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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Research

A system used by South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) to rate researchers is biased against some disciplines and researchers who co-publish.

This is the message of a paper, ‘The objectivity of National Research Foundation peer review in South Africa assessed against bibliometric indexes’.

The paper, published in the journal Scientometrics on 2 March, says researchers who co-publish are more likely to receive a B-rating than an A-rating. A B-rating is given to researchers with considerable international recognition while an A-rating is the highest recognition given to leading scholars.

“The NRF evaluation process appears biased against disciplines in which multi-author publications are the norm, as well as multi-disciplinary work, which is inherently collaborative,” said Johannes Wolfgang Fedderke, an economics professor at the Pennsylvania State University in the US, who wrote the paper.

Researchers in the physical sciences are also more likely to get an A-rating than those in medical sciences, business studies or social sciences though they produce the same number of publications.

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The European Commission has recently published the results of the public consultation of the future Public Private Partnership on life sciences research and innovation, the successor of the current Innovative Medicines Initiative PPP (IMI). The respondents express their clear support for the establishment of a new PPP with an expanded scope and a simpler implementation model compared to IMI. A dedicated legal structure with a lighter approach is clearly preferred compared to the possibility of establishing a contractual PPP.

According to the consultation, IMI has a sound and transparent evaluation system and has been particularly successful at bringing together relevant stakeholders in biopharmaceutical research and has achieved international visibility. However, there seems to have had less success in engaging SMEs, an objective to work on in the next PPP. 90% of respondent would like industry to contribute financially as well as in-kind to the projects of the new PPP.

The Commission is expected to present the proposals for the future PPPs under Horizon 2020 before the summer.

Click here to read the results

Tagged in: innovation Research
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Launch of the Research Data Alliance/Stockholm

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda

18 March 2013

I am very happy to be with you today, here in the EU, to launch the global Research Data Alliance.

Scientists have always sought new ways to share. And they've always been in the vanguard using new technologies to help them do that better.

Scientists developed the internet, for example. Its forerunner, the Computer Science Network of the eighties, was funded by the National Science Foundation; then scientists at CERN developed the worldwide web. Now it's everywhere: available to scientists and laymen, the greatest tool for sharing information ever invented.

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Press Release

Many of the world's leading computational scientists across multiple disciplines will gather in Sweden March 18 to March 20 for the first plenary session of the new international Research Data Alliance (RDA)--an interdisciplinary organization whose goal is to accelerate data-driven innovation through research data sharing and exchange.

Spearheaded by RDA leaders from the U.S. government, European Commission, Australian government, and data community, the RDA's three-day launch will attract scientific leaders and experts who will work to accelerate discussion about removing barriers to sharing research data and stimulating more interaction and development within the data community.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is supporting U.S. participation in the RDA as part of a $2.5 million grant to promote coordination and develop infrastructure for data sharing.
"Although the importance of sharing and exchange of data, including public access, has been emphasized by multiple reports and many science agencies around the world, the actual sharing of data across national, international, and disciplinary boundaries has been challenging to implement," said Alan Blatecky, director of NSF's Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. "The establishment of RDA promises to break through inertia by 'just doing it'--that is, RDA supports mechanisms that enable data researchers and scientists to quickly adopt best practices and share and exchange data."

U.S. involvement is led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Computer Science Professor Francine Berman and Professor Beth A. Plale, of the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University.

Tagged in: data Research science
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The European Parliament has today with a large majority rejected the multiannual financial framework proposed by the European Council.

The Parliament voted with a majority of 506 of a total 690 votes in favour of vetoing the budget, which foresaw a substantial reduction of the EU’s budget. The Council proposal’s minor increase for research and innovation funding was quoted by many MEPs as their main reason for rejecting the proposal.

“We cannot stop at the 2013 level with research spending,” said Anne Jensen, a Danish liberal MEP. “We have to increase spending in this area to deliver on Europe’s targets of boosting competitiveness and creating growth.”

Tagged in: Funding Research
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Dr. Nadia Zakhari, the Minister of Scientific Research confirmed on Saturday 16/2/2013 the importance of outlining a strategy for cooperation between African countries in the field of science and technology.
The remark was made during a workshop on indicators of Science, Technology and Innovation in the African countries. Up to 28 African countries and 65 scientists and researchers participated in the workshop.

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Supporting and promoting scientific research and innovation, as well as enabling access to scientific information, have always been key priorities for the European Commission and the Member States. It is widely acknowledged that Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructures (AAIs) play a crucial role in supporting research and in providing a distributed virtual environment where scientific resources can be stored, accessed and shared. More interactive, collaborative approaches to research in conjunction with the deluge of data are opening new frontiers to data processing, storing and preservation; this also poses new requirements and challenges for existing AAIs across Europe.

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David Foster, Chairman of the Programme Committee for the 2013 TERENA Networking Conference, writes in the Call for Papers for that conference: National Research and Education Networks are facing a period of change and evolving their business models and service offerings. With increasing emphasis on international collaborations, user communities need innovative approaches to exploit the rapid evolution of technologies that are increasingly reliant on excellent networking.

This edition of the Compendium documents that evolution in several different ways.
Technological innovation remains at the heart of what National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) are about. Due to the advent of highcapacity networks, congestion at the levels of campus, backbone and external connections seems to have been largely resolved for the time being.
In recent years, two key innovations have shaped NREN developments:
• NRENs have started to develop and deploy new Authentication and
Authorisation Infrastructures;
• The spread of ‘dark fibre’ networks has enabled novel network architectures that are both more cost-effective and better able to meet changing user demands.

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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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