Academic Impact of Articles by Practitioners in the Field of Library and Information Science

Author : Yu-Wei Chang

This study measured the relative academic impact of articles by LIS practitioners by analyzing library and information science articles published between 2005 and 2014. The results revealed that, although practitioners were not the main knowledge contributors, the academic impact of articles by practitioners was not significantly lower than that of articles by academics.

No significant differences in academic impact were present between any two types of coauthored articles. Articles from academic–practitioner collaboration were cited earlier than articles from practitioner–practitioner and academic–academic collaborations.

This study suggests that LIS practitioners appear to benefit from collaborative scholarship with LIS researchers through more citations and higher impact.

URL : Academic Impact of Articles by Practitioners in the Field of Library and Information Science


How ethics combine with big data: a bibliometric analysis

Authors : Marta Kuc-Czarnecka, Magdalena Olczyk

The term Big Data is becoming increasingly widespread throughout the world, and its use is no longer limited to the IT industry, quantitative scientific research, and entrepreneurship, but entered as well everyday media and conversations. The prevalence of Big Data is simply a result of its usefulness in searching, downloading, collecting and processing massive datasets.

It is therefore not surprising that the number of scientific articles devoted to this issue is increasing. However, the vast majority of research papers deal with purely technical matters. Yet, large datasets coupled with complex analytical algorithms pose the risk of non-transparency, unfairness, e.g., racial or class bias, cherry-picking of data, or even intentional misleading of public opinion, including policymakers, for example by tampering with the electoral process in the context of ‘cyberwars’.

Thus, this work implements a bibliometric analysis to investigate the development of ethical concerns in the field of Big Data. The investigation covers articles obtained from the Web of Science Core Collection Database (WoS) published between 1900 and July 2020.

A sample size of 892 research papers was evaluated using HistCite and VOSviewer software. The results of this investigation shed light on the evolution of the junction of two concepts: ethics and Big Data.

In particular, the study revealed the following array of findings: the topic is relatively poorly represented in the scientific literature with the relatively slow growth of interest. In addition, ethical issues in Big Data are discussed mainly in the field of health and technology.

URL : How ethics combine with big data: a bibliometric analysis



Les usages des ressources pédagogiques numériques par les étudiants de 1er cycle universitaire : Une distribution par filière d’étude et année de formation

Auteur/Author : Emmanuel Brandl

Rares sont les enquêtes sociologiques qui analysent l’influence de la discipline, entendue comme « matrice disciplinaire » (Lahire, 1998), dans la structuration et la différenciation des pratiques étudiantes.

Pourtant, la matrice disciplinaire est déterminante en ce qu’elle est une instance de socialisation qui structure les manières d’étudier. Ces enquêtes mettent pourtant en évidence un usage différencié des ressources pédagogiques selon la discipline (notes de cours, photocopies, articles, ouvrages…).

Ce qui n’est pas sans intérêt : focaliser son attention sur les conditions d’appropriation des ressources pédagogiques prend une acuité particulière quand on sait qu’il s’agit in fine des conditions d’appropriation des savoirs disciplinaires, lesquelles sont déterminantes dans la réussite ou non des cursus universitaires.

Cependant, ces enquêtes ont été menées à des moments où ce qu’il est convenu d’appeler aujourd’hui le « numérique », et notamment le numérique pédagogique, n’était pas ou peu développé, surtout à l’université.

Quelle est alors l’influence du numérique sur ces logiques disciplinaires? Seraient-elles dépassées par le numérique? L’article interroge en creux les logiques par lesquelles les dispositifs et contenus numériques sont pensés à l’université : une offre qui ferait l’économie d’une analyse des principes de différenciation internes à l’université ne serait-elle pas vouée à n’avoir qu’un impact limité?

URL : Les usages des ressources pédagogiques numériques par les étudiants de 1er cycle universitaire : Une distribution par filière d’étude et année de formation

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Research Data Management (RDM) at the University of Ghana (UG) : Myth or Reality?

Author : Bright Kwaku Avuglah

This article explores Research Data Management (RDM) at the University of Ghana (UG). It emphasises on institutional awareness and attitudes, and whether the University Library is officially supporting this emerging strategic interest in research focused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Purposive sampling was used to select information-rich respondents from across the University (i.e. Librarians, Research Administrators, ICT Managers and Senior Researchers) who were interviewed on a range of issues about RDM.

