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2018
    Helen Eassom
Helen Eassom
Author Marketing, Wiley

 

 

If you’ve ever attended a conference or networking event, it’s likely you’ve been faced with the question “What do you do?” or “What is it you work on?”. This is where a well-honed elevator pitch comes in to play! The elevator pitch is a great opportunity to introduce yourself, promote your research, and talk about the work that you do. However, fitting in everything you want to say in 30-60 seconds can be tricky. The following infographic offers six tips on composing an effective elevator pitch. 332702_RC-CONT-RESM-AM-FY18-CNINF-HE-AWEN_BR-OTHER-elevator pitch infographic_Webready.jpg

What do you include in your elevator pitch? Let us know in the comments below.

    Yuko Sumino
Yuko Sumino
Journal Publishing Manager, Wiley

Yuko.jpgThe 3rd Asia Pacific Research Integrity (APRI) Network Meeting held in Taiwan, February 26th-28th 2018. served as an important platform for the leading experts in the field of research integrity to share their ideas and knowledge in the Asia Pacific region. Approximately 180 researchers and professors who are engaged in activities of Research Integrity (RI) presented on ethics issues and introduced RI learning programs from the researcher’s point of view. It was so exciting to hear what researchers who usually communicate with us (as a publishing company) think about RI.

 

Below are a couple of key themes that emerged from the meeting.

 

Authorship Disputes

Dr. Surendra S. Shastri (Tata Memorial Centre, India) presented on the importance of listing the proper authors who contributed the work accurately in any research documents and papers. He also introduced the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) 2017 guidelines which suggest “All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed”. Furthermore, he raised an issue about “why authorship disputes happen?” Ghost authorship, Guest authorship, and Gift authorship are unacceptable. Ghost authorship is when an article is written by a ghost-writer, a professional writer or communication specialist who may not have conducted the research or clinical trials on which the paper is based. In some cases, this might serve to improve scientific literacy, but there needs to be transparency and guidelines around the practice. Guest authorship names those affiliated with a study, such as a supervisor in a lab, even if they did not have direct contribution to the research or the article. These attributions can be presented to individuals who have not done the work, as “Gifts,” and clear author guidelines need to be in place for preventing this situation.

 

Even though these types of authorship are unethical, early career researchers tend to fear speaking up against authorship misconduct as they are afraid of the threat to their career advancement.

 

Research Integrity Training

Professor Iekuni Ichikawa (Shinshu University, Japan) introduced the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program in his presentation. The CITI program uses e-learning to teach codes of conduct to researchers, offering courses on everything from ethics to oversight, and the responsible conduct of research. The goal of the program is to educate the leaders of ethics committees who review and oversee research, and promote ethical research through greater education. He is the Executive Director of the Association for the Promotion of Research Integrity (APRIN) and also established the Japanese version of the CITI program.

 

The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) now require researchers who are part of a new project funded by JST to take e-learning courses. He insisted that it’s a researcher’s “social responsibility” to guarantee “reliability of scientific research”. It’s imperative that all researchers take a series of education courses to learn these safeguards, so they can reduce the chance of misconduct.

 

Looking ahead to next year, the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI 2019) in Hong Kong will move these conversations and ideas forward, offering further practical and evidence based discussions on research integrity.

 

Image Credit: Yuko Sumino

    Gemma Cassidy
Gemma Cassidy
Development Editor, Wiley

How do we ensure that the opinions and needs of the next generation of scientists and scholars, often called early career researchers (ECRs), are being met by our journals? ECRs are crucial to the future of research (and the publication of that research!), yet editorial boards are often dominated by the older scientific generation. To help with this, a project team at Wiley is planning a Researcher Roundtable in May to canvas the opinions of ECRs, with the intention of feeding recommendations back to our editors and editorial boards.

 

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To perfect the process of surfacing opinions from ECRs, in February we held a practice run for our May Roundtable, with Wiley staff members who have past (or current!) experience as early career researchers. Our subject backgrounds covered topics such as ecology and evolution, microbiology, earth sciences, sociology, and classics, so we had reasonably good coverage across both STEM and Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines..

 

On the agenda were topics for discussion such as ‘Finding Your Research Idea’, ‘Doing Your Research’, and ‘Sharing Your New Knowledge’. Participants were asked to identify ‘pains and gains’ for each of these stages, using everyone’s favorite brainstorming method: sticking post-it notes everywhere! The responses varied from those that a publisher/editor may be able to directly help with such as finding/accessing/sharing data, and how to publicize your work and write a press release, to those bigger, thornier problems of academia that are hard for anyone to solve such as negative supervisor relationships and experiments not working!

