Monday, July 11, 2016

The U. of California’s Open-Access Promise Hits a Snag: The Faculty

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 7, 2016

Three summers ago advocates of open-access publishing scored a major victory when the University of California’s Academic Senate voted to make research articles produced by faculty members across the 10-campus system freely available.

Now that big win looks less than overwhelming.

Despite the faculty vote, only about 25 percent of professors system wide are putting their papers into a state-created repository that allows free outside access. The majority, said Christopher M. Kelty, a professor of information studies and anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles who helped lead the open-access effort, appear indifferent. "They don’t know about it, they don’t really care about it," Mr. Kelty said. "They publish their work, and they just go on doing what they do."

Read More…

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How Are You Doing with Those Grant Submission New Year’s Resolutions?

National Institutes of Health
Office of Extramural Research
Mike Lauer
June 30, 2016

Back in January we talked about whether there is an advantage to working up to the last minute and submitting your grant application on the deadline. From the perspective of review outcomes, there was no advantage. In fact, applications submitted at the last minute seemed somewhat less likely to be discussed.
Need another reason to apply early (by early we mean days, not hours, before a deadline)? We still see applications that fail to be completed in time for the due date, and as a result have to wait another round to be considered for funding!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Working Papers of the Week: June 27 – July 1, 2016

Welcome to Working Papers of the Week! In this new RAO Blog feature, we’ll be posting information about the working papers posted to our site over the past week. Our goal is to highlight the valuable and interesting research Kennedy School faculty members are doing here and abroad.

This week in working papers:

Total Economic Valuation of the National Park Service Lands and Programs: Results of a Survey of The American Public
Haefele, Michelle, John Loomis, and Linda J. Bilmes

Introduction: "This paper presents the first-ever comprehensive estimate of the total economic value of the National Parks Service. The estimate covers administered lands, waters, and historic sites as well as NPS programs, which include protection of natural landmarks and historic sites, partnerships with local communities, recreational activities and educational programs. Our estimate of the total economic value to the American public is $92 billion. Two-thirds of this total ($62 billion) is for National Park lands, waters and historic sites; the remaining $30 billion is attributed to NPS Programs. The estimate, which is based on very conservative assumptions, includes not only the value attributed by visitors to the parks, but also a significant “non-use” or “existence” value. This is the value derived by the public from simply knowing that NPS assets are protected for current and future generations, regardless of whether or not they actually choose to visit."

To read the full working paper, click here.

For more information on the background of this important study, view its coverage in the HKS News and HKS Magazine.

Don’t miss out on our faculty’s other recent working papers! Browse our latest faculty working papers by number or follow RAO on Twitter at @HKS_Research to stay in the loop.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit: Future EU Research Money for UK May Rely on Free Movement

Times Higher Education
John Morgan
June 27, 2016

The UK’s future participation in European Union research and student mobility programmes may hinge on the government being willing to sign up to the free movement of people, while there is also a “big question mark” over the continuation of EU grant funding bids before a Brexit, according to experts.

The vote to leave the EU delivered in the UK referendum of 23 June leaves UK universities anxious about their future ability to freely recruit EU students and staff, along with their participation in future – and perhaps even current – guises of EU Framework Programmes for research and the Erasmus+ student mobility programme.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Facebook Reveals How It Decides if a Research Project Is Ethical

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Steve Kolowich
June 15, 2016

In 2014, Facebook came out as a player in social-science research, and a controversial one at that. Its “emotional contagion” experiment, in which the company tweaked the feeds of 700,000 users and studied how it affected their moods, drew harsh criticism and put pressure on the company to apply more scrutiny to its research projects.

Now, after nearly two years of soul-searching, Facebook has revealed how it reviews and approves the experiments the company runs on users without them knowing about it.


Friday, June 3, 2016

New Portal to Human Subjects Protections Information

National Institutes of Health
Office of Extramural Research
May 31, 2016

Confused as to whether your proposed study is considered human subjects research? Looking to obtain a Certificate of Confidentiality for additional protection of identifiable data from the individuals participating in your research? Want to take NIH’s free training on the protection of human subjects? The new NIH Human Subjects website can help! This site not only provides regulatory guidance and links to human subjects protection information, but also contains a number of tools and guides to help investigators and institutions meet federal and HHS/NIH standards for human subjects research protections. You can apply for certificates of confidentiality from NIH through this web site, as well. Visit to learn more.

How New US Overtime Provisions Will Affect Postdoctoral Researchers

National Institutes of Health
Office of Extramural Research
Mike Lauer
May 18, 2016

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the law that contains overtime pay provisions for employees across the United States, entitling all US workers to overtime pay unless they are exempted because they are paid on fixed, preset salaries; are engaged in executive, administrative, or professional duties; and are paid at least $23,660 per year. Today, a historic change to this act has occurred – under the new rule, the overtime pay threshold will be increased to $47,476, effective December 1, 2016.

Understandably, many members of the community have reached out to us with questions about how this rule will affect post-doctoral researchers, who are critical players in the biomedical research enterprise. During the FLSA revision public comment period, many universities and professional organizations provided feedback to the Department of Labor. Likewise, NIH communicated with the Department of Labor to echo the importance of supporting and acknowledging the significant contributions of postdoctoral researchers to NIH-supported research. In recent years we made increases to NRSA stipends as a result of analysis and recommendations stemming from the Advisory Committee to the Director biomedical workforce working group. Stakeholders ranging from academic faculty to scientific professional societies have recommended further increases post-doctoral compensation, and early-career researchers have likewise been vocal about the types of challenges postdocs face in the current research ecosystem. We acknowledge that more is needed to support the scientific leaders of tomorrow.