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Article

Nora Hangel and Diana Schmidt-Pfister

The purpose of this paper is to examine researchers’ motivations to publish by comparing different career stages (PhD students; temporarily employed postdocs/new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine researchers’ motivations to publish by comparing different career stages (PhD students; temporarily employed postdocs/new professors; scholars with permanent employment) with regard to epistemic, pragmatic, and personal motives.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative analysis is mainly based on semi-structured narrative interviews with 91 researchers in the humanities, social, and natural sciences, based at six renowned (anonymous) universities in Germany, the UK, and the USA. These narratives contain answers to the direct question “why do you publish?” as well as remarks on motivations to publish in relation to other questions and themes. The interdisciplinary interpretation is based on both sociological science studies and philosophy of science in practice.

Findings

At each career stage, epistemic, pragmatic, and personal motivations to publish are weighed differently. Confirming earlier studies, the authors find that PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in temporary positions mainly feel pressured to publish for career-related reasons. However, across status groups, researchers also want to publish in order to support collective knowledge generation.

Research limitations/implications

The sample of interviewees may be biased toward those interested in reflecting on their day-to-day work.

Social implications

Continuous and collective reflection is imperative for preventing uncritical internalization of pragmatic reasons to publish. Creating occasions for reflection is a task not only of researchers themselves, but also of administrators, funders, and other stakeholders.

Originality/value

Most studies have illuminated how researchers publish while adapting to or growing into the contemporary publish-or-perish culture. This paper addresses the rarely asked question why researchers publish at all.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article

Elaine Walsh, Katie Anders and Sally Hancock

This paper is written to add to current knowledge of the views of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discipline early career researchers (ECRs) about…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is written to add to current knowledge of the views of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discipline early career researchers (ECRs) about creativity. It aims to explore their understandings of and attitudes towards creativity, as well as their perceptions of which environmental factors facilitate creative research. By discussing the findings in the context of earlier work, the paper seeks to challenge developers to re‐examine current practice in developing creativity by suggesting a broader and deeper approach than is currently often taken.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports on a qualitative study which collected data from semi‐structured in‐depth interviews with STEM researchers. A thematic analysis was performed on the data.

Findings

This research demonstrates that young researchers have a complex range of perceptions of creativity, and that negative attitudes towards it are common in the STEM environment. Three key environmental facilitators of creativity were also uncovered which are: a positive research environment; sufficient constructive communication; and time and space to be creative. It is argued that more emphasis should be placed upon optimising the environment for creative work to occur.

Originality/value

Whereas most previous work has focussed on experienced scientists, this paper outlines the complex and important issue of creativity in the context of STEM ECRs. It offers those who wish to support such researchers an accessible summary and recommendations of how to improve practice in the development of creativity. In particular, the paper argues that placing a greater emphasis upon optimising the environment will enhance the impact of creativity development efforts.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

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Article

Kasia Zalewska-Kurek

This paper seeks to understand the strategic behaviour of researchers when producing knowledge in two scientific fields – nanotechnology and social sciences.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to understand the strategic behaviour of researchers when producing knowledge in two scientific fields – nanotechnology and social sciences.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 43 researchers to analyse the needs for strategic interdependence (resource-sharing) and for organisational autonomy (decision-making) in knowledge production. When aligned, these two concepts form three modes of behaviour: mode1, mode2 and mode3.

Findings

The empirical study results show that, besides well-studied differences in various publications, there are large behaviour differences between social science and nanotechnology researchers. While nanotechnology researchers’ behaviours are mostly in mode3 (sharing resources; highly autonomous), social science researchers’ behaviours tend to be in mode1 (highly autonomous; no need to share resources).

Practical implications

This study delivers an understanding of the differences in the strategic behaviours of researchers in different scientific fields. The author proposes managerial interventions for research managers – university and research group leaders.

Originality/value

While most studies that compare scientific fields look at knowledge production outcomes, the author analyses conditions that differentiate these outcomes. To this end, the author compares individual researchers’ behaviours in different fields by analysing the need for collaboration and the need for autonomy.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article

Charlotte Morris

The purpose of this paper is to explore belonging in relation to postgraduate wellbeing in the light of renewed concerns about the mental health and wellbeing this group…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore belonging in relation to postgraduate wellbeing in the light of renewed concerns about the mental health and wellbeing this group of learners. It attends to postgraduates’ subjective wellbeing, identifying ways in which this is intertwined with a sense of belonging. Belonging is situated in relation to the social domains of postgraduate experiences. This paper seeks to contribute in-depth understandings of postgraduate experiences, to make recommendations for practice and to identify fruitful paths for further theorisation and research.

