Category / REF Subjects

New blog on Open Access publishing

authoraid-2016Some months ago Andy Nobes asked my colleague Prof. Padam Simkhada and I if we could write a blog about why we had so many papers in freely available online journals in Nepal.  Andy is the Programme Officer, Research Development & Support at INASP, which is an international development charity based in Oxford working with a global network of partners in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

We had a whole range of immediate answers to Andy’s question, including ones like: we both love Nepal; we are on the editorial board of a few journals that are part of the NepJOL group; and editors invite us to submit articles and/or editorials. Moreover, we feel reasons for Open Access publishing are very similar to our key reasons for working in a low-income country like Nepal. These principles are (a) conducting applied academic research in low-income countries for the greater good; (b) helping to build research-capacity; and (c) telling the world about our research through quality academic publications.  This week saw the publication of our blog ‘Publishing in journals of the NepJOL family’ on the AuthorAid website, click here to read the post.

Edwin van Teijlingen, Professor of Reproductive Health Research at Bournemouth University and Padam Simkhada, Professor of International Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University and BU Visiting Faculty.

Top three most accessed 2016 paper BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth

bmc-media-luce-et-alIt is always nice to receive some good news just before Christmas.  The journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth informed us that our paper ‘“Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media’ was in the top three most popular papers [1]This interdisciplinary paper crosses the boundaries between the study of maternity care & midwifery, sociology of health & illness, and that of the media.  With BU’s Dr. Ann Luce as first author, it is one of the top three accessed articles of nearly 400 articles published in 2016 (as of Dec 16th).     

 

Reference:

  1. Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C., (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40 http://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0827-x

Data Science and Analytics Training for Business

logo-czrneData Science and Analytics Training and Engagement Services for Business – HEIF project

We are experiencing an explosive growth of digital content. According to International Data Corporation, there are currently over 2.7 zetabytes of data. It is estimated that in 2020, the digital universe will be 50 times as big as in 2010 and that from now until 2020 it will double every two years.

The commercial world has been transformed by Big Data with companies competing on analytics. Data has become a commodity referred to as the ‘new oil’. We are entering a new era of predictive analytics and data intensive computing which has been recognised worldwide with various high profile reports. In a recent UK-wide report commissioned by SAS UK (one of our key industrial partners) it has been estimated that there will be about 132,000 big data job opportunities created in the UK economy between 2012 and 2017. McKinsey’s report states that by 2018 the US alone will face a shortage of between 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, while in the UK such shortage will be in the region of 58,000 (e-Skills UK5). Another SAS commissioned report focusing on “data equity” and its impact on the UK, states that increasing adoption of big data analytics will result in cumulative benefits of £216 billion over the years 2012-17.

Following the success of recently launched MSc in Applied Data Analytics, this HEIF project seeks to take advantage of a large demand for and addresses the widening advanced analytics skills gap. Our HEIF project focuses on:

  1. Engagement with industry through a provision of an on-going opportunity for contact, information and advice in the Data Science Surgeries which are open to businesses of all sizes as well as university staff and students. This service is to support the creation of Knowledge Exchange professional network in the Data Science and Analytics area helping to identify potential skillset needed as well as transfer of knowledge and collaborative research opportunities.
  2. Development of a portfolio of CPD/short courses within an area with acute UK-wide shortage of skills and where, within the Data Science community consisting of over 50 academics from four faculties, BU has a wealth of expertise and excellent track record.

Over time, the Data Science Surgeries and CPD courses will facilitate engagement between industry and the broader BU Data Science community, enabling us to build bridges and develop relationships with industry, as well as interdisciplinary research collaborations.  The new perspectives developed through this interdisciplinary collaboration will not only help to give a better understanding of some of the complex problems facing our society, but also help to inform both the teaching and professional practice undertaken by our academics -supporting the vision of Fusion at BU.

History and Biography in the Sociology of Welfare: The importance of student fieldwork

Sociology, as an emerging discipline, developed within the crucible of historical studies of changing lives, transforming events and a search for alternative ways to understand history. We see this in the works of such illustrious progenitors of sociology as Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim and Weber but it has itself been marginalised, even hidden, as social, political and historical events have unfurled and a turn to biography has displaced the historical. Furthermore, historical sociology has taken something of a battering since John H Goldthorpe decried its relevance towards the end of the last century. However, it is perhaps this railing against the historical which has lent itself to a resurgence through such key figures as Barrington Moore, Charles Tilly, Theda Skocpol and Shmuel Eisenstadt amongst others. But what of its place within contemporary undergraduate sociological education?

