Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing


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Drupal at the National Library

DSCF7619I am attending a Drupal training day today as part of a global initiative (there are twelve of these Drupal sessions in Australia today). The venue is the delightful National Library of Australia.

Drupal is a free software package (distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License) that makes it possible to organise, manage and publish  content on the web.

Justin Freeman of Agileware will facilitate two sessions:

  • The morning session introduces Drupal fundamentals.
  • The afternoon session provides hands-on experience of building a working Drupal website.

The training outcomes for the day are:

  • Understand Drupal basics and terminology.
  • Explore case studies where organisations have used Drupal.
  • Learn the benefits of building websites in Drupal.
  • Explore and use a real Drupal website.
  • Understand how Drupal can help your work.
  • Explore the building blocks of a Drupal website.

 


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Considering Blogging as a Scholarly Activity

Introduction

A few weeks ago I was invited to blog about blogging.

I have had a number of responses to the post and in this post I want to share points made by a colleague, Scott Fleming.

Three other contributions have prompted this post:

I liked Stephen’s observations about blogging including the point that “blogs have a readership to which you have to be accountable”. He argues that:

Sometimes they (blogs) set the scene, define terms, flesh out detail, and a host of other non-persuasive tasks such that, once the reader hits a blog post intended to persuade, they have some sense of where the author is coming from. And a blog might not even have a point it is trying to make; not everything in the world is about persuading people. Blogging is more complex – far more complex – than the simple persuasive essay, because a blog is not a single blog post, it is a totality of blog posts, with a myriad of purposes, all blended together. (My emphasis)

In their discussion of connected learning, the Digital Media and Research Hub suggest:

Connected learning builds on what we’ve long known about the value and effectiveness of interest-driven, peer-supported, and academically relevant learning; but in addition, connected learning calls on today’s interactive and networked media in an effort to make these forms of learning more effective, better integrated, and broadly accessible. (My emphasis)

The configuration of these ideas provide a context for the sharing of Scott’s ideas below. Before I present them I would like to add a footnote from Alfred Schutz.

In The Phenomenology of the Social World, Schutz writes:

As we have said repeatedly, the structure of the social world is by no means homogenous. Our fellow men and the signs they use can be given to us in different ways. There are different approaches to the sign and to the subjective experience it expresses. Indeed, we do not even need a sign in order to gain access to another person’s mind; a mere indication can offer us the opening. This is what happens, for instance, when we draw inferences from artifacts concerning the experiences of people who lived in the past. (Walsh, G. and Lehnert, F., 1972. The Phenomenology of the Social World. Northwestern University Press, p.132.) (My emphasis)

A Comment on Blogging About Blogging

With Scott’s permission I am posting his comments about Blogging About Blogging here in full. They are:

I am not a blogger, and a bit like the way I use Twitter, I’m a lurker (though that does seem like rather a sinister description). But for those who have the skills blogging is a rich medium – and writing a good blog is every bit as demanding as writing for other purposes.

One of the bloggers I do follow is Tom Watson MP, a friend from my youth. Tom’s blog is interesting in all sorts of ways, not least because of the way that he and it have provoked reaction from other bloggers. One political blogger in particular has explained that the motivation for his blog is to “make mischief at the expense of politicians and for the owner’s self gratification”. Public accountability of the powerful is highly desirable – especially when they are elected representatives. It’s also good fodder for political satire. But how do readers know the status and authority of the blog? How do readers know whether the criticism of Tom and his work is fair and reasonable?

In a clumsy way this example illustrates what I think are thought by many to be the two main objections to blogs and blogging in academic work:
(1) the rigour of the blog is sometimes unclear;
(2) the ways that blogs are used are not quality assured.
Keith’s post from a few weeks ago opens up debate about these (and other) matters.