Design/methodology/approach

Two qualitative data sets situated in UK higher education are drawn on here: firstly, longitudinal qualitative data entailing 33 narrative interviews and written reflections of doctoral researchers were collected as part of a phenomenological study of doctoral learning. Secondly, interview data from 20 postgraduates (including masters, professional doctorates and PhD researchers) were collected as part of mixed method qualitative case study research into postgraduate wellbeing. Postgraduate participants were based in the social sciences, humanities, arts and professional disciplines at a cross-section of UK higher education institutions. Data were analysed thematically with a focus on interconnections between wellbeing, learning and belonging.

Findings

A sense of belonging arose as a key contributing factor to postgraduate wellbeing. Belonging emerged as multi-faceted, interlinking with spatial, relational and cultural factors which are likely to be experienced in different ways and degrees depending on positionalities. Experiences of belonging and non-belonging are understood as produced through academic cultures and structural inequities. They also pertain to the uncertain, in-between position of postgraduate learners. For postgraduates, and doctoral researchers especially, reaching a sense of belonging to academia was a profoundly important aspect of their journeys. Conversely, lack of belonging is linked with poor mental wellbeing and engagement with studies.

Originality/value

This paper engages with the neglected social domain of wellbeing. Attending to subjective perceptions of wellbeing enabled nuanced understandings of the links between wellbeing and belonging. It identifies spatial, relational and cultural dimensions of postgraduate belonging, contributing an understanding of how feelings of non-belonging manifest, how belonging might be nurtured, and how this potentially contributes to postgraduates’ wellbeing.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

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Article

Shuheng Wu and Adam Worrall

Prior studies identified a need for further comparison of data-sharing practices across different disciplines and communities. Toward addressing this need, the purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies identified a need for further comparison of data-sharing practices across different disciplines and communities. Toward addressing this need, the purpose of this paper is to examine the data-sharing practices of the earthquake engineering (EE) community, which could help inform data-sharing policies in EE and provide different stakeholders of the EE community with suggestions regarding data management and curation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with 16 EE researchers to gain an understanding of which data might be shared, with whom, under what conditions and why; and their perceptions of data ownership.

Findings

This study identified 29 data-sharing factors categorized into five groups. Requirements from funding agencies and academic genealogy were frequent impacts on EE researchers’ data-sharing practices. EE researchers were uncertain of data ownership and their perceptions varied.

Originality/value

Based on the findings, this study provides funding agencies, research institutions, data repositories and other stakeholders of the EE community with suggestions, such as allowing researchers to adjust the timeframe they can withhold data based on project size and the amount of experimental data generated; expanding the types and states of data required to share; defining data ownership in grant requirements; integrating data sharing and curation into curriculum; and collaborating with library and information schools for curriculum development.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Content available
Article

Hazel Hall, Peter Cruickshank and Bruce Ryan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which learning gained through participation in three research methods workshops funded by an Arts and Humanities…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which learning gained through participation in three research methods workshops funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council networking grant was applied in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by online survey and focus group from individuals who participated in the Developing Research Excellence and Methods (DREaM) project workshops in 2011/2012. The survey data were coded and analysed manually, as were the transcribed focus group discussions.

Findings

Following the conclusion of the DREaM project the participants at the core of the network applied their learning from the workshops to innovate in the workplace and to develop information services, with evident impact on end-users of library and information services. The strongest impact of the DREaM project, however, was found in reports of widened opportunities for the researcher and practitioner cadre members, many of which arose from collaborations. This provides evidence of a second proven strategy (in addition to the provision of research reports in practitioner publications) for narrowing the library and information science (LIS) research-practice gap: the creation of researcher-practitioner networks.

Research limitations/implications

Collaborative interactions between academic researchers and practitioners bring benefits to both network participants themselves and to the wider communities with which they interact. These are likely to be applicable across a range of subject domains and geographies.

Practical implications

Network grants are valuable for furnishing learning that may be applied in practice, and for bridging the research-practice gap.

Social implications

In LIS and other domains that suffer from a research-practice gap (e.g. teaching, social work, nursing, policing, management) the bringing together of researchers and practitioners in networks may address problems associated with misunderstandings between the two communities, and lead to improved services provision.

Originality/value

This study provides an evaluation of network development that goes beyond simply reporting changes in network topology. It does so by assessing the value that network relationships provide to individuals and groups, extending knowledge on mechanisms of collaborative interaction within research networks. It is also the first detailed study of the impact of a UK research council networking grant.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Anwarul Islam and K.C. Panda

The purpose of the study is to find out the trends of web‐based information seekers at Sambalpur University, India since the internet is more helpful than the library in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to find out the trends of web‐based information seekers at Sambalpur University, India since the internet is more helpful than the library in the present electronic era.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the case study method. A structured questionnaire was distributed among the relevant researchers at Sambalpur University in order to ascertain their web searching habits.

Findings

The application of is ever increasing – to the extent that people believe that electronic material will eventually replace the traditional library and users need not go there to find and collect the information they need. The study revealed, however, that in one Indian university, traditional library and printed materials are still more effective to researchers than web‐based information and resources.

