My last post was about open access – making sure that your work is freely available after publication. However, I have also been experimenting with preprints – posting articles prior to publication for open peer review. PeerJ is one publishing model that has been gaining traction recently. They also offered free publication for a trial window and have a monkey as their mascot, so how could I resist? My paper, “Continental variation in wing pigmentation in Calopteryx damselflies is related to the presence of heterospecifics” is available now (with all the data used in the paper) at the PeerJ preprint site, while the manuscript is in review at the PeerJ journal. I thought it worthwhile reflecting on the experience and my growing support for this idea. Continue reading
In a recent paper published in Trends in Plant Science, Anurag Angrawal presents a few “reasons to be skeptical of open-access publishing” (Angarwal, 2014) in order to stimulate debate over the current open access (OA) publishing model. Ironically this is behind a paywall so I thought I would summarise the content, which is more reasonable than the title suggests. Here is the gist of the four problems: Continue reading
I wrote earlier about a few apps that I had found useful in my first weeks of owning an iPad. Well I’ve been actively pursuing opportunities to learn more about the learning applications for tablets like the iPad and wanted to share some of what I have found. A lot of this comes from a workshop by the brilliant Joe Moretti, who came to my university to run a workshop on iPads in education. I hope these are useful to you, too: Continue reading
I’ve been taking a teaching course that requires me to change the way that I teach to explore new techniques. At first it seemed like it was going to be a lot of effort, but it turned out to be a fascinating and enjoyable experience. I was experimenting with a type of teaching called the “flipped [or inverted] classroom“. Here’s how it works:
I have recently joined the Apple club with a new iPad Air – a great machine that is keeping my attention a lot more than my old Android tablet (which is now a bit dog-eared). I thought I would post about a few apps that I have found and that I have found to be useful: Continue reading
I recently heard a keynote talk by Sophie Duncan, the Deputy Director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, and was really impressed by her enthusiasm for embedding outreach and engagement at every stage of research. Sophie pointed out that there are a number of problems with public engagement as it stands:
- There can be a lack of support and reward for good engagement within departments.
- Outreach tends to be centred on the academic, rather than on the public.
- Groups outside of academia tend not to pro-actively seek academic collaborators. Continue reading
[From the outset, it's worth stating that I'm an atheist (in the soft sense), an agnostic (in a firmer sense), but probably best-described as a Humanist]
Humanists, skeptics, and atheists like to pride themselves on being rational and evidence-based. However, the Sunday Assembly (which I have been helping to organise a bit in Leeds) seems to have brought out the worst kind of ignorant twaddle that I have heard from the community in some time. Most of this seems to centre on “you’re doing something that looks a bit like what people do in church, and that makes it bad”. No attempt at understanding why churches do those things, nor why churches have (until recently) been very successful. With that in mind, here is some science behind the Sunday Assembly: Continue reading