Here are some further thoughts:
• In keeping with many contemporary debates about active engagement in the generation and sharing of knowledge, blogs are participatory and interactive. There’s an important point here. Podcasts, for example, might be more user-friendly to many technologically sophisticated young (and no-so-young) adults at modern universities, but they are still essentially instruments of information-giving. Blogs, like tweeting and other social networking media do create a real forum for dialogue.
• Blogs are immediate and accessible. In some areas of academic life progress can seem painfully slow. By the time research is in the public domain it’s already out of date or even obsolete. By using a medium that allows instantaneous sharing of information, some work can have influence without delay.
• As in other walks of life, blogs cultivate criticality and accountability about research. There are probably more opportunities for researchers to be held to account through an exchange of views or interrogation using blogs than in the system of so-called ‘blind peer review’ that many academic journals use.
• Within certain parameters they grant a freedom of expression that is fair, democratic and respectful. This doesn’t mean that all views expressed are held in the same regard. Reputations do count. But so too does the opportunity to establish credibility. I noticed recently a blogger being asked to make his credentials clear to provide authority for the opinion expressed in his blog.
• There are codes of conduct (as well as the law of the land) to guide and constrain bloggers, but there are fewer ‘rules’ to follow. There isn’t (yet) a way of blogging that prevents those without the know-how from participating. This is liberating and even emancipating for people with something of value to say who can’t say it using other media.
• Blogs are often personal opinions. As reflective practice gathers momentum in many different contexts (not least for research, learning and teaching), opportunities to share opinions with others are valuable in themselves and also as a stimulus for others.

It’s not all good, of course. As well as the caution about validity and reliability of information shared through the use of blogs, there may be concerns that the medium is deliberately misused. But if we start denying the usefulness of anything to which these criticisms might apply, there would be many other forms of sharing research that would be brought into question.

So here’s my take-home message: blogs can make a useful contribution to academic debate too. (And perhaps I’m now ready to ‘de-lurk’.)

In Response

I am delighted that Scott and I have exchanged thoughts about blogging. I was fortunate to be a colleague at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (now Cardiff Metropolitan University) and have been an admirer of his work for two decades. I think his comments demonstrate an openness that is the hallmark of exceptional scholars.

The points that resonate with my experience in Scott’s comments are:

  • writing a good blog is every bit as demanding as writing for other purposes
  • blogs are participatory and interactive
  • Blogs, like tweeting and other social networking media do create a real forum for dialogue
  • Blogs are immediate and accessible
  • blogs cultivate criticality and accountability about research
  • There are codes of conduct

Unsurprisingly, I liked Scott’s concluding observation that “blogs can make a useful contribution to academic debate”.

Earlier in this post I mentioned Alfred Schutz’s assertion that “There are different approaches to the sign and to the subjective experience it expresses”.

I feel very strongly that the emergence of user friendly blogging platforms transformed the possibilities for scholarly communication. I believe that the freedom these platforms brought has created a very important sense of responsibility and accountability. I think there is an awareness of the fallibility of this enterprise too.

Blog posts are very public statements and the digital memory created by posts is a wonderful exhortation to address the rigour and quality assurance that Scott mentions in his comments. These points made by Scott reminded me about The Scholarly Kitchen’s discussion of Can Article Retractions Correct the Scientific Record?

I think blog posts are a very effective way of sharing scholarly endeavour. One point I am keen to explore with Scott is the ideas of an infinite paper and refining scholarship. My example comes from my research into the life and work of Charles Reep.

I wrote about Charles in February 2011. A year later Neil Lanham asked me to correct the article and I did so with information he shared with me. Last month contributors to a Brentford Football Club forum pointed to some issues about Charles Reep and Brentford. I addressed their points in a specially researched and written post. My original post now has these corrections included with a note about the change. These changes are not marginalia they are text corrections and updates.

The idea of a blog post as an emergent set of ideas and empirical specification is very attractive to me. My own thinking about this was transformed by the appearance of Commentpress from the Institute of the Future of the Book. Their mission statement in part is:

Academic institutes arose in the age of print, which informed the structure and rhythm of their work. The Institute for the Future of the Book was born in the digital era, and so we seek to conduct our work in ways appropriate to the emerging modes of communication and rhythms of the networked world. Freed from the traditional print publishing cycles and hierarchies of authority, the Institute values theory and practice equally, conducting its activities as much as possible in the open and in real time.

My involvement in a wikipedia project in Paralympic sport has encouraged me to think carefully about shared voices in academic discourse. I am very comfortable with the likelihood that Wikipedia articles will change for two very important reasons. Firstly, there are custodians in the Wikipedia community who monitor the quality of articles. Secondly, the articles themselves have very clear logs of contributors and changes made.

I do see blogging as a vibrant commitment to open access to ideas and data. I think we can be vigilant and employ the criticality Scott mentions. We can do so in near real time and without paywall exclusion.

I am heartened that there is a growing community of bloggers that trust each other and through the ensemble of their work exhibit a distinctive blend of ideas and scholarship.

