How to manage complex processes of engagement

The League of European Research Universities LERU has just released a new report on how research can effectively engage towards society.

The report draws attention to two of society’s grand challenges – health and ageing. LERU thus aims to stimulate the discussion in Europe on the precise role of scientific advice in framing policy.  The publication is the product of a LERU and Science-Business symposium held earlier in 2009 with EU policy makers and LERU experts. The meeting, entitled “How long will you live?” drew on case studies from health and ageing. LERU has identified the following set of 15 keyfactors for ensuring that the processes of engagement between researchers, policy makers and society are fruitful and effective.

  1. Universities – use their wealth of wisdom
  2. Be prepared – be able to fill the ideas gap
  3. Serendipity – if the time is right capitalise on the moment
  4. Evidence – make sure it matters
  5. Policy makers – understand the personal background of the politicians
  6. Communication – ensure research find-ings are accessible
  7. Provide answers – not more problems
  8. Relevance – ensure Europe invests in the right research
  9. Integration – anchor research in society
  10. Foresight – look at what is coming
  11. Distinguish – between push and pull
  12. Long-term culture – is required to ensure adequate data
  13. New bodies and new posts – to help impart the findings of research to policy makers
  14. Mapping – Europe’s science advisory bodies
  15. Focus – on Knowledge Transfer

Although I think it is very good to work together on developing good criteria for the engagement between research and society, from my perspective these lists of keyfactors are much too general to be effective for research policies at an institutional level. I think it would be better to develop more actionable concepts and indicators for research organizations to work with. But maybe this will be the next step of LERU in trying to help their member institutions to deal with this difficult task of really engage with society.

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age

Here is a new book from NAP Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age;

National Academy of Sciences

As digital technologies are expanding the power and reach of research, they are also
raising complex issues. These include complications in ensuring the validity of research
data; standards that do not keep pace with the high rate of innovation; restrictions on data
sharing that reduce the ability of researchers to verify results and build on previous
research; and huge increases in the amount of data being generated, creating severe
challenges in preserving that data for long-term use.
Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility,
and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age examines the consequences of the
changes affecting research data with respect to three issues – integrity, accessibility, and
stewardship-and finds a need for a new approach to the design and the management of
research projects. The report recommends that all researchers receive appropriate
training in the management of research data, and calls on researchers to make all
research data, methods, and other information underlying results publicly accessible in a
timely manner. The book also sees the stewardship of research data as a critical
long-term task for the research enterprise and its stakeholders. Individual researchers,
research institutions, research sponsors, professional societies, and journals involved in
scientific, engineering, and medical research will find this book an essential guide to the
principles affecting research data in the digital age.

Front Matter i-xvi
Summary 1-10 (skim)
1 Research Data in the Digital Age 11-32 (skim)
2 Ensuring the Integrity of Research Data 33-58 (skim)
3 Ensuring Access to Research Data 59-94 (skim)
4 Promoting the Stewardship of Research Data 95-114 (skim)
5 Defining Roles and Responsibilities 115-120 (skim)
Appendix A: Biographical Information on the Members of the Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age 121-132 (skim)
Appendix B: Relevant National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council Reports 133-142 (skim)
Appendix C: Letters from Scientific Journals Requesting the Study 143-154 (skim)
Index 155-162 (skim)

China doubles research output, leaving West in its wake


Research output in China has exploded in the past five years, far outpacing activity in the rest of the world, according to a new report by Thomson Reuters. China has already overtaken the EU and Japan and will leapfrog the US within the next decade, the report predicts.

The Global Research Report on China shows the Asian giant published twice as many research papers last year as in 2004. The growth over the past decade is even more dramatic.

Chinese scientists published 20,000 papers in 1998 but this figure jumped to 112,000 in 2008. – China doubles research output, leaving West in its wake | EU – European Information on Science & Research.

On Reuters:

China's Research Output More Than Doubled Since 2004, Thomson Reuters Study
Nation Stands Second Only to United States

PHILADELPHIA and LONDON, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A study from Thomson
Reuters released today shows explosive growth in research output from China,
far outpacing research activity in the rest of the world.

At this pace, China will overtake the USA within the next decade.

The study, Global Research Report: China, informs policymakers about the
research and collaboration potential of China and its current place in world
science. The study is part of the Global Research Report series from Thomson
Reuters that illustrates the changing landscape and dynamics of global
research around the world.

"If China's research growth remains this rapid and substantial, European and
North American institutions will want to be part of it," said Jonathan Adams,
director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters. "China no longer depends
on links to traditional G8 partners to help its knowledge development. When
Europe and the USA visit China they can only do so as equal partners."

The study draws on data found in Web of Science®, available on the Web of
Knowledge(SM) platform -- the world's largest citation environment of the
highest quality scholarly literature. Key findings include:
    --  China's output increased from just over 20,000 research papers in 1998
        to nearly 112,000 in 2008, The nation doubled its output since 2004
        alone. China surpassed Japan, the UK and Germany in 2006 and now
        second only to the USA.
    --  China is heading to overtake the USA in output within the next decade.
    --  China's research is concentrated in the physical sciences and
        technology. Materials science, chemistry and physics predominate.
        Looking toward the future, rapid growth can be seen in agricultural
        sciences and life sciences fields such as immunology, microbiology,
        molecular biology and genetics.
    --  The USA stands out in terms of collaboration with China., US-based
        authors contributed to nearly 9 percent of papers from China-based
        institutions between 2004 and 2008.

    --  Regional collaboration expansion is notable, especially with Japan,
        South Korea, Singapore and Australia.

For more information, please visit

SOURCE  Thomson Reuters

Aim initiative for academic careers: Learning to Think like an Expert Management Researcher

Learning to Think like an Expert Management Researcher
AIM’s online learning resource is intended for postgraduate and research students, but it will also be useful for academics just starting out on a career in the management field. The website is designed to support researchers with developing your critical frame of mind. A constructively critical way of thinking is characteristic of expert researchers, who have gradually built-up their critical thinking capability as a product of their accumulating research experience. Acquiring this capability can be a slow process if it just occurs incidentally: a side-effect of being a student or an academic. But researchers can accelerate their learning as they go along by consciously developing their ability to think critically and to make informed decisions in their research.
Key aspects of studying management are to find things out and then to demonstrate what has been found and why it is significant. This kind of work follows the ‘logic of enquiry’, or detective-work. Finding things out involves asking well-informed questions and designing literature-based and empirical investigations to answer them. Demonstrating what has been found out typically includes writing an account that will convince other people (as with your assignments, dissertation, thesis, or academic articles for publication). Expert researchers have learned the habit of following the logic of enquiry by applying their critical frame of mind. This resource is intended to help you to develop your habit of thinking like an expert.
Researchers can do this here in two ways. First, they can visit the link at the top of this page – Introduction. – to learn more about the approach to detective-work reflected in other sections of the resource. The introduction offers both an ‘advance organizer’, or mental framework, and self-assessment exercises to support learning.
Second, researchers can go to the Key Topics link and choose one of these topics to study by clinking on its link. Each key topic contains a series of learning activities focused on common tasks that postgraduate and research students are expected to undertake. These activities include information for raising awareness and reflective exercises and ideas for integrating learning into academic work. Researchers can click on Additional Resources for some suggested further reading. Whether the researcher is a student interested in personal learning, or an academic who is interested in using the materials in teaching of postgraduate or research students, researchers may wish to visit the Using this Resource link for ideas and information on how to make effective use of the materials.

Link here for all the information:

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