Making the most of world talent for science? The Nobel Prize and Fields Medal experience

Author  : Juan Gabriel Rodríguez

Opportunities in science largely affect the accumulation of scientific knowledge and, therefore, technological change. However, there is little evidence of how much of people’s talent is actually wasted.

Here we focus on scientists with the highest performance, the recipients of the Nobel Prize and Fields Medal. We found that the average age of scientists at the time of the breakthrough was higher for researchers from less developed countries.

Moreover, individual opportunities in the world were extremely unequal by country of birth, gender significantly conditioned any participation in research, and the probability of becoming a top researcher more than doubled for individuals with parents belonging to the most favoured occupational categories.

Thus, inequality of opportunity in science at the highest level was higher than in sports excellence (Olympic medals) and educational attainment. These findings would not be so negative if opportunities in science at the highest level had increased over time.

Contrary to the expectations, our results show that opportunities in science, in contrast with humanities, have stagnated.

URL : Making the most of world talent for science? The Nobel Prize and Fields Medal experience


Open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences: Complex perceptions of researchers and implications for research support

Author : Niamh Quigley

Adoption of open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) is a work in progress, with lower engagement in HASS than most of the natural sciences. HASS research impacts how we live, how we learn and how we see ourselves, and research institutions should encourage and enable their HASS research communities to increase the prevalence of open access research outputs.

Six experienced HASS researchers at a single academic institution in Perth, Australia, were interviewed to explore their perceptions and experiences of open access, and any barriers that they had encountered. Thematic analysis was used to code the transcribed interviews, and generate themes.

This study found a wide variance in the adoption of open access practices among HASS researchers. Some participants are publishing via APC-based gold open access (in DOAJ listed journals), while other participants encounter multiple barriers to sharing more of their work as open access.

Confusion about aspects of open access is evident. Even among participants who support open access, some have had poor experiences of open access publishing. This research also found that some participants hold extremely complex opinions on open access, which directly influence participants’ behaviour depending on which perspective they are considering.

These perspectives are: research supervisor, editorial role at journal, funding assessor and global citizen. Within HASS a diversity of behaviours exists around open access, and research institutions need to tailor their research support services around open access and scholarly publishing for different communities of researchers.

URL : Open access in the humanities, arts and social sciences: Complex perceptions of researchers and implications for research support


Impact and visibility of Norwegian, Finnish and Spanish journals in the fields of humanities

Authors : Elías Sanz-Casado, Daniela De Filippo, Rafael Aleixandre Benavent, Vidar Røeggen, Janne Pölönen

This article analyses the impact and visibility of scholarly journals in the humanities that are publishing in the national languages in Finland, Norway and Spain. Three types of publishers are considered: commercial publishers, scholarly society as publisher, and research organizations as publishers.

Indicators of visibility and impact were obtained from Web of Science, SCOPUS, Google Metrics, Scimago Journal Rank and Journal Citation Report.

The findings compiled show that in Spain the categories “History and Archaeology” and “Language and Literature” account for almost 70% of the journals analysed, while the other countries offer a more homogeneous distribution.

In Finland, the scholarly society publisher is predominant, in Spain, research organization as publishers, mostly universities, have a greater weighting, while in Norway, the commercial publishers take centre stage.

The results show that journals from Finland and Norway will have reduced possibilities in terms of impact and visibility, since the vernacular language appeals to a smaller readership. Conversely, the Spanish journals are more attractive for indexing in commercial databases. Distribution in open access ranges from 64 to 70% in Norwegian and Finish journals, and to 91% in Spanish journals.

The existence of DOI range from 31 to 41% in Nordic journals to 60% in Spanish journals and has a more widespread bearing on the citations received in all three countries (journals with DOI and open access are cited more frequently).

URL : Impact and visibility of Norwegian, Finnish and Spanish journals in the fields of humanities


Open research data repositories: Practices, norms, and metadata for sharing images

Authors : Karin Hansson, Anna Dahlgren

Open research data repositories are promoted as one of the cornerstones in the open research paradigm, promoting collaboration, interoperability, and large-scale sharing and reuse. There is, however, a lack of research investigating what these sharing platforms actually share and a more critical interface analysis of the norms and practices embedded in this datafication of academic practice is needed.

This article takes image data sharing in the humanities as a case study for investigating the possibilities and constraints in 5 open research data repositories. By analyzing the visual and textual content of the interface along with the technical means for metadata, the study shows how the platforms are differentiated in terms of signifiers of research paradigms, but that beneath the rhetoric of the interface, they are designed in a similar way, which does not correspond well with the image researchers’ need for detailed metadata.