I am immensely grateful to Darrell Cobner for the opportunity to blog about blogging and the Scott for sharing some challenges to the art of blogging. I note that the opinions expressed by me in this post are mine alone except where I have made explicit reference to the work of others.

Thank you for reading the post.

Photo Credit

Scott Fleming


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Blogging About Blogging

I have been blogging for some time.

This WordPress blog dates back to June 2008.

I have Blogger, Tumblr and Posterous blog accounts too.

This week a friend, Darrell Cobner, asked me to write about blogging. He is an accomplished blogger and I was delighted that he asked me.

Darrell’s request was for me to address:

  • What is blogging?
  • Why blog?
  • What is the impact?
  • What are the rules of engagement?

I started drafting this blog post just after I had read John Kessel’s delightful Celebrating Together post on the USA Volleyball blogs site. His opening paragraph addresses implicitly Darrell’s questions:

Just finished our annual meetings in Salt Lake City, where all the USAV leaders come to share their season’s experiences and best practices and plan ahead to grow the game anew. This being an Olympic Year, our CEO Doug Beal shared a special powerpoint at the Congress, celebrating the achievements of volleyball in the USA, aka USA Volleyball in his State of the Game.  It is shared here, since so many of you reading this blog could not be in Salt Lake, yet you are growing the game so well in your part of our nation – we wanted you to celebrate too.  CLICK HERE to download and read it, you will learn a lot about how the Team behind the Team, which is all of us, are doing at USA Volleyball.

Explicitly, here are my thoughts on Darrell’s questions.

What Is Blogging?

Wikipedia has a very clear description of blogging:

A blog is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject.

Stephen Downes adds that:

Though blogs are typically thought of as personal journals, there is no limit to what may be covered in a blog. It is common for people to write blogs to describe their work, their hobbies, their pets, social and political issues, or news and current events.

The uptake of blogging was accelerated by easy to use blog platforms like Blogger and WordPress. Both provided and continue to provide ways for the uncomplicated upload of content. This makes blogging a very personal activity.  The author creates, uploads and monitors content of the blog.

In recent years Twitter has made microblogging an everyday activity that enables the exchange of short sentences, web links, and pictures.

Why Blog?

I mentioned John Kessel’s  Celebrating Together post on the USA Volleyball blogs site earlier. I return to it here to help explain why blog.

In the paragraph I quoted John makes the following points:

  • Just finished our annual meetings in Salt Lake City, where all the USAV leaders come to share their season’s experiences and best practices and plan ahead to grow the game anew.
  • Our CEO Doug Beal shared a special powerpoint at the Congress, celebrating the achievements of volleyball in the USA.
  • It is shared here, since so many of you reading this blog could not be in Salt Lake, yet you are growing the game so well in your part of our nation – we wanted you to celebrate too.  CLICK HERE to download
  • You will learn a lot about how the Team behind the Team, which is all of us, are doing at USA Volleyball.

John’s post exhibits two fundamental aspects of the why blog discussion:

  1. There is an unconditional commitment to sharing experiences and resources.
  2. The topic is of the author’s choice and narrative style.

I see blogging as a voluntary contribution to a community. Whenever I attend a conference or workshop I blog live so that those not attending can access information if they wish.

An example is my blog posts from the Computer Science in Sport Conference (Special Emphasis: Football) at Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany in 2011.

I blog to share my interests in performance and this leads me to share data from my research activities.

An example is my blog posts about performance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

What I find particularly exciting about this approach is:

  • There is no expectation that anyone will read any post.
  • Occasionally people comment on the posts and this leads to thought-provoking exchange.
  • It contributes to a world that flourishes through reciprocal altruism.

What Is The Impact?

Blogging offers an immediate way to share information or discuss ideas.

I have posted 619 times to my blog since June 2008. This is a rich record for me of items of interest to me and a cloud resource I draw upon when meeting others interested in learning, teaching, coaching and performance. To date I have had 112,000+ visitors to the site.

I saw a big spike in readership during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Thereafter searches on Google yield some of my posts.

The availability of alerts to blog posts on topics or by a particular author has transformed the impact of blog posts.

In contemplating the impact of blog posts I am mindful of Todd Sieling’s advice about slow blogging.

