Friday, October 13, 2017

NSF Announces $19.5M in Awards to Support Fundamental Research to Advance the Nation's Local Cities and Communities

National Science Foundation 
News Release 17-102
October 12, 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has long been a leader in supporting fundamental research to equip U.S. cities and communities with more responsive and adaptive technologies and services. Today, NSF's Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) program announces its first round of awards totaling approximately $19.5 million. This funding will support 38 projects involving researchers at 34 institutions across the nation.
Smart and connected communities successfully integrate people with information and communication technologies to improve economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, and overall quality of life. Successfully achieving this vision requires advanced understanding of the physical, social and technical aspects of our local cities and communities.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Revolt at a Journal Puts Peer Review Under the Microscope

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Vimal Patel
September 25, 2017

Even longtime admirers of Shahid Qadir were puzzled.
Mr. Qadir, editor of Third World Quarterly, a journal about international studies, this month published a paper provocatively titled "The Case for Colonialism." The abstract sets the tone for the piece: "For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy."

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Elsevier Embraces Data-Sharing Standards, in Step Toward Scientific Openness

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
September 5, 2017

The cause of scientific transparency and accuracy got a boost on Tuesday with the decision by the publishing giant Elsevier to endorse a broad set of standards for open articles and data.

Elsevier agreed to add its 1,800 journals to the 3,200 that already accept the "Transparency and Openness Promotion" guidelines drafted in 2015 by a group of university researchers, funders and publishers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Elsevier Is Becoming a Data Company. Should Universities Be Wary?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
August 15, 2017

Like many big research institutions, the University of Florida pays the publishing giant Elsevier millions of dollars a year so its scientists can read the articles they helped create.

Payments like that have made Elsevier an industry monolith; they have also made the company a popular target of faculty protests and boycotts.
At an institutional level, "there’s not a lot of leverage" to hold down prices, concedes Florida’s library dean, Judith C. Russell. That’s because Elsevier publishes many influential titles that faculty also prize as markers of reputational success, she said.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Journal Pulls Paper That Refers to Surgeons as Only Men

STAT News Morning Rounds
Megan Thielking
July 25, 2017

The editors of Annals of Surgery have retracted a new paper on the “modern surgeon” after it was pointed out the paper only referred to surgeons with male pronouns. The piece — "Modern Surgeon: Still a Master of His Trade or Just an Operator of Medical Equipment?" —was actually a copy of a speech from Dr. Marek Krawczyk, the president of the European Surgical Association. As critics of the piece pointed out, the choice of language matters to the perception of women in the field and doesn’t reflect their important work. “Unfortunately, our own editorial review did not catch the singular use of male pronouns to refer to surgeons,” the journal’s editors said in a statement.

The incident also points to another issue: the gender diversity of journal editorial boards. A 2008 analysis found that fewer than 10 percent of the members of the Annals of Surgery editorial board each year were women, with only slightly more diversity seen in other major medical journals. That’s improved in the years since — now, women make up about 20 percent of the Annals of Surgery editorial board.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Report Concludes Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Help Advance National Health, Prosperity and Defense

National Science Foundation News Release
July 18, 2017

At the request of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has produced a report, "The Value of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to National Priorities." The report concludes that social, behavioral and economic sciences (SBE) further NSF's mission to advance U.S. health, prosperity, welfare and defense.
"Nearly every major challenge the United States faces -- from alleviating unemployment to protecting itself from terrorism -- requires understanding the causes and consequences of people's behavior," the report says.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

House Republicans Counter Trump on University Research Costs

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
July 12, 2017

House Republicans issued a fiscal 2018 budget plan on Wednesday that rejects the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate or sharply cut so-called indirect-cost payments to universities for medical research.
The plan, offered by Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the National Institutes of Health, makes clear that indirect-cost payments on NIH grants should continue "to the same extent and in the same manner" as has existed.