Institutional documents were also reviewed to corroborate the primary data and get a deeper understanding of the research problem. The study shows that while RDM is recognised at the institutional level as good research practice and integrity issue, the concept is tenuously understood in the local community.

Unsurprisingly, however, there was a general appreciation and awareness of the need for RDM and the implications for such critical concerns as security, integrity, continuity and institutional reputation.

The library is yet to take a strategic approach to RDM issues and there is clearly a dearth in RDM expertise within the library system.

The study recommends that the library must be proactive in advocating and promoting RDM issues at UG, but first, the Librarians must take advantage of numerous existing opportunities to build their capacity.

URL : Research Data Management (RDM) at the University of Ghana (UG) : Myth or Reality?


Open Textbooks as an innovation route for open science pedagogy

Authors : Robert Farrow, Rebecca Pitt, Martin Weller

The paper introduces the UK Open Textbook project and discusses its success factors with regards to promoting open practice and open pedagogy. Textbooks remain a core part of educational provision in science.

Open Textbooks are openly licensed academic textbooks, wherein the digital version is available freely, and the print version at reduced cost. They are a form of Open Educational Resource (OER). In recent years a number of openly-licensed textbooks have demonstrated high impact in countries including the USA, Canada and South Africa.

The UK Open Textbooks project piloted several established approaches to the use and promotion open textbooks (focusing on STEM subjects) in a UK context between 2017 and 2018.

The project had two main aims: to promote the adoption of open textbooks in the UK; and to investigate the transferability of the successful models of adoption that have emerged in North America.

Through a number of workshops at a range of higher education institutions and targeted promotion at specific education conferences, the project successfully raised the profile of open textbooks within the UK.

Several case studies report existing examples of open textbook use in UK science were recorded. There was considerable interest and appetite for open textbooks amongst UK academics.

This was partly related to cost savings for students, but more significant factors were the freedom to adapt and develop textbooks and OER.

This is consistent with a range of research that has taken place in other countries and suggests the potential for impact on UK science education is high.


The transformative power of values-enacted scholarship

Authors : Nicky Agate, Rebecca Kennison, Stacy Konkiel, Christopher P. Long, Jason Rhody, Simone Sacchi, Penelope Weber

The current mechanisms by which scholars and their work are evaluated across higher education are unsustainable and, we argue, increasingly corrosive. Relying on a limited set of proxy measures, current systems of evaluation fail to recognize and reward the many dependencies upon which a healthy scholarly ecosystem relies.

Drawing on the work of the HuMetricsHSS Initiative, this essay argues that by aligning values with practices, recognizing the vital processes that enrich the work produced, and grounding our indicators of quality in the degree to which we in the academy live up to the values for which we advocate, a values-enacted approach to research production and evaluation has the capacity to reshape the culture of higher education.

URL : The transformative power of values-enacted scholarship


Open access to health and education research outside academia: perspectives of research users, research intermediaries and researchers

Author : Emily Nunn

The thesis investigates how publics outside academia engage with ideas of open access (OA) to research publications. To do this, it analyses data from interviews with users of health and education research in two non-academic contexts, as well as with researchers interested in communicating their work to wider audiences. It draws on constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006) and situational analysis (Clarke, 2005).

The literature review highlighted a need to empirically explore OA outside academia. The study focused on the ways in which publications were accessed and used outside academia and the factors enabling and preventing access.

It also explored perceptions of OA within a wider context of communicating research to non- academic audiences, and identified areas of contestation. The study found that there was a demand for OA, although the demand was perceived to be limited. There were significant sources of friction in accessing research publications, including paywalls, which could be circumvented through file/password sharing and drawing on contacts.

Conceptual access (e.g. understandability) was also found to prevent engagement with research publications in some cases, although this varied according to levels of expertise. The study identified research intermediaries as playing an important dual role, as they accessed research in order to make it accessible to a wider audience.

The study found a disconnect between some OA advocacy and research-user perceptions. and a disconnect between researchers’ commitment to communicating their work outside the academy and their support of OA.

Attitudes towards OA were influenced by bureaucratic mandates, high APCs and belief that there would be little demand for their research. Findings indicated however, that OA could complement other forms of research communication in specific contexts.

Finally, the study suggested that a narrow focus on ‘tangible outcomes’ for non- academic publics (Moore, 2019) risked obscuring attempts to develop a more equitable scholarly communications system.

URL : Open access to health and education research outside academia: perspectives of research users, research intermediaries and researchers

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