 

Other pains and gains that were identified by multiple people included:

 

  • How do you find an idea and know that it is original?
  • How do you get funding when you know there are limitations?
  • Working to deadlines and the admin associated with research
  • Fears of being scooped
  • Fear of public speaking
  • The publishing process –in particular reformatting and the (slow!) speed of peer review
  • Comments about diversity (both as pains and gains!)
  • Opportunities to live/work abroad
  • Feelings of accomplishment and ‘Eureka moments’
  • Being part of a close-knit academic community and networking opportunities

 

As a group we did find ourselves identifying a lot more pains than gains, which may be the result of canvassing a group of people who have (mostly) chosen to leave the research environment for one reason or another. Maybe the pains had a stronger impact! It will be interesting to see whether the roundtable in May with current ECRs will yield a more optimistic view of the life of an academic, or whether the pains they describe are similar to our own.

 

Due to the time constraints of the trial run, we didn’t take the next step of pulling out the key messages to communicate to our editors and editorial boards, but this will be done following the May meeting. Hopefully we will be able to make a great list of recommendations to help make our journals as supportive of the next generation of researchers as possible!

 

Are you an early career researcher? What are some of your own pains and gains? Feel free to share in the comments below.

 

Our Roundtable participants included Guillaume Collett, Lizzie Brophy; Gemma Cassidy; Sheridan Willis; Gareth Jenkins; Lukasz Grzeskoviak; Chris Foote; Katherine Allen; Chris Graf; Anna O’Brien; Kate McKellar; Emma Williams; Natalie Gartzen.

 

Image Credit: Anna O’Brien

    Anna Ehler
Anna Ehler
Society Marketing    

Historically, scientists have focused on clarity to communicate research. According to American Association for the Advancement of Science CEO, Dr. Rush Holt, we need to rethink that strategy for more people to feel that science can be for them, too.

 

In this episode of the Wiley Society Podcast, listen in to highlights from the keynote address Dr. Holt delivered at the 2017 Wiley Society Executive Seminar in Washington, DC.

 

References:

To Know the World: Transforming Science Literacy and Communication to Improve Research Impact

 

Listen to the previous podcast episode: Don’t underestimate the power of representation

 

You can listen to this episode and others – including our conversation with Jesse Wiley about the future of societies – by going to iTunes and subscribing to the Wiley Society Podcast.

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    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with women in research around the world to hear their stories. Jennifer Sinclair Curtis is the Dean of Engineering at the UC Davis College, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Society for Engineering Education.

 

 

Q. Tell us a bit about your background – what got you interested in your area of research?
A. In high school, I had a strong interest and aptitude for math and chemistry, so a high school counselor suggested I become a chemical engineer. Although I did not know anyone who was an engineer, or even anyone who worked in a STEM field, I followed the counselor’s advice and attended Purdue University to study chemical engineering. 

At Purdue, I was involved in undergraduate research as well as a tutoring job in algebra. Both of those experiences led me to think about a research career in academia and to pursue a PhD. For my graduate research at Princeton, my faculty research advisor was internationally recognized for his work in granular flow. Because this topic impacts so many important application areas—from energy to pharmaceuticals to agriculture—my research has been focused on this area throughout my career. 

Q. What have been the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome in your field due to your gender?

A. Although I am part of the first ‘wave’ of female engineers to enter academia, I was very fortunate at both Purdue and Princeton to have a female faculty role model. I have also had excellent male mentors throughout my career. For me, the biggest challenge has been maintaining work-life balance, particularly when my children were young and my husband had an engineering job in industry which involved a lot of international travel.

 

Q. Was there anyone who inspired you, or acted as a role model for you, when you were starting out on your career?

A. During my freshman year at Purdue, my undergraduate advisor, a renowned chemical engineering faculty member, inspired me by taking a personal interest in me and my success.  As mentioned, I had no other STEM resources, so the guidance and support he offered was critical. He provided me with some great opportunities – including engaging in undergraduate research in his research group, encouraging me to publish, and helping me secure a national fellowship to continue my research in graduate school. I’ve modeled my own faculty career and mentorship of students by following his example.

 

Q. Is there anything you think the research community could be doing to encourage greater gender diversity in academia?
A. To change the landscape, we must ensure that women in engineering see other women at all levels. This will help undergraduate and graduate students picture themselves in this career path. In addition, policies, programs and resources which support female faculty members helps them flourish professionally. Examples include maternity leave, flexibility in the ‘tenure clock’, on-site child care, advocacy/education on gender-related issues, and professional development initiatives for female faculty.

 

At UC Davis, we are making inroads into addressing gender diversity. Since 2012, we have trained more than 1,000 faculty members about best practices for faculty recruitment and implicit bias to create an environment that is welcoming to and supportive of women. Today, UC Davis has shown dramatic changes at all levels. In 2017, Forbes named us the Best Value College for women in STEM fields, based on a metric that includes persistence to graduation and the value of education received. And the UC Davis College of Engineering now has the highest percent of women faculty among the top 50 engineering programs in the United States.

