The 2013 December issue of the journal Theory & Psychology saw a forceful exchange between Kurt Danziger and Daniel N. Robinson on the nature of psychology’s disciplinary history. For those unfamiliar with the names, both are eminent scholars in (among other things) history of psychology. The exchange boils down to Danziger accusing Robinson of creating a romanticized history of psychology, tying the discipline down to Ancient Greek philosophies. What Danziger cannot forgive in such a way of writing history of science is the idea of a concept that stays the same throughout history, and then finds its way into psychology. For example (Danziger, 2013, p. 835): “This understanding of psychology’s history has always relied on the belief that the concept of ‘human nature’ represents some historically unchanging essence guaranteeing continuity, no matter how great the gulf that appears to separate the present from the remote past.” Robinson, in turn, answers with two articles in the same issue defending his position with insinuations that Danziger and his supporters are not familiar enough with Aristotle’s body of work to mount such a criticism. His repartees, sans the scholastic posturing, can be summed up well with the sentence (Robinson, 2013a, p. 820): “It is worth noting in order to make clear that the past can be highly instructive without being causally efficacious.” Continue reading
The conclusion of our State of Open Access in Europe series (see the first and the second post here) is a piece on a vitally important EU legislation – Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is a €80 billion heavy EU programme for research and innovation. In Brussels, they call it a flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. A natural question that arises when considering such an enormous fund is – will the end results of that funding be Open Access? Since Horizon 2020 is still in the works, so to say (it has to pass numerous steps before being implemented, including a vote in the European Parliament), it is important to stay informed and possibly take part in the public discussion that follows such a grand project.
These are some turbulent times for open access in Europe. Since we try to be the information hub for psychology students on the subject of open access, we will cover the two hot OA topics currently happening in Europe and the development of one student initiative (of which EFPSA is also a member) — Right to Research Coalition — that should become quite vocal on the topic in the near future. The two OA ‘hot potatoes’ currently being discussed in the research community are the Finch Report in the UK and the European Union Horizon 2020 research framework.
For our first part of the triptych, let’s talk about the Finch Report. At first it might seem like a country specific topic, but its implementation might have European and worldwide implications, since the UK is the de facto leader in open access policies and practices.
Also some advice before you continue reading — if you are not too familiar with the topic, please consult our Open Access Basics post so you understand all the OA specific terminology used in this post.
Last year we did an analysis, here at the JEPS Bulletin, trying to find out how many of the most reputable journals in psychology are open access. The conclusion was, to say the least, defeating. But as Stevan Harnad likes to remind us, gold open access journals are far from being the only route to achieving widespread access to scientific literature. Green open access is a way to go too. But can scholars, and under what conditions, archive the articles they publish in topmost psychology journals? That’s what we’re going to find out in today’s post.
Taking your first steps in the world of academia can be intimidating. We have all experienced it while preparing research proposals, sitting in exams, and discussing research projects with peers and professors. What can make it easier is the thriving research community you can find online. By participating in it, you can create connections, find information, learn and enhance your skill-set in research, scientific writing, and so much more. However cliche it might sound, participating in the community is a great investment in the future.
What are, then, the best places to look for research-oriented social networking? Where do Internet personas of researchers and students congregate? Read on and find our suggestions. Continue reading
Nick Shockey, the Director of the Right to Research Coalition which EFPSA joined in 2011, hosted a workshop for psychology students attending the annual EFPSA Congress in Denmark last week. The workshop was attended by over 30 congress participants including the newly elected EFPSA President, Dalya Samur. It covered topics ranging from what Open Access is to how students can get involved in advocating Open Access at their universities and national and international organizations.
Since the workshop provoked great interest among the participants of the congress, we decided to make an interview* with Nick on the topic of open access journals and advocacy of open access, and what does all that mean to psychology students.
*Special thanks to Lorenz Jaeger, EFPSA’s European Summer School Junior Coordinator, for leading this interview with me.
Doing research takes a long time. Writing a paper based on the data acquired through research takes a long time. The review process of that paper, when it’s finally written, takes a long time (in some cases, 11 years). To shorten this arduous process the practice of shorter article formats in scientific journals is rising in prominence. This is what we call bite-size science–short reports usually covering one study. What are the benefits and what are the costs of moving to such brief formats?
These days, the news are full of acronyms dealing with various legislation concerning copyright. The problematic of copyright laws has long since left the geeky closet of the software community or the posh one of the poor and abused music industry. The acronyms in our title, familiar to most, are proof enough of their mainstream status. It is a central issue for the new generation, and everybody has an opinion on it. In this post, I would like to put the open access movement into that context, to see how it relates to the general public outcry regarding copyright legislation. Are these things connected? If yes, how?
“The literature of social sciences contains horror stories of journal editors and others who consider a study worthwhile only if it reaches a statistically significant, positive conclusion; that is, an equally significant rejection of a hypothesis is not considered worthwhile” (Scargle, 2000).
This is a footnote in Jeffrey D. Scargle’s, an astrophysicist working for NASA, article about the publication bias in scientific journals. Usually, the psychologist in me would go all defensive of our precious little social science, but then one discovers this: a couple of researchers trying to publish a paper debunking Bem’s research on ESP (in layman terms, ESP means predicting the future). More precisely, their woes while trying to publish a paper with nonsignificant results. How many papers have you read that have nonsignificant results, that accept the null hypothesis? I have a feeling you have the same answer as me, and it’s frighteningly converging on zero. What happens to those papers? And what’s the implication of such a bias in publishing for science at large?
In the publish or perish world of modern psychology, the question of who publishes the journals we send our manuscripts to is not asked as often as it should be. We usually aren’t even aware who the publishers are. This is the case even when we only read, cite and use articles from scientific journals. As a rule of thumb, we are more than aware of the prestige of particular journals and their public face – topic, review policy, editorial team and even access policy; but who publishes them? Who owns them and what are their policies?
Find out in this installment of the Journal of European Psychology Students Bulletin.