Category Archives: Research

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Many Academics Have Taken Money From Google Without Disclosing It, Report Finds

The tech giant Google has paid academics up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to research topics that support the company’s business practices, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, based on data compiled by the Campaign for Accountability, an advocacy group that has received funding from companies that compete with Google.

The newspaper reported that Google at times compiled “wish lists” of academic studies, complete with titles and abstracts, and then searched for aca…

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The Typical Undergraduate Takes More Than 5 Years to Graduate

The average undergraduate takes between five and six years to complete a degree, according to a new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The average bachelor’s-degree candidate takes just over five years to graduate.

The findings of the report, which pulled data from 3,600 postsecondary institutions across the country, fly in the face of much of the popular perception of college-enrollment patterns, Doug Shapiro, executive director of the research center, said in a news …

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More Professors Say Undergraduates Need to Hone Research Abilities, Survey Finds

Report: “Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey”

Authors: Christine Wolff, Alisa B. Rod, and Roger C. Schonfeld; Ms. Wolff and Mr. Schonfeld are at Ithaka S+R, the consulting-and-research arm of the nonprofit group Ithaka, which focuses on technology in academe; Ms. Rod is associate director of the Empirical Reasoning Center at Barnard College

Summary: This latest edition of a survey that is conducted every three years found an uptick in faculty members who believe undergraduate students are arriving at …

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How the States Stack Up on Measures of Their Research Strength

Title: “America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review”

Organizations: Council of State Governments and Elsevier

Summary: This report compares each state’s research strength, using measures such as research output and knowledge transfer. It seeks to determine which states have advantages in research, and how they can capitalize on those advantages to spur economic growth. (The vision of colleges as engines of economic transformation has been an attractive one, even if the reality is much m…

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Do the Loudest ‘Expert’ Voices on Education Have the Least Expertise?

Report: “Educational Expertise, Advocacy, and Media Influence”

Authors: Joel R. Malin, a doctoral student in education policy, organization, and leadership, and Christopher Lubienski, a professor of education policy, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Summary: A new study, published in the journal Education Policy Analysis Archives, explores the relationship between expertise in educational research and the likelihood of playing a role in news-media debates over education pol…

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Team Science Is Tied to Growth in Grants With Multiple Recipients

Report: “Together We Stand”

Authors: Alexander M. Petersen, of the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, in Lucca, Italy, and Ioannis Pavlidis and Ioanna Semendeferi, both of the University of Houston

Publication: Nature Physics

Summary: The authors identify a continuing rise of “team science” in university research, judge it to be a desirable long-term shift, and consider the policies and habits at funding agencies and academic institutions that may be unnecessarily hindering it.

A central sugges…

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NIH Prodding Makes Data Sharing More Common, Survey Finds

Report: “Codifying Collegiality: Recent Developments in Data Sharing Policy in the Life Sciences”

Authors: Genevieve Pham-Kanter, Darren E. Zinner, and Eric G. Campbell

Journal: PLoS ONE

Summary: The paper, based on a study conducted by researchers at Drexel, Brandeis, and Harvard Universities, represents an attempt to measure the effectiveness of policies instituted by funding agencies and journals to encourage the wider sharing of data by scientists.

The study consisted of a survey that was se…

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Licensing of Academic Inventions Stays Strong

Report: “Highlights of AUTM’s U.S. Licensing Activity Survey, FY2013″

Organization: Association of University Technology Managers

Summary: Despite a slight decline in federally funded research support, universities and hospitals responding to the latest AUTM survey executed 5,198 licenses on inventions arising from academic research in the 2013 fiscal year, an increase of about 1 percent over the number reported in 2012.

The respondents—170 universities, 30 hospitals and research institutions,…

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Higher-Education Research Rarely Gets Replicated

Report: “Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences”

Authors: Matthew C. Makel, gifted education reseach specialist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program, and Jonathan A. Plucker, a professor of educational leadership at the University of Connecticut

Summary: The authors of the study, published in Educational Researcher, the journal of the American Educational Research Association, set out to learn how often studies in the field get formally repli…

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Universities Are Pushed to Improve Lab Safety

Report: “Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research”

Author: Committee on Establishing and Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Laboratory Research

Organization: National Research Council

Summary: The National Research Council formed a panel of university lab-safety experts after a series of campus accidents, including several deaths, emphasized that academic labs have a far worse safety record than their corporate counterparts do.

The result is a 100-page rep…