 

Q. What would be the one piece of advice that you would give to a young woman hoping to pursue an academic career?
A. Developing a strong professional network is key. Collaborations with other faculty will boost your research and educational programs by providing new and exciting directions for your expertise. In addition, building positive relationships with colleagues outside your institution will lead to lectureships, professional service opportunities, and other occasions for enhanced professional visibility.

 

Q. How do you think the scientific community benefits from the contributions of women in research?

A. Research has an integral role to play in solving many of humanity’s grand challenges. Women bring unique experiences and creative skills to augment the perspective of any research challenge. This enhanced range of perspectives will lead to improved solutions and positive outcomes for society.

 

Read more stories and learn about our International Women’s Day program here.

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    Claire O'Neill
Claire O'Neill
Library Services, Wiley

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At this year’s 2018 Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) Conference, attendees continued to grapple with the ever-pressing question of how best to leverage data to determine the efficacy of the resources wherein they invest their hard-earned budget dollars.

 

What factors affect the decision to add, keep or cut resources? Who makes the decisions?

 

“Without good data, we’re flying blind.”

 

Understanding the metrics behind the library’s resources is critical to making key decisions that affect collection development and acquisition.

 

Beyond the numbers, this year’s conference also focused on other trending topics, including understanding the needs of today’s researchers and adapting to change in a rapidly evolving environment.

 

Check out these top 10 trends from ER&L 2018:

 

1.  Librarians continue to combat “fake news”

At a time when published “facts” have been called into question more than ever before, librarians continue to reaffirm their commitment to providing accurate and reliable electronic resources to their researchers. What’s more, these experts in online content, technology and media are arming students and researchers with the tools necessary to spot “fake news,” exercise fact-checking and use the internet in an intelligent, discerning way.

 

2.  “Are media platforms publishers, and why does this matter?”

A researcher at the Data & Society Research Institute, keynote speaker Robyn Caplan highlighted the fact that “67% of Americans are getting their news from sources like Facebook,” emphasizing the increasing trend of media companies “moving into new media types, using platforms to gain info about their audiences and use ads, shifting models to respond to data that they are receiving.”

 

As a result, media is becoming more like technology platforms while technology platforms transition towards the role of publisher, forming “editorial boards” that leverage user analytics to determine what they publish. Librarians and data experts agree that the power and influence of these sources are worth exploring, and they are looking into how the boundaries of electronic information can be re-drawn.

 

3. “We stand to benefit enormously as a profession if we can quantifiably validate what we feel is our value.”

While librarians continue to make strides in articulating their value to campus stakeholders, it’s often more difficult to put in quantifiable terms. However, the electronic resource librarians and digital-savvy staff attending ER&L have a leg up in this arena, using their numbers-driven mindset and access to countless reports to offer best practices to advocate for not just adequate, but abundant funding.

 

In the words of speaker Alice L. Daugherty, Coordinator of Acquisitions & E-Resources at the University of Alabama, librarians are “better equipped today, now more than ever, to demonstrate the value of libraries […] we have so much more data that proves what we are buying today is tremendously useful, and that’s where we can begin our narrative and master our elevator speech: our value proposition.”

 

4.  Thinking outside of the box to identify student pain points

As they continue to evolve their services in line with user needs, librarians are experimenting with different methods to learn about student pain points and identify opportunities to help.

 

In one such example from the conference, two librarians shared a recent study that asked students to draw their typical research workflow. The exercise aimed to illuminate opportunities for library intervention based on criteria like stress-level, timing and overall awareness of library resources.

 

For instance, one critical result revealed that while 36% of students included “help-seeking” in their research process, most participants specified that this help was sought from a peer, significant other or family member--not the library. By carefully dissecting each drawing, these librarians were able to gain a little more insight into their patrons’ mindsets and workflows, enabling a more strategic, focused approach to instruction and outreach.

 

5.  Getting creative with outreach

As students are increasingly likely to access information resources remotely, librarians are exploring new ways to get in front of their users outside the library’s walls.

 

Conference discussions facilitated the exchange of ideas, including the creation of e-newsletters to promoteevents, programs and training, starting peer research help programs, setting up online help services, distributing more e-learning materials (DIY pages, tutorials, etc.), working with Marketing and Communications specialists and collaborating with different campus support services.

 

6. Librarians work hard – and deserve acknowledgement

While most librarians are aware of their positive influence on researchers and their institutions, it can be difficult to avoid feeling over-worked and under-valued in a role that’s largely been kept behind the scenes. One session poignantly tapped into this feeling of “workplace alienation,” highlighting five measures, including powerlessness, normlessness, meaninglessness, self-estrangement and isolation.

