register for the accelerated academy | Mark Carrigan

This three-day conference investigates the techniques of auditing and their attendant practices and effects and will also probe into scholars’ complicity in reproduction of such practices. It will consider processes of social acceleration within the academy and their implications for the management of everyday activity by those working within it.


register for the accelerated academy

Source: register for the accelerated academy | Mark Carrigan

Scholarly Communications Institute 2015

This is where I am right now. Really interesting time so far. I knew 3 people in real life, and several more (mostly via Twitter) before I arrived. Lots of smart folks here.

You can follow what we’re doing on Twitter using #Trianglesci.

Philosophers at large in the world

From the blog of fellow philosopher Keith Wayne Brown:

Reason & Existenz

Cafe Terrace, Place du Forum, Arles by Vincent Van Gogh Cafe Terrace, Place du Forum, Arles by Vincent Van Gogh

…for the most part… philosophers aren’t deploying their firm grasp of Kierkegaard in their private-sector work. Rather, it’s the skills that philosophers are trained in—critical thinking, clear writing, quick learning—that translate well to life outside of academia. As Zachary Ernst, a software engineer at Narrative Science, puts it, “As a professional philosopher, if you haven’t gotten over-specialized and narrow, then you’ve got really good analytic and communication skills. So you’ve got the ability to learn quickly and efficiently. You’re also in the habit of being very critical of all sorts of ideas and approaches to a variety of problems. And if you’ve taught a lot, then you’re probably pretty comfortable with public speaking. Those skills are very rare in almost any workforce, and they’re extremely valuable.”

via What Do Philosophers Do? — The Atlantic.

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Altmetrics — the very cool dive bars of scientometrics

As a researcher, I love altmetrics in something resembling the way that, as a patron, I love dive bars.

There’s no such thing as a standard dive bar. As tempting as it might be to come up with a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for what counts as a dive bar — a long communal trough in the men’s room in place of delicate individual urinals separated by mini partitions, for instance — it’s impossible. Each is unique. And that’s a good thing.

Much the same can be said about altmetrics. Although I respect the motivation behind the current push among scientometricians to reflect on the state of their own art, I’m not wholly in favor of the move to standardize scientometrics. But altmetrics, thankfully, still provide a redoubt for those of us not able to identify too closely with specific academic fields (though there is also a conversation about standardizing altmetrics).

I recently published an article — co-authored with my colleague Adam Briggle — in the volume 1 issue 1 of the new Journal of Responsible Innovation. We argue that principles should play a limited role in decision making, because we humans too often substitute principles for judgment (thereby turning decision making into decision already made). Standards function in much the same way. Or, at least, we ought to be aware of that danger. But I don’t want to preach here. Instead, let me rave about how cool altmetrics are.

Here is the report on the article Briggle and I wrote. Keep in mind, this is the very first issue of the very first volume of a brand new journal; and already there’s an altmetric report. That’s so fast!

Most of the time, I find the ‘score’ tab to be informative. I also like to check out demographic info. It’s fun and cool. Kind of like frequenting a dive bar.

If I want something different — a profile of myself as a whole, rather than of an individual publication, say — I can go somewhere else. Here‘s my ImpactStory.

I haven’t done it yet; but I could really get in there and customize my profile. Note, too, that if I click on, say, ‘articles’, then an individual article, then on ‘tweets’, I’m transported to an report on that article.

The altmetrics community is like a neighborhood, and different altmetrics services are like different dive bars in that neighborhood. There’s something similar about all of them, yet there’s always something different about each of them. Plus, I get to choose where and when I go.

Altmetrics maximize my individual freedom.

Scientometrics that judge research fields don’t do that for me.

Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource


Hard copies just arrived!

I suppose one year to the day counts as ‘soon‘ in the world of scholarly publishing.

Modernising Research Monitoring in Europe | Center for the Science of Science & Innovation Policy

The tracking of the use of research has become central to the measurement of research impact. While historically this tracking has meant using citations to published papers, the results are old, biased, and inaccessible – and stakeholders need current data to make funding decisions. We can do much better. Today’s users of research interact with that research online. This leaves an unprecedented data trail that can provide detailed data on the attention that specific research outputs, institutions, or domains receive.

However, while the promise of real time information is tantalizing, the collection of this data is outstripping our knowledge of how best to use it, our understanding of its utility across differing research domains and our ability to address the privacy and confidentiality issues. This is particularly true in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences, which have historically been under represented in the collection of scientific corpora of citations, and which are now under represented by the tools and analysis approaches being developed to track the use and attention received by STM research outputs.

We will convene a meeting that combines a discussion of the state of the art in one way in which research impact can be measured – Article Level and Altmetrics – with a critical analysis of current gaps and identification of ways to address them in the context of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Modernising Research Monitoring in Europe | Center for the Science of Science & Innovation Policy.

Reflections on the 2014 Carey Lecture at the AAAS Forum on S&T Policy

Cherry A. Murray delivered the Carey Lecture last night at this year’s AAAS Forum on S&T Policy. I want to address one aspect of her talk here — the question of transdisciplinarity (TD, which I will also use for the adjective ‘transdisciplinary’) and its necessity to address the ‘big’ questions facing us.

As far as I could tell, Murray was working with her own definitions of disciplinary (D), multidisciplinary (MD), interdisciplinary (ID), and TD. In brief, according to Murray, D refers to single-discipline approaches to a problem, ID refers to two disciplines working together on the same problem, MD refers to more than two disciplines focused on the same problem from their own disciplinary perspectives, and TD refers to more than two disciplines working together on the same problem. Murray also used the term cross-disciplinary, which she did not define (to my recollection).

All these definitions are cogent. But do we really need a different term for two disciplines working on a problem together (ID) and more than two disciplines working on a problem together (TD)? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to use ID for more than one discipline?

I grant that there is no universally agreed upon definition of these terms (D, MD, ID, and TD). But basically no one who writes about these issues uses the definitions Murray proposed. And there is something like a rough consensus on what these terms mean, despite the lack of universal agreement. I discuss this consensus, and what these definitions mean for the issue of communication (and, by extension, cooperation) between and among disciplines here:10.1007/s11229-012-0179-7

I tend to agree that TD is a better approach to solving complex problems. But in saying this, I mean more than involving more than two disciplines. I mean involving non-academic, and hence non-disciplinary, actors in the process. It’s actually closer to the sort of design thinking that Bob Schwartz discussed in the second Science + Art session yesterday afternoon.

One might ask whether this discussion of terms is a distraction from Murray’s main point — that we need to think about solutions to the ‘big problems’ we face. I concede the point. But that is all the more reason to get our terms right, or at least to co-construct a new language for talking about what sort of cooperation is needed. There is a literature out there on ID/TD, and Murray failed to engage it. To point out that failure is not to make a disciplinary criticism of Murray (as if there might be a discipline of ID/TD, a topic I discuss here). It is to suggest, however, that inventing new terms on one’s own is not conducive to the sort of communication necessary to tackle the ‘big’ questions.