In an attempt to introduce today’s BU undergraduates to the important interdisciplinary fusion of the social, the biographical and the historical we have developed an innovative exploration of the histories of social welfare that students take in their second year of full time study. This involves the broad study of social and political welfare initiatives through to the Poor Law, its reform and the implementation of the Welfare State, retrenchment and contemporary attacks on welfare and those who claim benefits. So what? You may say. This is similar to most programmes of study charting welfare policy. However, two specific aspects mark out this module. The first is the assessment, reported elsewhere, which requires groups to explore the experiences of characters in specific historical periods through the construction of a narrative. This allows students to enter into the social and political worlds of individuals in need of social welfare and support.

The second innovative aspect relates to the continuing strands running through our explorations – we take Richard Lachmann’s approach to historical sociology to understand how the present, and future, is contingent on the past. Throughout the course, we examine seemingly inconsequential events leading to change, and why ‘transformative’ events, such as the introduction of the British Welfare State in 1948, occur when they do. Moreover, we embed this learning in a hands-on fieldtrip to the historic market town of Sherborne. Though a visit to the historic St Johns’ (two of them) almshouses, the architecturally stunning abbey, students are exposed to the religious beginnings of charity and alms, the turn to the Parish and the body politic in dispensing poor relief and an appreciation of the overt discrimination between deserving and undeserving. Indeed, they experience that the ‘poor are always with us’ and also they are stratified in society by those with power. As one student stated:

The trip … showed us how throughout history policies have changed, yet some have remained the same as 600 years ago. It made us appreciate and value history more. We learned how the welfare state changed with time to adjust to the environment and the social conditions (war, economic state, health condition of people etc).

The students undertaking this trip have experienced the importance of an historical sociological approach to social welfare policy and application marrying this with the contemporary focus on biography and merging analytic thought, and an appreciation of the affective. This was particularly evident in discussion of the contemporary foodbank provision which religious and lay people undertake to offset some of the hardships experienced by those requiring benefits today:

I also found it interesting how the food bank is run. I think it is so lovely that the people of Sherborne deliver the food bags to the people who cannot come to collect them. I have never heard of anywhere else that does this before and think it shows just how close a community can be and that we should all work together to help each other.

This takes historical sociology into a contemporary arena in which the biographical is included, and offers the students a chance to bring in the personal and to reflect on experiences whilst acknowledging the historical and the structural:

I was really surprised to find out that there are people still living in the alms houses today! I was not expecting that. I found it really interesting how there are still so many similarities to how it was ran when it began to how it is ran now. Before the trip my understanding was that to live in the alms houses wouldn’t have been a nice experience but from the trip I was able to understand that it was actually built with the intention to help people and that is exactly what it did and still does today. I made connections with the histories of social policy and welfare when I understood that the people who came to live in the alms houses were the ‘deserving poor’.

Jonathan Parker (Department of Social Sciences and Social Work), Nezhat Habib and Bonnie Brown (students on BA Sociology and Social Policy programme)

Sherborne Abbey

Sherborne Abbey

Four new FHSS publications

bond-ahmed-2016

Congratulations to Dr. Carol Bond and Dr. Osman Ahmed in FHSS on the publication of their latest academic paper ‘Can I help you? Information sharing in online discussion forums by people living with a long-term condition’ [1].    Further congratulations are due to Osman who recently had three other papers accepted for publication [2-4].

 

Prof Edwin van Teijlingen

 

References:

  1.  Bond, C., Ahmed, O., 2016. Can I help you? Information sharing in online discussion forums by people living with a long-term condition. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 23 (3).
  2. West L.R., Griffin , S., Weiler, R., Ahmed,O. 2016 Management of concussion in disability sport: a different ball game? British Journal of Sports Medicine doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096767
  3. “Educating the masses: Suggestions for improving online concussion information via the mainstream media” in Concussion (not available online yet)
  4. “Do Neurocognitive SCAT3 Baseline Test Scores Differ Between Footballers (Soccer) Living With and Without Disability? A Cross-Sectional Study” in Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine (not yet available online)

 

 

HSS staff achieve eHealth publication

Dr Carol Bond (Principal Academic Digital Health) and Dr Osman Ahmed (Lecturer in Physiotherapy) have recently had their work on online health information sharing published in the Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics.

Building upon their prior work on online communities, this study took a qualitative approach to explore the information shared by online discussion boards and how users shared this information. The study used diabetes forums as an exam, with key findings showing that much of the information sharing came from experience (including sharing their experiences from interactions with healthcare professionals). Drs Bond and Ahmed are now developing this work further by exploring similar patterns using other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc).