 

For so many librarians whose jobs center on numbers, data, statistics and excel spreadsheets, the sense of community felt at conferences like ER&L serves to remind them that they are not alone and that they matter. Not only are these discussions critical to facilitating a sense of solidarity, but they also help raise awareness and encourage supervisors, managers and administrators to continue to improve upon the library work environment.

 

7.  “This is about the culture going on inside your library.”

Despite the unprecedented amount of data librarians have been able to collect and analyze, “when it comes to e-resources, there are a lot of things [librarians] still need to understand and help other people understand.”

 

This theme of constant evolution pervaded this year’s conference, capturing the “need to be changing toward a culture of communication.” For this fundamental shift to be successful, librarians widely acknowledged that it’s necessary to have support from organizational leaders—both within institutions themselves as well as from publishers and vendors that help explain how to use and leverage new products.

 

8.  “Early Stage Research is increasingly seen as proof of progress and central to scholarly sharing practices.”

One of the foremost tenets of today’s modern academic library is the enablement of collaboration, exchange and productivity amongst students and researchers. Facilitating the interdisciplinary exchange of early-stage research ideas not only spurs more innovative research, but it also makes research the focus, as people can more easily work together to avoid duplication, narrow perspectives and increase efficiency. 

 

One major takeaway of this year’s conference is that whenever and wherever they can, librarians must work towards bringing researchers together and encouraging the exchange of ideas early on in the research process.

 

9.  Librarians share tips for improving user experience

While many themes emerged from ER&L 2018, a common denominator across the board was a laser-focus on the user. Through student surveys, persona development, interviews and usability testing, librarians are steadfast in their commitment to understanding patron behavior and adjusting electronic services and resources to meet their needs accordingly.

 

Further, librarians discussed the need to avoid “library-ese,” the high-tech, data-driven language many librarians default to naturally, and relate more to users by replacing terms like “DRM-free” and “full-text” with more accessible phrases like “unlimited” and “view online”. These basic yet fundamental modifications allow librarians to communicate with users more effectively and enable closer alignment to their needs.

 

10.  Information is power

If we could boil down ER&L 2018 to one critical conclusion, it would be that librarians recognize the need to leverage data more than ever to make the most-informed decisions possible. From collection development and acquisitions to reaching students and evolving library culture, librarians are proactively pursuing new opportunities to increase their value more than ever before.

 

The passionate exchange of best practices, sharing of challenges and celebrations of success stories at ER&L 2018 is yet another reminder of not only the commitment of librarians to their patrons, but just as importantly, to the profession and each other.

    Jen Cheng
Jen Cheng
Content Marketing Strategist, Wiley

To bring together and honor the best in the field of library and information sciences, Wiley India held the second Wiley Library Awards in December last year. The initiative, the first and only of its kind in the country, received a record total of 145 nominations vying for three awards. The winners were determined by an independent jury comprised of highly respected library professionals who’ve made groundbreaking contributions in advancing the library sciences.

 

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, beat out 80 other nominees to win the Digitally Transformed Academic Library Award. Here are some thoughts from Dr. R. Prabakaran who accepted the award on behalf of the institution.

 

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     The jury and winners of the Wiley Library Awards 2017, India

 

Q: Congratulations on winning the “Digitally Transformed Research Library Award” at the recent Wiley Library Awards in India. Can you share with our readers an introduction to you and your library?

 

  1. I am extremely happy to receive the Wiley Library Award 2017.  I have been working in the TIFR Library since 1991. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) was established in 1945 and carries out basic research in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science and Science Education. It has centers in Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

 

     The Library plays a very important role in supporting the academic programs of the institute. The primary aim of the library is to develop, organize, preserve and deliver information and scholarly          resources for the TIFR scientific community. The library explores and implements new technologies to provide effective information services, expand the library’s resource collection, and develop a      librarian-user partnership.  

 

Q: What are your thoughts on the current state of research libraries in India, and your plans for the next two-three years?

 

  1. Most of the Libraries have adapted to the use of technology, acquiring digital resources and offering online / ICT-based services to users. At TIFR, the Scientific Information Resource Centre (formerly Library) has plans to expand its online services by digitizing the rare books and volumes of its holdings, which are not available digitally anywhere. 

 

     Right now, the TIFR Library is a hybrid library, where both print and digital resources are available. The majority of our collection is now in digital form to cater to the needs of the changing      behaviors in how users consume content. The institute has provided facilities, including Wi-Fi, to access electronic resources from wherever users are, 24/7.

 

     We have plans to continually upgrade the systems and services to meet the current and future requirements.