Combined with the problem of copyright limitations, these data-sharing tools are simply not sophisticated enough when it comes to sharing and reusing images. The result also corresponds with previous research showing that these tools are used not so much for sharing research data, but more for promoting researcher personas.

URL : Open research data repositories: Practices, norms, and metadata for sharing images


Documenting Digital Projects: Instituting Guidelines for Digital Dissertations and Theses in the Humanities

Authors : Roxanne Shirazi, Stephen Zweibel

Dissertations and theses with interactive digital components seldom fit neatly into the institutional format requirements designed for traditional humanities texts. This creates challenges for students, administrators, and librarians who are charged with preparing these works for library deposit.

While disciplinary acceptance of digital dissertations in the humanities may be increasing across institutions, little attention is given to the mechanics of documenting and submitting such projects.

Readers, also, are challenged to find and interpret digital projects that may not be entirely described in the accompanying paper. To address this, the authors examined a set of digital theses and dissertations at their institution to determine how these digital components might fit into traditional manuscript formatting guidelines.

This article introduces the resulting set of local documentation guidelines for digital dissertations and theses aimed at improving access, preservation, and reproducibility.

URL : Documenting Digital Projects: Instituting Guidelines for Digital Dissertations and Theses in the Humanities


De la revue au collectif : la conversation comme dispositif d’éditorialisation des communautés savantes en lettres et sciences humaines

Auteur/Author : Nicolas Sauret

Si l’on s’accorde à dire que les outils numériques ont modifié en profondeur nos pratiques d’écriture et de lecture, l’influence que ces nouvelles pratiques exercent sur les contenus d’une part, et sur la structuration de notre pensée d’autre part, reste encore à déterminer.

C’est dans ce champ d’investigation que s’inscrit cette thèse, qui questionne la production des connaissances à l’époque numérique : le savoir scientifique aurait-il changé en même temps que ses modalités de production et de diffusion ?

Je traiterai ce sujet à travers le prisme de la revue savante en lettres et sciences humaines, dont le modèle épistémologique, encore attaché au support papier, se voit profondément questionné par le numérique dans sa dimension technique aussi bien que culturelle.

Je fais l’hypothèse que les modalités d’écriture en environnement numérique sont une opportunité pour renouer avec les idéaux de conversation scientifique qui présidaient l’invention des revues au 17eme siècle. La thèse propose une réflexion en trois temps, articulée autour de trois conceptions de la revue : la revue comme format, comme espace et, tel que je le propose et le conceptualise, comme collectif.

La revue comme format, d’abord, émerge directement de la forme épistolaire au 17eme, favorisant alors la conversation au sein d’une communauté savante dispersée. Mais les limites conceptuelles du format nous invite à considérer la revue davantage comme un media. Pour penser alors sa remédiation, je montrerai que cette conversation trouve son incarnation contemporaine dans le concept d’éditorialisation.

La revue comme espace, ensuite, où s’incarnait jusque-là l’autorité scientifique, fait émerger de nouvelles possibilités conversationnelles, en raison des glissements de la fonction éditoriale des revues et de leurs éditeurs dans l’espace numérique. Enfin, la revue comme collectif émerge d’une écriture processuelle, en mouvement, propre à l’environnement numérique.

Un des enjeux de cette thèse réside dans la mise en évidence des dynamiques collectives d’appropriation et de légitimation. En ce sens, la finalité de la revue est peut-être moins la production de documents que l’éditorialisation d’une conversation faisant advenir le collectif.

Au plan méthodologique, cette thèse a la particularité de s’appuyer sur une recherche-action ancrée dans une série de cas d’étude et d’expérimentations éditoriales que j’ai pu mener en tant que chercheur d’une part, et éditeur-praticien d’autre part.

La présentation des résultats de cette recherche-action, ainsi que leur analyse critique, fournissent la matière des concepts travaillés dans la thèse.


Lessons From the Open Library of Humanities

Authors : Martin Paul Eve, Paula Clemente Vega, Caroline Edwards

The Open Library of Humanities was launched almost half a decade ago with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In this article, we outline the problems we set out to address and the lessons we learned.

Specifically, we note that, as we hypothesized, academic libraries are not necessarily classical economic actors; that implementing consortial funding models requires much marketing labour; that there are substantial governance and administrative overheads in our model; that there are complex tax and VAT considerations for consortial arrangements; and that diverse revenue sources remain critical to our success.

URL : Lessons From the Open Library of Humanities