Higher Education Reform

Blog posts and resources relating to reform in higher education. To start a new discussion on HE reform issues, visit the forum via the above link.

David Hume and Adam Smith

Why is Social Theory So Boring?

The roots of sociology lie among a group of engaged, engaging and vibrant people who often risked their well-being, or even their lives, to advance their ideas. So what happened to suck much of the life out of the discipline?

10 months ago
198

In Age of Open Science, Should Your Presentation Appear Online?

Elie Diner presents arguments for and against sharing research presentations online, arguing that sharing research presentations should be seen as part of the mainstream of open scholarship and is a natural way for academics to present their preliminary findings.

10 months ago
83
Isolation Game Characters Loneliness Isolated

The Loneliness of the Long-Suffering Researcher

Isolation and loneliness, as opposed to solitude, seem to the be the lot of many midern researchers. Research shows that 40 percent of academics, and more than half below the age of 35, view isolation at work as the main factor affecting their mental health. And many academics turn to counselling to learn ways to cope with emotional distress.

10 months ago
156

Are Gender Studies Under Assault Globally?

The war on gender studies is a pillar in the authoritarian critique of liberalism. But for many scholars, argues Jennifer Evans, it is a sign of the times for liberal democracies as well.

11 months ago
208

Should We Treat the Syllabus as a Scholarly Work?

A workshop conducted by the Humane Metrics Initiative earlier this year explored whether the humble syllabus should be treated as a scholarly work on its own merits, and if so, how the authors of any syllabi should be recognized.

12 months ago
73
Old sociology books

Metricization, the SSCI Syndrome and Devaluing Books in Academic Sociology

Is scholarship that doesn’t appear in the Social Science Citation Index — a commercial index of ‘internationally leading’ journals in the social sciences, compiled by Clarivate Analytics — worthless? Before you say ‘Of course not,’ know that some universities essentially are saying yes.

1 year ago
136
open peer review concept

Open Peer Review Not Always Welcomed With Open Arms

It’s hoped open peer review could improve the speed and quality of reviews, but, not all academics are comfortable with open peer review and remain fearful of their comments and views being subject to public scrutiny. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva argues this may prevent the open review system from being truly inclusive.

1 year ago
188
How-to-be-a-Happy-Academic-cover

Book Review: How to be a Happy Academic

In ‘How to be a Happy Academic: A Guide to Being Effective in Research, Writing and Teaching,’ Alex Clark and Bailey Sousa aim to support fellow academic workers at all career stages to become more efficient, successful and happier through focusing on fostering good habits over and above talent or skills. Eddy Li welcomes this insider perspective on seeing, doing and – most importantly – taming academic work, even if it leaves open the question of how exactly we measure and define “success”.

1 year ago
108
Social Science Research Council

Collaboration Imbues SSRC’s ‘To Secure Knowledge’ Report

In launching its first-ever task force report on Monday, the 95-year-old Social Science Research Council made clear it gets by with a little help from its friends. Collaboration, said sociologist Alondra Nelson Nelson, the president of the SSRC, is the byword of the report, To Secure Knowledge: Social Science Partnerships for the Common Good.

1 year ago
99

Crowd-Sourcing As a Complement to Peer Review

A new process developed by Princeton’s Matthew Salganik for reviewing academic manuscripts allows the world at large to examine and weigh in on a book at the same time the manuscript is undergoing peer review.

1 year ago
222

How Will Universities Cope With Brexit Britain’s Resurgent Nationalism?

As Brexit Britain appears headed straight for a chaotic exit from the European Union, its universities are raising questions about their future with growing alarm. The consequences which post-Brexit nationalism will have for universities, students, and scholars are hardly being discussed at all.

1 year ago
69
Camouflage choices

Arbitrary Choices and the Politics of Sociological Enquiry

Arbitrary choices –all those political considerations that twist and constrain scholarship without adding to it in intellectually meaningful ways — are rife in contemporary academic sociology, says our Daniel Nehring. Tired of trying to pointlessly argue against them in hopes they disappear, he asks that we make these choices explicit and visible.

1 year ago
62
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