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.

Software Is Not the Silver Bullet to Defeat Plagiarism

Turnitin and similar programs don’t deal with the causes of plagiarism. Rather, argue Amanda Mphahlele and Sioux McKenna, they allow institutions to claim they’re doing something without really tackling the issues that lead students to plagiarize.

1 year ago
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Fast Professor: WeChat and Future Academe

Daniel Nehring describes China’s social networking platform WeChat as ‘Facebook on steroids,’ and notes it has long surpassed e-mail as the main tool of mediating communication at Chinese universities while obliterating boundaries between work and home. Is this a cautionary tale for academe outside of China?

1 year ago
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Whatever Happened to Conservative Social Thought?

In the wake of Brexit, Robert Dingwall asks a series of probing questions about the eclipse of Conservative Social Thought at universities, such as when did the social sciences last have a serious engagement with the institutions of the bourgeoisie, even though by income and status many of us would belong to that class?

1 year ago
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Looking at Plan S From Down Under

Plan S focuses on making all publicly funded research immediately fully and freely available by open access publication. If Australia does not adopt Plan S, the authors argue, it could potentially restrict collaboration, publishing, and funding opportunities with research bodies who subscribe to this ambitious movement.

1 year ago
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DARPA Aims to Score Social and Behavioral Research

The U.S. military’s innovation incubator, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has signed the Center for Open Science to create a research claims database as DARPA’s first step to assign a ‘credibility score’ to social and behavioral science research.

1 year ago
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‘Detoxing from Academia’: One Black Scholar’s Journey

JeffriAnne Wilder, a sociologist and leading scholar specializing in diversity, race relations and women’s empowerment, has almost two decades of experience in higher education. In this interview, she details who influenced — from her mom to bell hooks — and why she left her tenured professorship to work for a non-profit.

1 year ago
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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?

1 year ago
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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.

1 year ago
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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.

2 years ago
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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.

2 years ago
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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.

2 years ago
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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.

2 years ago
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