Originality/value

This is an original case study on web‐based information retrieval trends of university researchers. This paper will help web researchers to obtain a clear‐cut picture of the information seeking and retrieval trends of the researchers of an Indian university which will serve as a role model for the universities of the Third World.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article

Sk. Mamun Mostofa, Mashiat Tabassum and S.M. Zabed Ahmed

This paper aims to analyse researchers’ awareness about plagiarism and impact of plagiarism detection tools on the actions that they take to prevent plagiarism. It also…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse researchers’ awareness about plagiarism and impact of plagiarism detection tools on the actions that they take to prevent plagiarism. It also employs a structural model that examines whether awareness of plagiarism and anti-plagiarism tools have any significant effect on the actions taken by the researchers to avoid plagiarism.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was distributed to researchers at a large public university in Bangladesh. The survey accumulated 184 valid responses. Descriptive statistics were obtained to assess researchers’ awareness about plagiarism and impact of plagiarism detection tools and the actions taken by them. The reasons that may cause plagiarism were also identified. The awareness of the availability of the anti-plagiarism software that was being used by the university and its actual use by the researchers was gathered through the survey. Non-parametric Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests were conducted to investigate the differences in awareness levels and actions in terms of gender, age, discipline and current level of research. The chi-square test was carried out to examine the relationship between awareness about the availability of the anti-plagiarism software and its use by the researchers. Finally, the survey data were analysed using structural equation modeling to examine the effects of awareness of plagiarism and anti-plagiarism software on the actions taken by the researchers.

Findings

The study revealed that the level of awareness regarding plagiarism and impact of plagiarism detection software is generally high among the researchers. There are some significant differences between researchers’ demographic and personal characteristics and their awareness levels and actions with regard to plagiarism. The findings indicate that almost three-quarters of the researchers were aware about the anti-plagiarism tool that is being used, whereas more than half of the researchers indicated that they used the software to assess their works. The results of the structural equation model do not show a good fit, although there is strong statistical evidence that awareness about plagiarism and anti-plagiarism software has significantly impacted researchers’ actions towards preventing plagiarism.

Originality/value

There is no reported study on researchers’ awareness of plagiarism and its affiliated issues in Bangladesh. The findings of this study will not only provide useful insights regarding awareness about plagiarism but also assist university authorities to formulate relevant policy and take necessary actions against plagiarism in higher education institutions.

Details

Digital Library Perspectives, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5816

Keywords

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Article

Gerlese S. Åkerlind

Discussions of the nature and purpose of postdoctoral contract research positions is an area where assumptions and stereotypes tend to predominate. This is due to (a…

Abstract

Discussions of the nature and purpose of postdoctoral contract research positions is an area where assumptions and stereotypes tend to predominate. This is due to (a) recent changes in the higher education sector that have impacted on postdoctoral positions in a way that conflicts with traditional expectations, and (b) a relative lack of data and publications on postdoctoral positions, which creates a climate in which stereotypes can continue relatively unchallenged. This is unfortunate, because it limits the ability of supervisors to provide sound career advice to their postdocs as well as the ability of postdocs to make informed career decisions. Based on an extensive study of PDRs in Australia, this paper challenges four commonly held assumptions: 1. that postdoctoral researchers want an academic career; 2. that postdoctoral research positions provide a stepping stone to academic careers; 3. that postdoctoral research positions provide an opportunity for novice researchers to become increasingly independent; and 4. that postdoctoral research positions provide an opportunity for the incumbents to concentrate solely on research.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

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Article

Annikki Roos and Turid Hedlund

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the information practices of the researchers in biomedicine using the domain analytical approach.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the information practices of the researchers in biomedicine using the domain analytical approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The domain analytical research approach used in the study of the scientific domain of biomedicine leads to studies into the organization of sciences. By using Whitley’s dimensions of “mutual dependence” and “task uncertainty” in scientific work as a starting point the authors were able to reanalyze previously collected data. By opening up these concepts in the biomedical research work context, the authors analyzed the distinguishing features of the biomedical domain and the way these features affected researchers’ information practices.

Findings

Several indicators representing “task uncertainty” and “mutual dependence” in the scientific domain of biomedicine were identified. This study supports the view that in biomedicine the task uncertainty is low and researchers are mutually highly dependent on each other. Hard competition seems to be one feature, which is behind the explosion of the data and publications in this domain. This fact, on its part is directly related to the ways information is searched, followed, used and produced. The need for new easy to use services or tools for searching and following information in so called “hot” topics came apparent.

Originality/value

The study highlights new information about information practices in the biomedical domain. Whitley’s theory enabled a thorough analysis of the cultural and social nature of the biomedical domain and it proved to be useful in the examination of researchers’ information practices.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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