This paper is available online at:

https://hijournal.bcs.org/index.php/jhi/article/view/853

Bond, CS; Ahmed, OH. Can I help you? Information sharing in online discussion forums by people living with a long-term condition. Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics, 2016;23(3):620-626.

 

 

UoA25 funding – call for new proposals

cel-logo-web    cemp-logo

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice invite new applications for funding (up to £3000) to develop research outputs and impact and to enhance the research environment in relation to the Research Excellence Framework Unit of Assessment: Education.

Up to three proposals will be funded in this round.

This fund is exclusively to support the development of research and the generation of research impact in close alignment with BU’s UoA25 strategy, sub-themes and development spending plan. It is expected that recipients of funding will work towards submission to UoA25 in REF 2020. Staff applying for new funds, having been in receipt of UoA25 funding in 2015-16 will be subject to a review of outputs / impact generated from previous funding.

Funds can be used for the following kinds of activity:

  • Research output generation
  • New project development
  • Impact generation
  • Research events (hosting, arranging)
  • Data conversion

NB conference attendance should be funded through faculty QR budgets.

Applications – uoa25-funding-application-2016-17 – can be submitted up to January 13th 2017, and are particularly welcome from groups of staff with clear capacity-building objectives for UoA25.

PGR students will need to demonstrate that this funding is specifically for UoA25 related activity and cannot be covered by the standard PGR development funds.

Applications to: Brian McNulty, Research Development Co-ordinator, Faculty of Media & Communication – bmcnulty@bournemouth.ac.uk

Line manager or supervisor support is required for the level of commitment to the activities proposed.

All funds must be spent or committed by the end of July 2017.

 

How to Write a 4* Article

Prof. Mark Reed

A fortnight ago Prof Mark Reed, Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation at Newcastle University and the man behind Fast Track Impact, tweeted some thoughts on how to write a 4* paper for the REF. He went on to explain his thinking in more detail in a guest post on the Research Fundementals blog, the post is published here with the authors permission.

_____________
How do you write a 4* paper for the Research Excellence Framework (REF)? It is a question I’ve asked myself with some urgency since the Stern Review shredded my REF submission by not allowing me to bring my papers with me this year to my new position at Newcastle University.

Obviously the answer is going to differ depending on your discipline, but I think there are a few simple things that everyone can do to maximize their chances of getting a top graded research output.

I’m going to start with the assumption that you’ve actually done original, significant and rigorous work – if you haven’t then there is no point in reading any further. However, as I am increasingly asked to pre-review papers for colleagues across a range of disciplines, I am seeing examples of people who write up work as a 2* or 3* paper that has the potential to get a better score. I should point out that I believe that there is an important role for 1* and 2* papers, and that I regularly write these on purpose to address a problem of national significance and frame it for the specific, narrow audience that is likely to be able to benefit most from my work. However, whether I like it or not, as a Professor in a research-intensive University, there is an expectation that I will be submitted as a 4* researcher, which means I need a few 4* papers as well.

You can see some more detailed thoughts on what I think makes 4* for different types of paper in this Tweet:

As you’ll see from the discussion under that tweet though, my more detailed thoughts probably only apply to Units of Assessment across panels A-C, and probably isn’t relevant to the arts and humanities.

Having said this, I think there are a number of things we can all do to maximize the chances of our work being viewed favourably by REF panelists.

  1. Write to the criteria: when I was learning to drive, my instructor told me that in the test I should make sure I moved my head when I was looking in the rear view mirror, to make sure the examiner noticed I was using my mirrors. We’re all used to writing to the criteria of funding calls, and in fact we are all perfectly used to writing papers to the criteria of our target journals. In the last REF, research outputs were judged against three criteria: originality, significance and rigour. Whatever the interpretation of these criteria in your discipline, have you made it explicit to REF panelists reading your work exactly what is original, and why it is so original? Have you explained and effectively justified the significance of your work? And have you included evidence that your methods, analysis and interpretation is rigorous, even if you have to use supplementary material to include extra detail about your methods and data to get around journal word limits?
  1. Get REF feedback before you submit your work for publication: find out who is going to be reviewing research outputs for REF internally within your Unit of Assessment at your institution and ask them to review your work before you submit it. They may be able to make recommendations about how you might improve the paper in light of the REF criteria. Sometimes a little bit of extra work on the framing of your research in relation to wider contexts and issues can help articulate the significance of your work, and with additional reading and thinking, you may be able to position your work more effectively in relation to previous work to demonstrate its originality more clearly. Adding a few extra details to your methods and results may re-assure readers and reviewers that your approach is indeed rigorous. This is not just about doing world-leading research; it is about demonstrating to the world that your work is indeed world-leading. For me, these criteria are nothing new and are worth paying attention to, whether or not we are interested in REF. Meeting these three criteria will increase the chances that you get through peer-review and will increase the likelihood that your work gets cited.
  1. Analyse and discuss good practice in your own area: the only way to really “get your eye in” for REF is to actually look at examples of good and poor practice in your own area. Below, I’ve described how you can design an exercise to do this with your colleagues. You can do it yourself and learn a lot, but from my own experience, you learn a lot more by doing this as a discussion exercise with colleagues who work in your area. If you can, take notes from your discussion and try and distill some of the key lessons, so you can learn collectively as a group and more effectively review and support each others’ work.