Slow Blogging is a willingness to remain silent amid the daily outrages and ecstasies that fill nothing more than single moments in time, switching between banality, crushing heartbreak and end-of-the-world psychotic glee in the mere space between headlines. The thing you wished you said in the moment last week can be said next month, or next year, and you’ll only look all the smarter.

I am conscious that if we are to use blog posts as an indicator or reach and impact then we must engage in slow blogging.We must think too about the tags we use to point to the slow blogging outputs.

I think microblogging with Twitter offers an alternative for the immediate response to events.

What Are The Rules Of Engagement?

It is a public space

Back in 2007 Tim O’Reilly suggested that “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation.” One of his seven recommendations was:

Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.

Kate Carruthers’ advice

In my own blog I have an About page. On it I say:

This is a personal blog. Kate Carruthers has a great guide to rules of engagement for personal blogs. I try to follow her rules.

Kate’s rules are great!

  • This is my personal blog and I write it for my own personal satisfaction.
  • Readers are encouraged to comment, debate and discuss.
  • I moderate all comments and publish most, unless they appear (to my totally subjective gaze) to be defamatory, spammy, hate-mongering, not particularly constructive, or just plain rude/crude.
  • It’s fine to disagree with me, but I’m unlikely to publish your comment unless you display a modicum of style and intelligence.
  • if you do not provide a real name/identity/email I may choose not to publish your comments.
  • Real people who stand by their comments are cool!
  • This blog discusses ideas but does not purport to provide formal business, technology, psychology or finance advice.
  • Readers should seek (and probably pay for) advice of that nature from a professional source.
  • The content on this website is provided “as is” with no warranties, and confers no rights.
  • The opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent views of any clients or employers in any way.
  • Nothing posted here should be considered official or sanctioned by any of my clients or employers or any organisation I am affiliated with.
  • Feel free to quote liberally from this blog if you want – please link back in the best web tradition if you use any material provided here and give credit for material used.

Sharing openly and open about sharing

Richard Byrne has a helpful post from 24 May 2011 that contains some detailed advice about:

  • What to do when you see your blog posts being stolen
  • What to do if you want to reuse someone’s blog post(s)

In Conclusion

I have written this post from the perspective of a person who seeks to share through blogging. I recognise that there are other motives to blog.

I am excited by the reflective potential of blogs in education and sport settings.

I facilitated a Sport Coaching Pedagogy unit at the University of Canberra last semester. One of the requirements of the unit was to develop a blog as a journal. I have compiled a list of the 60 blogs produced by the students on a Wikiversity page.

Perhaps the next discussion with Darrell will be about wikis … but not before some more of John Kessel’s post:

The final night of meetings before play begins, is the “Boyce Banquet” in honor of Dorothy C. Boyce.  Dorothy joined USAV in 1952 as a consultant on women’s volleyball and took on many leadership roles over her 22 years of involvement, including being USAV Vice President for a decade.  Traditionally, I sit at the banquet with Mike Hulett, who, if you don’t know of him…well dang it you should. I knew what was coming, as I had contributed a lot of photos of Mike, having been with him for decades as he helped head coach in our USA Paralympic programs. So take time to read the link award below, and watch the video ( CLICK HERE to watch) that I took of his surprise in being honored with USA Volleyball’s highest award, the Frier (named after the USAV leader who almost singlehandedly got volleyball into the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, just one of those things that we all should know and celebrate too…).  Mike’s achievements are something we ALL should celebrate in volleyball.  Just another thing USA Volleyball does to help volleyball for all, including the disabled of all ages.

http://usavolleyball.org/news/2012/05/25/mike-hulett-selected-as-usavs-2012-frier-winner/48119?ngb_id=2

Thank you for finding time to read this post. There are some other posts about blogging here.


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InSPIRING

There will be an official opening of the InSPIRE Centre at the University of Canberra this week.

I see the Centre as a physical tipping point in my own thinking about and practice in educational technology.

I like the idea of being InSPIRED and hope to spend much of my nomadic time at the University in the Centre.

The Hiperwall there is just one of the many tools for engagement and connection.

The imminent opening of the Centre has encouraged me to think about the ethos that underpins connected and emerging communities.

Thanks to a link from Stephen Downes to a MediaShift Idea Lab post by Jonathan Stray about visualising documents, I discovered a 2009 post by Dan Schultz that helped me clarify my thoughts.

I have written about reciprocal altruism in this blog and I have been exploring the invisibility of openness. Dan’s post was an excellent catalyst for my thinking. His post is titled In Search of a Community That Takes ‘Me’ Out of Social Media.