 

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For India to be truly developed, research across disciplines is key and research libraries play an important role in this. I am pleased to note that our efforts in digitizing our research library is now known to the fraternity at large across India. It only spurs us to do more to aid research efforts in India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What do you think is an important skill for a librarian to develop now and for the future?

 

  1. A librarian should develop skills for the management of electronic resources, application IT and negotiation skills for today and the future. Today, librarians need to learn, evolve and adapt to new techniques and improve upon services.

 

Q: What inspires you to do what you do every day? What is your favorite part of being a librarian?

 

  1. Users’ satisfaction and their achievements in research motivates us to do our work every day. My favorite part of being a Librarian is providing timely information when users need it.

 

For more information about the Wiley Library Awards 2017, please visit http://www.wileylibraryawards.com/.

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with women in research around the world to hear their stories. Prof. Isabel C Escobar, PhD, is the Associate Editor of Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy.

 

 

Read more stories and learn about our International Women’s Day program here.

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    Lucy Whitmarsh
Lucy Whitmarsh
Marketing Manager, Wiley

A recent post on The Wiley Network saw Ray Abruzzi exploring ideas around research impact, that the need to  demonstrate the impact of research outside of academia can be found in materials from The New York Academy of Sciences archive dating back to the 16th Century.

 

Archives offer an opportunity to explore papers, images and communications that can weave links between the current day and the historical. Modern day research is built on the foundations of the past and the digitization of archives can provide a fascinating look at the steps made along the way. Ray’s post looked at how, contrary to what might be believed, scientists have been encouraging public support of their work for centuries. Just as interesting though is the way archive materials can draw the public’s attention directly by way of what has been uncovered.

 

The Glasgow School of Art archives recently made the UK news, as papers discovered during digitization provided a fascinating insight into the communications of Francis Newbery, Director from 1885 to 1918. Letters from: designer and social reformer William Morris; world-renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin and author HG Wells captured the interest of the public and brought to life the period when the institution’s international reputation was growing. Described by archivist Rachael Jones as “real gems”, the letters support expert theories on the inspirations behind the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and help further define the context of his work. Archive material can strengthen evidence for popular theories and bring them back into discussion.

 

Certain discoveries can also lead to some of the most interesting headlines. On International Women’s Day, York University archives uncovered the achievements of Catherine Muriel ‘Kit’ Rob. Documents that include letters and diaries spoke of a ‘forthright’ Yorkshire woman who, despite not having the opportunity for a university education, let her passion and keen interest fuel her career and saw her become the President of the Botanical Society of the British Isles. The papers not only illustrate Kit’s remarkable career, they also offer stories of the botanists she helped to develop. This is the beauty of an archive – providing real insight into the people and relationships that make up our past.

 

Sometimes these headlines can appear from the most unlikely of sources and a single sentence can have the most impact. For example, it is generally understood across the United States that St Patrick’s Day celebrations originated in Boston. Known for its extensive festivities, Boston claims the oldest St Patrick’s Day parade in the country, started by the Charitable Irish Society in 1724 to create a sense of community and honor their home country. A single unlikely source seeks to challenge that claim though – gunpowder expenditure lists.

 

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Whilst exploring St. Augustine’s Spanish imperial history, Dr. Francis, University of South Florida-St Petersburg, uncovered gunpowder expenditures list for the years 1600 – 1601. A single entry refers to residents gathering together and creating a procession through the streets in honor of the feast day of ‘San Patricio’. This reference suggests that St Patrick’s Day celebrations may have not originated in Boston but in fact started 100 years earlier in St Augustine, Florida. It should not be thought though that the digitizing and uncovering of archive material has a negative impact on long held beliefs. Although this single document challenges the concept of the first St Patrick’s Day originating in Boston, it does not remove from the proud history of celebrations that the city has built up since. Instead, it offers those who are curious an opportunity to explore their history, and suggests a new branch of research for researchers and historians to follow.

 

Archives have power. Uncovered materials can confirm theories, offer stories and challenge long-held beliefs. The secrets they hold can inspire new questions and kick start new ways of thinking and of understanding the foundations of research and our history. A single document might inspire a new paper or thesis that can set a researcher down a new academic path. As archives are increasingly digitized and headlines appear, we look forward to following the stories that researchers and historians uncover.

 

Visit Wiley Digital Archives to find out more.

 

    Helen Eassom
Helen Eassom
Author Marketing, Wiley

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with women in research around the world to hear their stories. Professor Caroline Gatrell is the Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Organization Studies at the University of Liverpool Management School. caroline_gatrell.jpg

 

Q - Tell us a bit about your background – what got you interested in your area of research?

