Blog Archives

Is artificial intelligence changing the very nature of physics research?

Is artificial intelligence changing the very nature of physics research?

Since Galileo, research in physics has followed a well-marked procedure, structured by three precepts: observation of natural phenomena, conceptualization of a law underlying them, verification of the predictions that result from them. This approach has borne many fruits and we now know in detail the laws that apply to the world between the scale of […] … learn more→

Secondary publishing rights can improve public access to academic research

Secondary publishing rights can improve public access to academic research

Canada’s federal research granting agencies recently announced a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, with the goal of requiring immediate open and free access to all academic publications generated through Tri-Agency supported research by 2025. To meet this requirement, the Canadian government should empower academic authors through the adoption of secondary publishing rights. These rights would ensure that […] … learn more→

Has a mathematician solved the ‘invariant subspace problem’? And what does that even mean?

Has a mathematician solved the ‘invariant subspace problem’? And what does that even mean?

Two weeks ago, a modest-looking paper was uploaded to the arXiv preprint server with the unassuming title “On the invariant subspace problem in Hilbert spaces”. The paper is just 13 pages long and its list of references contains only a single entry. The paper purports to contain the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle that mathematicians have […] … learn more→

Managing research teams

Managing research teams

Collaborating with other researchers or external partners can be challenging but using project management strategies for planning, communication and decision making can help. Many academics undertake their PhD and post-doctoral fellowships as solo projects. That training and experience may not prepare them for coordinating project teams or collaborating with partners external to the university. Team […] … learn more→

Story structure 2 – research writing

Story structure 2 – research writing

How is writing research like story? Last post I wrote about Kurt Vonnegut’s man in hole structure and how that might help you think at a very macro level about how to organise your material. This post is also about structure – this time a four part structure I’ve called C3REC. The C3REC structure is an academic […] … learn more→

We solve problems in 30 days through ‘research sprints’: other academics can do this too

We solve problems in 30 days through ‘research sprints’: other academics can do this too

Picture a world where academic research is fast, practical, and beneficial to everyone involved. In reality, making university research practical, which typically requires working with industry, can take many years. By that time, it might be too late for it to be of benefit. Research has been singled out as a key priority for the […] … learn more→

Cognitive flexibility is essential to navigating a changing world – new research in mice shows how your brain learns new rules

Cognitive flexibility is essential to navigating a changing world – new research in mice shows how your brain learns new rules

Being flexible and learning to adapt when the world changes is something you practice every day. Whether you run into a new construction site and have to reroute your commute or download a new streaming app and have to relearn how to find your favorite show, changing familiar behaviors in response to new situations is […] … learn more→

A major review has recommended more independence for decisions about research funding in Australia

A major review has recommended more independence for decisions about research funding in Australia

Education Minister Jason Clare has just released a highly anticipated review into how research is funded in Australia. This is the review of the federal legislation underpinning the Australian Research Council (ARC). The ARC is the independent body that funds non-medical university research in Australia. So it has a hugely important role in the careers of academics. This review […] … learn more→

Is Wikipedia a good source? 2 college librarians explain when to use the online encyclopedia – and when to avoid it

Is Wikipedia a good source? 2 college librarians explain when to use the online encyclopedia – and when to avoid it

What comes to mind when you think of Wikipedia? Maybe you think of clicking link after link to learn about a topic, followed by another topic and then another. Or maybe you’ve heard a teacher or librarian tell you that what you read on Wikipedia isn’t reliable. As research and instruction librarians, we know people have concerns about […] … learn more→