He concludes that:

Community tools exist, but they are drastically underpowered… As a result, they are drowned out by the far more successful alternatives… To change this, we need something that can:

  1. Host niche communities without isolating them from the rest of the world.
  2. Give individuals a chance to shine without letting their egos dominate the content.
  3. Attract enough people to drive collective intelligence, while maintaining the level of granularity needed to provide a truly personalized experience.

That isn’t too much to ask for… right? I personally believe that these systems will be the key to meeting community information needs.

I think we will have an opportunity to address these issues in and through the InSPIRE Centre. The Centre:

is a learning commons, a place to imagine, experiment and design new ways of working and learning digitally. INSPIRE services highlight quality teaching and contemporary learning practices through staying connected to global initiatives and trends about learning design and design thinking. We focus on a futures perspective and developing foresight, not just knowledge and skills.

I am hopeful that my visits to the Centre will help me explore learning ethnographies of the emergence of inspirational practice.


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Enterprise Computing Conference: ECC@UC

The Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering is hosting with IBM an Enterprise Computing Conference in the Ann Harding Centre on the University campus (15-16 May).

The program is here.

Senator Kate Lundy opened the Conference. In her introduction she noted the growth of enterprise and cloud computing and their role in the digital economy. She underscored the transformational potential of these approaches.

Senator Lundy discussed the potential of the National Broadband Network infrastructure in supporting innovation. She reminded delegates about George Gilder’s Law: “bandwidth grows at least three times faster than computer power.”

In the next part of her talk Senator Lundy discussed the skills required to optimise connectivity. She noted the IBM and University of Melbourne partnership and indicated the potential of a Marist/IBM model at the University of Canberra.

In her conclusion Senator Lundy affirmed the importance of collaboration to develop the skills required for a digital economy to harvest the benefits of enterprise and cloud computing. She exhorted delegates to use the conference to explore the transformational opportunities available from a connected society.

 


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Open for Learning

I have been thinking about open learning for some time.

The open online course CCK08 accelerated and focused my interest.

Since that course Stephen Downes’ OLDaily has nourished my thinking. (See for example his link to Jenny Mackness’s post today, The place of ‘the teacher’ in relation to open content.)

News of Sebastian Thrun’s development of Udacity (“We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost”) has added to my interest as did the video of his talk at DLD. (See this update.)

Matt Welsh ponders the “failings of the conventional higher education model for a minute and see where this leads us, and consider whether something like Udacity is really the solution”. Matt looks at three failings of ‘conventional’ universities: exclusivity; grades; lectures. Matt suggests that online universities bring to the table: broadening access to higher education; and leveraging technology to explore new approaches to learning. He observes that:

The real question is whether broadening access ends up reinforcing the educational caste system: if you’re not smart or rich enough to go to a “real university,” you become one of those poor, second-class students with a certificate Online U. Would employers or graduate schools ever consider such a certificate, where everyone makes an A+, equivalent to an artium baccalaureus from the Ivy League school of your choice?

I have been wondering how to offer sufficient rich experience to overcome the value laden and static nature of education credits. My aspiration is to encourage a collaborative approach to sharing and learning that personalises everyone’s learning environment and journey.

At present I am thinking about four stages in Open for Learning:

  • Invitation
  • Provocation
  • Transformation
  • Realisation

I have been wondering too about all this work being shared through Open Access, Creative Commons licensed material.

Participants in this Open for Learning model would:

  • Choose their level of entry
  • Follow any course without charge at whatever pace they wished
  • Decide whether they would like formal credit after successful completion of the course
  • Pay an affordable fee for a credit to add to their portfolio

My aspiration is for all these learning opportunities to have a fractal quality. Each learning opportunity would be scalable but would contain the principles of all other opportunities, particularly as learners moved to the realisation phase.

I see enormous benefits of using work integrated learning models for Open for Learning and I am particularly interested in the recognition of prior learning.

I liked Matt Walsh’s observation about grades:

Can someone remind me why we still have grades? I like what Sebastian says (quoting Salman Khan) about learning to ride a bicycle: It’s not as if you get a D learning to ride a bike, then you stop and move onto learning the unicycle. Shouldn’t the goal of every course be to get every student to the point of making an A+?

In my thinking getting an A+ grade is not a chronological event. It is, I believe, a kairological experience.

