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Stories from the front line: managing research contracts in 2018

By Dan King, 20/07/2018 In the complex world of academic research and collaborations, research contracts teams in universities play an essential, yet often undervalued role. Their work facilitates ordered collaboration between organisations, the transfer of funds for R&D and due diligence to ensure the inherent risks of collaboration are managed. And when the unexpected happens, we look to the assurance …

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Celebrating five years of Research Consulting!

by Rob Johnson, 17/04/2018 Exactly five years ago, in April 2013, I founded a new consultancy to help improve the effectiveness and impact of research. At that point, Research Consulting consisted of me, an iPad, a spare room in my house and a website intended to make us look a lot more credible than we were. A lot has happened …

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Eight reasons early posting models are taking off in 2018

Guest post by Christine Ferguson, 06/03/2018 Momentum continues to grow for early posting initiatives such as preprints and ‘Open Research’ platforms. In a previous post, I provided a recap of early posting models that have attracted buy-in from key stakeholders in the life sciences in recent years. Below, I recount eight reasons why these platforms are likely to be used …

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Promoting good practice in research contracts management

By Andrea Chiarelli, 16 Nov 2017 In early October, we published a blog post to announce our 2018 research contracts benchmarking exercise, building on the 2013 exercise run by our Director Rob Johnson and seeking to: generate a broader set of comparators, by opening up the exercise to all research-active HEIs; and help institutions respond to ongoing and new challenges in the research …

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Learned societies and open access

By Rob Johnson, 18 Oct 2017 Since 2015, the Universities’ UK Open Access Co-ordination Group has commissioned a bi-annual exercise to monitor the UK’s transition to open access, including the financial health of learned societies. As part of this exercise, I have been working with Professor Robert Dingwall to assess how 30 UK learned societies have fared between 2011 and …

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Getting to grips with research contracts

By Rob Johnson, 2 Oct 2017 Back in 2013, I ran a benchmarking exercise for 20 research-intensive universities in the UK, looking at how they handled contracts for research and research-related activities. The driver for the exercise was the rapid growth in the volume and complexity of research contracts managed by UK higher education institutions (HEIs). This was leading to …

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How can we boost the impact of Social Sciences and Humanities? A report from Cardiff

By Mattia Fosci, 29 Sep 2017 Last week I attended the AESIS conference on Boosting the impact of Social Sciences and Humanities in Cardiff. It was an event-packed two-day conference with over 150 participants from academia, research funders and social scientists coming from the UK, Europe and North America. As a social science researcher routinely working with practice, the underlying assumption …

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Towards a competitive & sustainable open access market

21 Mar 2017 Today sees the publication of our new report for the EC’s OpenAIRE project, Towards a Sustainable and Competitive Open Access Market in Europe. The report discusses some of the challenges in developing an effective market for academic journal publications, looks at the progress of open access, and considers the current policy environment in Europe and (briefly) the …

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Reflections on the 2017 IDCC conference

By Andrea Chiarelli, 24 Feb 2017 I have just returned from the 12th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC), which took place in Edinburgh between February 20th and February 23rd, 2017. It was a great chance to catch up with some colleagues and we presented a poster on where and how researchers currently share research data – the outcome of a Digital …

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Why we should care about text and data mining

By Rob Johnson, 14 Dec 2016 I was in Paris yesterday to present the findings of a new study on the use of text and data mining in public research. Organised by the ADBU – the French association of university library directors – I was joined at the event by speakers from ContentMine and NacTeM in the UK, and ISTEX …