How to organize a discussion to work out what makes a 4* paper in your area:

  • Identify top scoring institutions for your Unit of Assessment (UOA): download the REF2014 results, filter for your UOA (columns E or F), then filter so it only shows you the outputs (column J), and then filter for 4* (column L), showing only the institutions from your UOA that had the highest percentage of 4* outputs. Now for those institutions, look across the table (columns L-P) to see which has the highest proportion of outputs at either 3* or 4*. For example, an institution may have 80% of its outputs graded at 4* and 15% graded at 3*, meaning that 95% of its outputs were graded at 3-4*
  • Download a selection of papers from the top scoring institutions: go to your UOA on the REF website, find and click on the institutions you’ve identified in step 1, under “view submission data”, click on “research outputs”, copy and paste output titles into Google Scholar (or your search engine of choice) and download the articles. You may want to select outputs randomly, or you may want to go through more selectively, identifying outputs that are close to the areas your group specialize in
  • Repeat for low scoring institutions so you can compare and contrast high and low scoring outputs
  • Discuss examples: print copies of the high and low scoring outputs, labeled clearly, and in your next UOA meeting, let everyone choose a high and a low-scoring example. Given them 10-15 minutes to quickly read the outputs (focusing on title, abstract, introduction, figures and conclusions so you’re not there all day) and then ask the group (or small groups if there are many of you) to discuss the key factors that they think distinguish between high and low scoring outputs. Get your group(s) to distill the key principles that they think are most useful and disseminate these more widely to the group, so that anyone who wasn’t present can benefit.

It would be great if I could tell you that these are my “three easy ways to get a 4* paper” but doing work that is genuinely original, significant and rigorous is far from easy. If you have done work that is of the highest quality though, I hope that the ideas I’ve suggested here will help you get the credit you deserve for the great research you’ve done.

Sound recording, stories and memory: listening to stories ‘told’ by a tree

We would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Centre for Games and Music Technology Research.

sellasia

Speaker: Dr Panos Amelidis  (Bournemouth University Lecturer In Music & Audio Technology).

 

Title:     Sound recording, stories and memory: listening to stories ‘told’ by a tree

 

Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 7th December 2016

Room: P409, Poole House, Talbot Campus

 

Abstract: The village of Sellasia in Southern Greece has perfect conditions for the cultivation and production of olives and olive oil, an activity very important for the economy of its inhabitants. But, can an olive tree be transformed into a fictional conduit of storytelling using audio recording technology and its possibilities? This seminar refers specifically and discusses three aspects of a practice-based research project, an audio-visual installation, ‘Stories of a Tree’ based on the sound produced by the olive tree as well as the soundscape of Sellasia. The first aspect is the concept and research questions of the project. The second concerns the methodology which was implemented for its realization, and the content in which it was placed. The third is the artistic challenge of communicating something about history and memory, related to the Sellasia village, through the medium of composed sound and interactive technology using a mixture of field recordings and interviews collected during the author’s staying at the village, as part of a residency organized by McGill University.

 

We hope to see you there.

New edition qualitative research book

hollowaygalvin-2017Congratulations to BU Professor Emerita Immy Holloway and FHSS (Faculty of Health & Social Sciences) Visiting Faculty Professor Kathleen Galvin on the publication of the latest edition of Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare [1].  This new edition offers insights into both the abstract ideas in qualitative research and its practical procedures. Structured into four sections, the new edition looks at the initial stages, methods of data collection, qualitative approaches and analysis of collected data.  Professor Galvin is Professor of Nursing Practice in the College of Life, Health & Physical Sciences, at the University of Brighton.  Both Immy Holloway and Kate Galvin are affiliated with BU’s Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR), the longest running research centre in FHSS.

 

Congratulations!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

 

Reference:

  1. Holloway I & Galvin K. (2017) Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare. Wiley-Blackwell 4th ed.