Just as I was completing this post I noticed this ABC post about homeschooling:

As a new school year begins, more than 50,000 Australian children will be home-schooled and in most cases, their parents are doing it illegally. It is compulsory to send children between the ages of six and 16 to school, or register them for home schooling, but more parents are opting out of the traditional school system and keeping their children at home. However, thousands of parents across the country are not registered and that means they potentially face prosecution.

I wondered what would happen if wherever we learned we were at home and overwhelmed by the interest someone took in us as a learner rather than a commodity.

Photo Credits

Primer in the Classroom

Private Wallace Tratford arrives home on leave


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Peer Review: UK Report

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has published a report on peer review in scientific publications (18 July 2011).

The inquiry was announced on 27 January 2011. Issues examined were:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of peer review as a quality control mechanism for scientists, publishers and the public.
  • Measures to strengthen peer review.
  • The value and use of peer reviewed science on advancing and testing scientific knowledge.
  • The value and use of peer reviewed science in informing public debate.
  • The extent to which peer review varies between scientific disciplines and between countries across the world.
  • The processes by which reviewers with the requisite skills and knowledge are identified,  in particular as the volume of multi-disciplinary research increases.
  • The impact of IT and greater use of online resources on the peer review process.
  • Possible alternatives to peer review.

The Summary points (pp.3-4) from the 252 page report are:

  • Peer review in scholarly publishing, in one form or another, has always been regarded as crucial to the reputation and reliability of scientific research.
  • In recent years there have been an increasing number of reports and articles assessing the current state of peer review.
  • We found that despite the many criticisms and the little solid evidence on the efficacy of pre-publication editorial peer review, it is considered by many as important and not something that can be dispensed with.
  • There are, however, many ways in which current pre-publication peer-review practices can and should be improved and optimised, although we recognise that different types of peer review are suitable to different disciplines and research communities.
  • Innovative approaches—such as the use of pre-print servers, open peer review, increased transparency and online repository-style journals—should be explored by publishers, in consultation with their journals and taking into account the requirements of their research communities.
  • Some of these new approaches may help to reduce the necessary burden on researchers, and also help accelerate the pace of publication of research. We encourage greater recognition of the work carried out by reviewers, by both publishers and employers.
  • All publishers need to have in place systems for recording and acknowledging the contribution of those involved in peer review.
  • Publishers also have a responsibility to ensure that the people involved in the peer-review process are adequately trained for the role that they play. Training for editors, authors and reviewers varies across the publishing sector and across different research institutions. We encourage publishers to work together to develop standards—which could be applied across the industry—to ensure that all editors, whether staff or academic, are fully equipped for the job that they do.
  • We consider that all early-career researchers should be given the option for training in peer review; responsibility for this lies primarily with the funders of research.
  • We consider that it should be a fundamental aim of the peer-review process that all publications are scientifically sound. Reproducibility should be the gold standard that all peer reviewers and editors aim for when assessing whether a manuscript has supplied sufficient information to allow others to repeat and build on the experiments.
  • As such, the presumption must be that, unless there is a strong reason otherwise, data should be fully disclosed and made publicly available. In line with this principle, data associated with all publicly funded research should, where possible, be made widely and freely available. The work of researchers who expend time and effort adding value to their data, to make it usable by others, should be acknowledged and encouraged.
  • The growth of post-publication peer review and commentary represents an enormous opportunity for experimentation with new media and social networking tools.
  • Online communications allow the widespread sharing of links to articles, ensuring that interesting research is spread across the world, facilitating rapid commentary and review by the global audience. They also have a valuable role to play in alerting the community to potential deficiencies and problems with published work.
  • We encourage the prudent use of online tools for post-publication review and commentary as a means of supplementing pre- publication review.
  • It was clear to us that the publication of peer-reviewed articles, particularly those that are published in journals with high Impact Factors, has a direct effect on the careers of researchers and the reputations of research institutions.
  • Assessing the impact or perceived importance of research before it is published requires subjective judgement. We therefore have concerns about the use of journal Impact Factor as a proxy measure for the quality of individual articles.
  • We recommend that the Government revisit the recommendation that the UK should have an oversight body for research integrity that provides “advice and support to research employers and assurance to research funders, across all disciplines.
  • We recommend that all UK research institutions have a specific member of staff leading on research integrity.

The Report’s conclusions and recommendations can be found in Chapter 7 (pp.88-95).