communications and social media. The public political arena – the quality and quantity of questioning and serious discussion of evidence – is shrinking before our eyes. We will all be the losers if this continues.

The wealth of research and expertise from those studying the humanities is vital to providing a serious response to these problems. Understanding who we are, how we live and why we make the decisions we do has never before been such a global priority. It is important that we celebrate the humanities and share an understanding of what research in these areas can provide. For example, Reading War and Peace gives not only great fulfilment but also a deep understanding of human behaviour and suffering. One could argue that if more people read it, and engaged with it, the world could be a richer and safer place.

The humanities can help us learn from the past. They also provide crucial insights into the behaviour detailing the future. The implications of new scientific and technological developments, the effect a new cancer treatment might have on individuals, predicting how increases in digital communication will alter human interaction, informing our understanding of what climate change might mean for where and how we live; for all of these, an understanding of behaviour, community and morality are vital.

Read more: http://beinghumanfestival.org/celebrating-humanities-human/

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The Economist – Let The Light Shine In

reviewTwo big recent scientific results are looking shaky—and it is open peer review on the internet that has been doing the shaking
SCIENTISTS make much of the fact that their work is scrutinised anonymously by some of their peers before it is published. This “peer review” is supposed to spot mistakes and thus keep the whole process honest. The peers in question, though, are necessarily few in number, are busy with their own work, are expected to act unpaid—and are often the rivals of those whose work they are scrutinising. And so, by a mixture of deliberation and technological pressure, the system is starting to change. The internet means anyone can appoint himself a peer and criticise work that has entered the public domain. And two recent incidents have shown how valuable this can be.

The first concerns pluripotent stem cells, the predecessors of every other body cell. Pluripotent cells interest doctors and biologists, who hope to use them to investigate diseases, test drugs and, eventually, regrow patients’ damaged body parts.

Read more: http://www.economist.com/let_the_light_shine_in

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