 

  1. Before becoming an academic I worked in the UK National Health Service (NHS) as a PR manager. Part of my job was supporting hospital managers seeking to change how maternity services were run. The hospital group was concerned with staffing, costs and safety issues. These concerns led to the closure of local maternity hospitals (run by midwives) with money diverted to support larger, doctor-led maternity units within general hospitals. Some local populations fought hard to protect and keep open the smaller, more intimate maternity units where midwives were in charge. Arguments on both sides were reasoned and well evidenced, but in the end the better resourced hospital group won the day. Observing these different perspectives, the relative power positions of the two groups and the challenges of seeking ‘an answer’ to such complex problems, sparked my interest in research. After completing an MBA, I undertook my PhD at Lancaster University (on the topic of motherhood and career).
     

Q - What have been the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome in your field due to your gender?
 

  1. Probably in the early days not being taken seriously by some colleagues. In keeping with research on mothers and employment (my area of concern!) I found sometimes that others wrongly assumed my work-orientation to be low, because I had a family. Research shows this is less likely to happen to men – though for fathers, it can be difficult in reverse – organizations often cannot understand how men might need, or desire, to work flexibly for family reasons. 


Occasionally, when I was an early career academic, I had people shout at me at work for no good reason (is there ever reason to shout at colleagues?) Would this have been as likely to happen to an equivalent man?

 

Q - Was there anyone who inspired you, or acted as a role model for you, when you were starting out on your career?
 

  1. My Mum had always worked and did well in her career, so I couldn’t see what the problem was in combining work and family, or in being ambitious. Both my parents always encouraged me to work and supported me in this. I would also say my early career female peers were very important to me – I was invited to join a couple of different groups of women junior scholars who were collegial and shared problems – we helped one another out and it made a big difference to facing day to day problems.

Q - Is there anything you think the research community could be doing to encourage greater gender diversity in academia?

 

  1. The research community could do more to encourage diversity as a whole. I would recommend anyone who allocates resource (hiring; promotion, grants) to read Nirmal Puwar’s (2004) book ‘Space Invaders’ – which shows how certain prestigious spaces can be unwelcoming to women and minority groups.
     

Q - What would be the one piece of advice that you would give to a young woman hoping to pursue an academic career?

 

  1. Don’t wait to be asked. And don’t be afraid of applying for things. The worst that can happen is that you get turned down. The best is that you might gain an enjoyable or interesting role that can help you reach the next level.

 

Q - How do you think the scientific community benefits from the contributions of women in research?

 

  1. As a social scientist researching parenthood, work and family, I am very aware of the important contribution by women in this field, especially in the context of qualitative research. It is often women researchers who have positioned the experiences of mothers and fathers, and personal and working lives, as an important site for investigation. Such focus on work and family not only produces rich and diverse research approaches, but also influences policy, with a view to making things better for employed parents.

 

Read more stories and learn about our International Women’s Day program here.

 

Women in Research: Xiaolan Fu

Posted Mar 14, 2018
     傅 小兰
傅 小兰 (Xiaolan Fu)
President Chinese Psychological Society, Professor of Psychology

Many people tend to believe that women are less creative than men. This could be a potentially critical disadvantage for women entering the fields of scientific research where creativity is highly emphasized and evaluated. There are 36 million people working in STEM fields in China, and more than 40% are female. However, among top scientists and scientific leaders (such as department heads, leaders of scientific societies), only 5% are female.

 

Psychological studies have found this belief to be wrong. For instance, studies revealed boys and girls generally showed no difference in their performance on creativity tests. The illusion that boys are more creative than girls could be partially attributed to the fact that boys have greater variability in their creativity scores. Moreover, the types of creativity that women have might be different from the types men have. In fact, male and female creativity may be complementary in scientific research. For example, a recent preliminary study found a positive correlation between male students' creativity scores and their scores of aggressive behavior, demonstrating a linkage between creativity and aggressive tendencies in men. This correlation, however, was not found in female students. For females, their creativity scores showed a negative, though not statistically significant, relationship with their scores of aggressive behavior.

 

 

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Creativity means refuting the old and inappropriate views and establishing the new and appropriate ones. "Destroy the old" and "establish the new" are the two fundamental facets of scientific creativity. Men might be good at "destroy the old" because their creativity was more closely related to their tendency toward aggressive behavior. However, "establish the new" is equally important—if not more important—in modern scientific research. Modern scientific and technological innovation is no longer defined by isolated, accidental insight and breakthrough; rather, they are established through highly systematic human endeavor where the long-term patient and paradigmatic constructive work is absolutely necessary. Creative women and men may complement each other in the balance between "destroy the old" and "establish the new" in the modern scientific innovation system.

