Author Archives: Stephen

The unsustainable goal of university ranking

Ranking organisations are seeking to diversify the measures use to evaluate universities. But without addressing the fundamental flaws in their methods, they will crush rather than embrace the rich complexity of our institutions of higher learning When the Times Higher … Continue reading

Posted in Research Assessment, Science & Politics, Scientific Life | 1 Comment

How to value what cannot be measured?

This post is a transcript of my opening remarks at the a Great Debate held earlier today at the European Geosciences Union 2019 meeting in Vienna. The debate asked us to consider the question: What value should we place on contributions … Continue reading

Posted in Academic publishing, Open Access, Science, Science & Politics | 2 Comments

Thinking globally about research evaluation – LIS-Bibliometrics talk

Last Tuesday I attended the 2019 LIS-Bibliometrics meeting which focused on open metrics and measuring openness. I was part of a panel that was asked to discuss the topic “Thinking globally about research evaluation: common challenges, common solutions”. Chaired by Lizzie Gadd … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Comments Off on Thinking globally about research evaluation – LIS-Bibliometrics talk

Endings and Beginnings

New Year’s Eve is almost upon us, so here we are again at the close of one long year and the start of another. Personally, it has been a year of endings and beginnings. Readers of this blog would be … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Scientific Life | 4 Comments

Academic freedom and responsibility: why Plan S is not unethical

Since its announcement on 4th September the European Commission’s plan to make a radical shift towards open access (OA) has caused quite a stir. Backed by eleven* national funding agencies, the plan aims to make the research that they support free … Continue reading

Posted in Open Access | Tagged , , | 49 Comments

Ten Years a Blogger

Today is the tenth anniversary of my very first blog post. When I look back at that day in 2008 when I set out my stall on Reciprocal Space it seems a long time ago and a long distance away. … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Communication, Scientific Life | 4 Comments

DORA, the Leiden Manifesto & a university’s right to choose: a comment

The post below was written as a comment on Lizzie Gadd’s recent post explaining in some detail Loughborough University decision to base their approach to research assessment more on the Leiden Manifesto than DORA, the Declaration on Research Assessment. So you should … Continue reading

Posted in Academic publishing | Comments Off on DORA, the Leiden Manifesto & a university’s right to choose: a comment

Ready-made citation distributions are a boost for responsible research assessment

Though a long-time critic of journal impact factors (JIFs), I was delighted when the latest batch was released by Clarivate last week. It’s not the JIFs themselves that I was glad to see (still alas quoted to a ridiculous level … Continue reading

Posted in Academic publishing | 1 Comment

Opening peer review for inspection and improvement

For me the most memorable event at last week’s ASAPbio-HHMI-Wellcome meeting on Peer Review, which took place at HHMI’s beautifully appointed headquarters on the outskirts of Washington DC, was losing a $100 bet to Mike Eisen. Who would have guessed he’d know … Continue reading

Posted in Academic publishing, Science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why I don’t share Elsevier’s vision of the transition to open access

Last week Elsevier’s VP for Policy and Communications, Gemma Hersh, published a think-piece on the company’s vision of the transition to open access (OA). She makes some valid points but glosses over others that I would like to pick up on. Some of … Continue reading

Posted in Open Access | Tagged | 6 Comments

Does science need to be saved? A response to Sarewitz.

I wrote this piece a few months ago at the invitation of The New Atlantis. It was supposed to be one of a collection of responses to a polemical essay that they published last year on the parlous state of … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Comments Off on Does science need to be saved? A response to Sarewitz.

BAMEed: the voices of the people

At the beginning of June I attended the first BAMEed conference. It was an unexpectedly memorable and inspiring occasion. Final panel discussion at #BAMEed2017 Though billed as an “unconference” – a sort of self-organising gathering that fills old fogies like me … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | 2 Comments