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​​One | 2019

A selection of current news items for managers of Early Career Researchers.


Management matters

​Diluting the role of metrics. Institutions globally are watching the Netherlands push to find new ways of assessing and rewarding academics that don't rely on citations and journal impact factors, and do acknowledge different academic pathways.

Helping researchers manage impact. Suggestions for putting the ever-present research impact agenda into healthier perspective.

​Uni management: why the frustration? Questions without obvious answers about dis-satisfaction among administrators, especially in HR and equity areas.

Professionalising faculty admin. 'Faculty affairs' is more than HR for professors, says a Harvard specialist, and needs to be treated as a distinct field with tailored training and consistent standards.

​The blight of bullying. What's behind disfunctional management and bullying behaviour among senior researchers?

Teaching theory. Should formal teacher training be enforced for lecturers and if so, what should it look like?

Picturing researchers’ prospects. Explore the input of 4,334 post-grad researchers to Nature's biennnial survey of issues shaping careers in the global research community.

​Visible career tracks. An interactive database on the employment situation of 10 years'-worth of PhD graduates created by the American Historical Association shows what can be done to improve transparency around career outcomes for PhDs, and highlights how much more needs to be done.

​Finding jobs that fit. Researchers assess the value of a new website offering job simulation tasks to help them test whether they would enjoy a particular non-academic career path.

​What mothers need. The authors and readers of 'Mama is an academic' present a Top 12 of ways institutions and research groups can make academia work better for mothers.

​Research matters

Official support for 'interim research products'. The European Research Council is joining US health research funders in accepting preprints as evidence of an applicant's track record.

​'Plan S' to challenge subscription journals. The push for open access continues, with 11 European funding agencies set to require from 2020 that all papers are free to read as soon as they are published - a move viewed by many subscription journals and societies as 'an existential threat’.

​Octopus to the rescue. The embryonic eight-step publishing system would solve many problems and put the focus back on research quality, say its architect and the audience that backed her pitch.

​Open peer review? Higher quality and greater accountability and trust would be just some of the benefits of publishing peer reviews, argue reps of two major research funders, while publishers are trialling more transparent review options, including Nature Communications and PLOS.

Embracing replications. While many editors place a premium on 'novelty', some journals' policies are shifting to recognise the importance of reproducibility.

​Copycat questions. Are 'fair use' provisions and lax rules on re-producing material actually allowing plagiarism to flourish, and what redress is there?

​Research quality is the key. The founder of 'Bullied into Bad Science', Corina Logan, ponders the ascendency of 'academic careerism' over good research, and what to do about it.

​'Here be dragons...'. International research partnerships can bring big rewards, especially for early career researchers, but the timeframes, risks and costs of collaboration take skilful management.

Personal press

How to 'sharpen your saw'. If you think productivity specialists are way too fond of mornings, some ideas for recognising and using your own 'prime time'.

​Not never; just not now. Ideas take thought, and that means managing distractions and your environment.

​Keep to your cause. The busy-ness of what we do often sidelines the 'why' we're doing it, and it's worth checking regularly that we haven't gone off track.

​Tackling your inner fake. 'Impostor syndrome feeds off vagaries and generalities', and to counter it we need to deal in facts, not feelings - and avoid unnecessary comparison that adds fuel to the syndrome.

​Too much focus on change? Setting yourself up for changes is an important part of career planning, but so is considering what should stay the same.

​Uncertainty rules. Absolute clarity and certainty are in short supply when it comes to career choices, but does this matter?

​​​​PostdocTraining Update

​​If you think your PhD candidates or postdocs would benefit from an intensive day of strategic career planning our ‘Take Charge of Your Career’ workshop might be a good fit.

Contact us to find out more and to discuss possible dates in 2019 in Europe and Australia.


We hope you find this brief news digest helpful.
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