Exploring aspects of Research Culture: The Open Research Agenda

I've been asked to join a panel discussion about Open Research at the University of Bath . This will be part of a  week, commencing June 20 th , to celebrate and explore aspects of Research Culture at the University.  Before this, I will give an overview of my views on the open research agenda and what it means for research. This is roughly what I will say:  * * * Open and transparent practices benefit individual researchers, groups and institutions. This is beyond doubt. While there is no one size fits all, any attempt to improve the accessibility of scientific papers, data, code or materials is a step in the right direction.  Even small changes appear to have significant positive impacts in the long term. For example,  simply putting papers on pre-print servers appears to reduce the likelihood of retraction .  Open research practices including the pre-registration of analysis plans can also act as a counterweight whereby the scientific enterprise in its current form can allow for

Favourite Youtube Technology Channels

As someone who is interested in technology (old and new), here are a few of my go-to YouTube channels.  Broadly speaking, these cover current and historical trends in technologies.  I think what I enjoy about these channels is that the history of technology is yoked to the histories of people and cultures.  AudioPilz  The AudioPilz channel, home of shows like Bad Gear and Better Gear (but mostly Bad Gear;). We all love synthesizers, grooveboxes and drum machines but some of them are hated too. Let's take a closer look. Brace yourself for jams, video mashups, memes, real education, electronic music production enlightenment and all kinds of madness. Andrew Robinson  Journalist & Reviewer covering audio, home theatre, tech & design. Cathodic Ray Dude (CRD)  If I had to pick a theme, I'd say I try to make videos about things we tend not to think can be interesting. Vintage video gear is a big interest, but I've logged far more hours in the computer cockpit. Gaming Histo

Digital Detox Bull**it

Following the pandemic, a monstrous number of Digital Detox self-help books are hitting the market.  Personally, I think there is a place for these kinds of books provided they aren't attempting to dish out behavioural science based entirely on a few thoughts inside the author's head.  Unfortunately, books promoting Digital Detoxes do exactly that and more.  First, they assume that technology alone is the problem*.   Technology may very well be the problem, but which bit? Many collective years have been spent studying the literature that attempts to understand links between between general technology use and harm. Alongside several milestone studies, the idea that general technology use has any tangible impact on well-being is pretty much dead in the water. Turns out that's true for large swathes of psychology and behavioural science. Bit annoying, but better to know than not know.     The whole argument can be turned on its head - a lack of access poses a greater risk to i

Reflections on Interdisciplinary Research (2013-2020)

I've always found interdisciplinary research rewarding. It also fits with my view that, at least from an applied perspective, no single discipline has all the answers. Probably also says something about my attention span.  Anyway, I'm going to share three things that early-career interdisciplinary researchers in the UK (or who are thinking about working in the UK) might find useful. Somewhat timely as we come to the end of another REF cycle. For those outside the UK, the REF is used to quantify the quality of research outputs across institutions every 7 years or so. It determines how much funding is allocated to each institution by the UK Government.  The below is therefore based on my own and colleagues experiences while conducting interdisciplinary research at research intensive institutions across the UK. 1. Take time to appreciate disciplinary hierarchies because it may impact where you can work in the future. Publication expectations placed on researchers in terms of the R

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking now charging fees for new submissions

Charging $50 to submit a manuscript.  This is another baffling move from a journal that was already heading in the wrong direction for three reasons: (i) Editorials are all over the place. See a recent letter in response to one from last year.  (ii) The editor-in-chief is not an editor. They don't handle manuscripts or communicate with reviewers. Many reviews are definitely not worth $50 (good, bad or neutral)!  (iii) An increasing number of papers have obvious issues with basic reporting, which the journal clearly doesn't care about.  In some areas of finance and accounting, it is common to have submission fees, which are sometimes refunded following acceptance. However, this is not the norm for psychology (nor should it be).  It looks like the publisher has implemented this on the quiet (kudos to Lee Hadlington for noticing) and is presumably an attempt to handle submission loads.  The number of submissions shouldn't come as a huge surprise.  First, cyberpsychology is a

Why publishing a paper every day is a problem.

[see updates at the end of this article] I disagree with a fair chunk of Griffiths and co's work theoretically and methodologically. That's science. But Griffithsgate  goes beyond that and raises some uncomfortable questions about editorial bias and the very real consequences of careless applied research (see  Dorothy Bishop's  blog and Tom Chiver's  article in  Unheard ). In saying that, it is tricky to separate procedures from the science because the rushed nature of the work means that it is riddled with contradictions. Like a political party trying to avoid the opposition, it is almost impossible to debate a moving target. For example:   Write about why data should be open , but don't share your own when requested .  Write about students and issues concerning plagiarism , then do the very same thing . That's all just procedural remember and long before getting to the actual science. I've previously written about the problems of publishing on an industria

To review or not review, that is the question.

I tweeted about a dilemma earlier this week. It's a familiar tale.  In the last few months, I've reviewed 3 papers for the same journal. I am also a co-author of a paper that is under review at the same outlet.   To be completely transparent, our paper has been reviewed as far as I can tell, but it has now spent more time on a desk than with reviewers. A colleague emailed politely asking if the paper would be sent out for review in Feb after it sat for a month with no activity. I emailed again asking for an update on our paper earlier this month. The journal office claims to forward emails on, but we receive zero response from any editor.  What do you do? The problem with not reviewing is that I am not helping authors who deserve to have their paper reviewed in a timely fashion. On a side note, the very same journal also has a habit of giving reviewers a set number of days to complete a review and then cancelling the review before the due date.  And then they wonder why they ca