 

On the other hand, a longstanding stereotype of women scientists as “science freaks” may discourage them from participating in STEM. In China, women scientists are jokingly regarded as a third type of human, beyond the dichotomy between men and women. Lack of femininity or even the asexual stereotype of women scientists contradicts the traditional female gender role of longing for family. There are more and more examples of women scientists having not only outstanding academic achievement but also very happy family lives. The ratio of female scientists elected to Academicians of Chinese Academic of Sciences is increasing in recent years. Amongst newly elected Academicians in 2017, 9% are female, and the youngest is only 39 years old.

 

In fact, the Chinese government is aware of women scientists’ need to balance family and a scientific career, and taking these issues into considerationwhen establishing science policies. For example, the age limit of young scientists funding of NFSC is five years older for female applicants than male applicants. This new policy enables women scientists to start their science careers later without compromising their family lives. It may also help to reduce prejudice and barriers against female scientists, and help more and more young women pursue a career in science.

 

Professor Xiaolan Fu is currently the President of the Chinese Psychological Society, and the Director of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Science. She is also a mother of a daughter, who is now happily married and pursuing her doctorial degree in psychology at the same time.

 

To read more stories, or learn more about our International Women’s Day program, visit here.

 

     Vicky Johnson
Vicky Johnson
Editorial Director, Wiley

On Friday March 2nd, 60 society leaders and editors battled the drama of #Snowmageddon, the #BeastFromTheEast and #StormEmma to gather together at the Law Society in London, UK for our annual Wiley Society Executive Seminar. As the snow fell outside, our speakers highlighted the disruptive changes that arise from there being ever-more journals and articles, yet still only 24-hours in a day, alongside the continued pressures on library budgets and research funding, and the plethora of ‘new’ technologies that serve often to baffle or distract us, but could well offer new solutions to help learned societies and scholarly publishing thrive.

 

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If the number of phones pointing at a presentation screen is a valid metric, author and global leadership expert Terence Mauri’s keynote session got everyone thinking, and certainly talking, about where they see the immediate challenges and where they might then find the opportunities for their societies. There seemed to be general acknowledgement that, as Slack’s Search, Learning, and Intelligence team has reportedly found, growth creates complexity, but complexity stifles growth. It is undoubtedly hard to break out of old patterns of thinking and to consider how new technologies such as Blockchain, which Wiley VP of Society Marketing Bill Deluise highlighted in his talk, might provide new solutions to the challenge of managing research outputs, or how societies might expand into new areas of activity and indeed business, as Executive Director Hetan Shah and the Royal Statistical Society have done with their data visualization courses.

 

Digging our collective heels into the sand won’t work. Even if we believe that at the end of the day, researchers really just want “the damn pdf,” scholarly publishers and societies need to find ways to stay relevant which, as Oxford librarian Sally Rumsey suggested, might mean acknowledging the changes in the dissemination tools now being used by researchers, and finding easier ways for researchers to share articles in a legal way. As Wiley’s VP and Managing Director for Research, Guido Hermann, shared, a study of more than 3000 researchers by Nature found that 26% of researchers use Twitter to access and share research. David Wilding, Twitter’s UK Director of Planning, suggested one common mistake people make is thinking that using social media means they must talk about themselves all the time; he argued Twitter is about what you chose to share, but also a way of getting different perspectives and learning what’s happening around you, including within your scholarly community.

 

Standing still is never a sustainable strategy, but as one attendee put it, when faced with the demands of the To Do list, it’s often hard to find time to devote to proper reflection, assessment and strategic planning. It was great to carve out a day to listen to others’ perspectives on the challenges facing both learned societies and academic publishing, to ask questions and to share ideas that have, or could, work in the future.

 

Ask yourself, what must you preserve for your community? What should you let go of, and what might you create? When was the last time you did something for the first time?

 

#WileyES18

 

Photo credit: Simon Bayliss

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with women in research around the world to hear their stories. Dr. Kim Barrett is Distinguished Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, and the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Physiology.

 

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Q. Tell us a bit about your background – what got you interested in your area of research?

 

  1. Like most of us in science, it has been as much about serendipity as design. Looking back, there were some key events and turning points, some of which I didn’t necessarily recognize at the time.  I went to University College London and fully intended to pursue a career as a synthetic organic chemist – until my first practical when I realized I didn’t have much of a talent for synthesis (not least when I dropped my final product, at that point in an ether solution, in the fume hood).  I also found myself drawn more to biological questions, and combined with a great rapport with my eventual PhD supervisor, Fred Pearce, I decided to study the biology of allergic diseases.  Then, when it came to my postdoc, it seemed that everyone working in the allergy field was working on asthma, so I decided to take the path less travelled and chose a project in the area of food allergy.  Finally, I was recruited to the University of California San Diego to combine my expertise in intestinal allergic responses with that of Kiertisin Dharmsathaphorn, an energetic young faculty member focused on GI epithelial function.  After Kiertisin’s untimely death, I redirected all of my research efforts to the epithelium and the pathogenesis of diarrheal disease, and have stayed there (mostly) ever since.  It doesn’t necessarily make for great cocktail party conversation, but it is pleasing for me to know I am working on a problem that kills or sickens billions of people worldwide.

