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The Academic Book in N. America

Anthony Watkinson's report for the Academic Book of the Future project, The Academic Book in North America is concerned with what is different or special about the US academic scene in so far as it represents a context for the publishing of academic books.

The most obvious feature is the special nature of the 100 plus university presses. Their directors and staff see themselves as sharing a mission with their institutions and the academics whose scholarly communication they facilitate. To some extent this belief is bought into by many of those who write and talk about solutions to the continuing crisis in monograph publishing. What this means in practical terms is a concentration on a high quality of peer review and the decision-making role of an academic committee.

present and future

Present practice still geared towards high impact journals, but future trends emerging.

ECRs, defined as researchers under 35 operating without tenure, are by far the largest group of researchers but there have been no recent investigations into their attitudes towards scholarly communication and the extent to which their behaviours may prove transformational. This report on data from year one of a planned three-year qualitative study investigates a wide range of hypotheses using personal interviews with 116 ECRs from seven countries (UK, US, China, France, Spain, Poland and Malaysia).

The year-one report: Early Career Researchers: the harbingers of Change?

Shackled by convention

Early-career researchers constitute a vast pool of talent. They are the largest group of researchers and their numbers are growing fast. They are essential for enabling research to meet the needs of knowledge economies and, as the League of European Research Universities wrote in 2010, universities’ research crucially rests on their access “to the best talents of the rising generation and the creative influence of the irreverent young”.

Publish or perish thwarts young researchers’ urge to innovate Research Europe Nr. 440

Harbingers: are researchers' publishing decisions changing?

Anthony Watkinson is giving an early presentation on the first year results from the Harbingers project to the United Kingdom Serials Group in London on 15th November.

"The scholarly communications ecosystem: understanding and responding to evolving expectations" is the theme and Anthony will draw on recent work that discerns both potential and actual signs of changing attitudes in early career researchers, the academics of the future. In particular the tension between today's digital publication practice and established pressures implicit in climbing the academic ladder, with particular emphasis on sharing (or not), group dynamics, networks, platforms, and metrics.

SCIO

The Scholarly Communications International Observatory (SCIO) studies scholarly communication in a global and digital market; topics such as: reputation, publishing, sharing, impact, information seeking, communications, social media, trustworthiness, and open science. The fundamental belief that underpins the Observatory is that scholarly communication and reputation is to be studied in a global context, but with a deep understanding of the national context.

COIN

Dave Nicholas has been invited to present the results of his extensive research on scholarly reputation and bibliometrics to the Community of Practice on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards. This annual meeting is organised by COIN, part of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission at Ispra (Italy). Bringing together scientific and analytical expertise that can be applied across policy areas, COIN is renowned for its expertise on statistical methodologies and has become a reference partner for the statistical audit of composite indicators.

The purpose of this one-day event is to bring together policy analysts and researchers from the European Commission, international organizations, think tanks and the academia, to foster a practical exchange of experiences across a wide range of key policy areas that are monitored through composite indicators and scoreboards.

New ways of building, showcasing, and measuring scholarly reputation will be presented on behalf of Professor Nicholas by co-author Blanca Rodríguez-Bravo.

CIBER news — January–July 2016

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