Wednesday, 2 November 2011

the beauty of data visualization (TED)


I think that I need a good designer for my phd thesis.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The real cost of academic publishing - Wed, 31 Aug 2011 20:00:00 GMT

George Monbiot (The knowledge monopoly racketeers make Murdoch look like a socialist, 30 August) makes some very valid points about the financial exploitation of publicly funded science by academic publishers. However, he only described part of the problem.

For most articles in high-impact scientific journals the publisher also charges the scientists (or their funders or university) up to several hundred pounds per page published, with additional charges for the inclusion of images such as data from microscopic investigation of cells. Some publishers also charge a non-refundable handling charge for considering the article, even if they reject it. This is in spite of the fact that the time-consuming work of peer review is done by scientific experts on an unpaid and voluntary basis.

In addition, the development of publication software has allowed the publishers to transfer much of the work of preparing a paper for publication to the scientist, so valuable research time – funded out of public sources or by medical charities – is now diverted to learning to use software to do work that was previously undertaken by employees of the publisher.

Jenny Clemens

Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex

• George Monbiot's analysis is as perceptive as ever, but the academic community has begun to respond. While Monbiot is formally correct in stating that "academic papers are published in only one place", in fact a growing number of funding agencies and universities require researchers to deposit copies of their published papers in institutional or subject repositories and many more academics choose to deposit their publications voluntarily.

Using a web search tool such as Google Scholar quickly shows that anyone can gain access to the vast majority of scientific literature. The OpenDOAR project based at Nottingham University lists more than 2,000 repositories, and the number is growing. Thanks to the so-called open access movement, scholars are reclaiming control of their research.

Prof Derek Law

University of Strathclyde

• If subscriptions to academic journals in Britain consume 65% of library budgets, and three giant commercial publishers from Europe and the US control 42% of scientific journals, imagine what this means for libraries and institutions in developing countries. Not only can it be prohibitively expensive to gain access to the results of research but such practices also accentuate a "knowledge divide" between the global north and south.

Addressing such a divide was one of the reasons for the Geneva-based Foundation setting up a digital library on ethics, which has more than 750,000 full-text articles and books available free of charge. Such initiatives offer a modest but determined attempt to redress the balance in global knowledge transfer. Fair publishing models by commercial publishers and open access efforts are needed to promote benefit sharing in knowledge production between north and south.

Prof Christoph Stueckelberger

Dr Stephen Brown

• I am a member of the group Sociologists Outside Academia. Our major problem is access to materials. The advent of the internet has worsened the situation because many libraries subscribe to online versions of journals only. So whereas in the past a vacation ticket issued by a sympathetic librarian might enable you to catch up on your reading, it now does not because the relevant journals are not on the shelves, and nobody will give a visitor an electronic log-in. Anyone who is not a member of a university is excluded from academic debate.

Dr Patricia de Wolfe


• The whole journal rating system has just become a function of publishers being able to charge more money for their journals, as academic administrators (more so than researchers) play a silly game about research ratings, rather than concentrate on good research. The journal rating system, too, needs debunking.

Professor Sam McKinstry


◦Peer review and scientific publishing

◦Higher education

◦Research funding


◦Academic experts

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More Feeds

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My dilemma in academia and in general in the world outside:

to protect your ideas and write in isolation until they take propper form
take the risk to share and feed them with other mates contributions

I still do not have an answer but I suspect that it depends on who are you choosing to share...

More about results of the experiences in later post.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Finally, do not feel too lonely. To write a dissertation is so difficult that it may arrives to the "extreme" of Psychoterapy.

My favorite phrase:

"Procastination is part of the process. Your psyque needs to pause".

More here:

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Un estudiante de artes marciales fue hasta su profesor y le dijo seriamente, “Soy un devoto al estudiar su sistema marcial. ¿Cuánto tiempo me tomará dominarlo”. La respuesta del profesor fue improvisada, “Diez años”.

Impacientemente, el estudiante replicó, “Pero quiero dominarlo mucho antes que eso. Trabajaré muy duro. Practicaré a diario, diez o más horas al día si es necesario. ¿Cuánto tiempo tomaría entonces?” El profesor pensó por un momento, “veinte años”.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

PHD Route (According to St Andrews University)

A typical PhD might progress as follows: 

Year One. Time is spent on in depth research into your chosen field of study. By the end of the year you will have completed at least one chapter of your thesis, participated in the annual postgraduate conference and study day, drafted a full plan for your thesis (chapter breakdown) and worked out your timetable for completion. This is a good year in which to hone language skills, and perhaps to take extended research trips overseas (including in the past, trips by former students to Hong Kong, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, etc). 
Year Two. Written at least two or three further chapters. Gained experience as a seminar tutor throughout the year. Participated in, and perhaps organised, the annual postgraduate conference and study days. Written book reviews. Delivered conference papers at other institutions, either nationally or internationally.

Year Three. Completed your first full draft of the thesis. Consolidated your teaching experience as a seminar tutor, perhaps also delivering some lectures. Participated in, and perhaps organised, the annual postgraduate conference and study days. Worked up a draft of a journal article for submission to a reputable refereed journal. Delivered conference papers at other institutions.

Year Four (writing up year). Completed and submitted final draft of thesis. Delivered full length, one hour paper on your research as part of the Centre for Film Studies Seminar Series. Continued work on publications, conferences and even applications for funding, as you enter the job market. 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

I'm completing a proposal pannel for a conference and I've just found some information about speakers and session organizers that you can find useful. Specially because I have heard many times the question: how many pages do I have to write if I'm going to speak 15 minutes? The answer according with MLA rules is  7 and a half.

FROM: guideline for speakers (MLA)

BASIC:Guidelines for Speakers and Session Organizers

The MLA Program Committee approved the following guidelines for speakers and session organizers at the MLA convention.

  1. Assume that a page of double-spaced, typed material, in a standard elite-sized font, takes about two minutes to read, without any extemporaneous comments added during the reading. This means that it takes fifteen minutes to read seven and one-half pages and twenty minutes to read ten pages.
  2. A presenter who is likely to add extemporaneous comments during the reading should start with a paper that is shorter than the lengths noted above.
  3. A presenter who speaks extemporaneously (with or without notes) should rehearse the presentation to ensure that it will fit in the allotted time.
  4. Session organizers should be modest in their plans for including speakers and keep in mind that MLA policy requires fifteen minutes of each session to be reserved for discussion. A seventy-five-minute session therefore allows one hour for presentations and can accommodate three speakers, along with the presider's introductions. A respondent should count as one of the three speakers. More presenters or respondents can participate only if the length of the individual presentations is reduced.
AUTHOR: Amittai F. Aviram