Q. What have been the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome in your field due to your gender?

 

  1. At the beginning of my career, I actually saw my gender as a huge advantage.  It was an era when people were becoming mindful of the need to make sure that review panels and committees had some female representation, and so I had a lot of opportunities to serve at an earlier career stage than might have been typical, such as on an NIH study section.  But with greater experience, I am dismayed by the systematic biases that I have seen so many navigate, and the draining effect it has on the careers of women in STEM fields, including my own.  A few “highlights” – being told by a supervisor that a male colleague on the faculty, junior to me, needed to get paid more “because his wife does not work”; being bullied and constantly having to justify my existence; documenting significant salary discrepancies by gender at my institution, and having the experience of routinely being the only woman in the room. Today as I am writing this, there is a hearing in the United States Congress gathering information about sexual harassment in science, and searing testimony about the draining effect of the hostile environment that women must routinely deal with in our universities and tech-focused companies.  I have also struggled with imposter syndrome at many stages.

 

However, fortunately there is a great and growing network of support, including from male allies.  I truly value the close circle of women colleagues I have built over the years who help to keep me sane.  And I have recently been able to build that network further by meeting other women in STEM, including other editors-in-chief like Marina Piccioto (Journal of Neuroscience) and Sharona Gordon (Journal of General Physiology) via Twitter. That’s actually a great place for a robust conversation on how to promote women in STEM.

 

Q. Was there anyone who inspired you, or acted as a role model for you, when you were starting out in your career?

 

  1. Without a doubt, important early role models were three science teachers in my high school – Elsa Cameron, Ann Parkin and Gill Ellis – who nurtured my growing interest in chemistry and bolstered my confidence.  It helped that I was at an all-girls school.  Miss Cameron was also the formidable (and occasionally scary) headmistress of the school – but inspired me with her seeming ability to know the name and something about every girl in the school, her end of term tradition to shake the hand of everyone (more than 1000) before we could leave, and her many acts of unexpected kindness when things seemed dark.  As my career progressed, my mentors were men (Fred Pearce and Dean Metcalfe), but they also shared the ability to get me to believe I could do things I had not thought possible.
     

Q. Is there anything you think the research community could be doing to encourage greater gender diversity in academia?

 

  1. The days are thankfully gone when overt discrimination was commonplace.  When I was a graduate student, my head of department stated publically that “over his dead body would he ever hire a woman to the faculty”.  But many more subtle forms of discrimination still abound. The impact of implicit bias still sees fewer women on conference programs, less grant dollars going to female investigators, fewer women recognized with prestigious honors and prizes (well-below their representation in the field) and a general under-appreciation of women’s contributions to the field.  It’s great to see women speaking out on these issues, including on social media, but male colleagues need to do so too.  For example, men invited to speak at meetings with few if any women on the program could decline the invitation.  Academic institutions need to train chairs, deans and search/ admissions committees about the inevitable implicit biases that we all carry and their impact on those from underrepresented groups, so that these biases can be short circuited.  Clear and transparent policies for promotion and salary setting, as well as for the allocation of resources such as lab space and institutional funding, can also help.

 

Q. What would be the one piece of advice that you would give to a young woman hoping to pursue an academic career?

 

  1. I think the most important thing is to believe in yourself, and find a supportive circle to remind you of your value on the days when belief in yourself seems impossible.

 

Q. How do you think the scientific community benefits from the contributions of women in research?

 

  1. There are so many studies now available that indicate that more robust solutions emerge from diverse teams, whether in business, policy or STEM fields.  At a time when the problems that confront the world are ever more complex and multidimensional and which call for interdisciplinary solutions, we have a mandate to build the most effective research teams possible if we are to have any hope of solving these pressing issues. In addition, we currently have a gap between the numbers of those who are trained in science and research and the projected growth in positions requiring those skills, so we simply cannot afford to waste the talents of a significant segment of society.

 

To read more stories, or learn more about our International Women’s Day program, visit here.

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with women in research around the world to hear their stories. Dr. Adrienne Sponberg is the Director of Communications for the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

 

 

To read more stories, or learn more about our International Women’s Day program, visit here.

 

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    Tanya Golash-Boza
Tanya Golash-Boza
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California, Merced

One of the easiest ways to stand out at an academic conference is to give a fantastic presentation.

 

In this post, I will discuss a few simple techniques that can make your presentation stand out. Although, it does take time to make a good presentation, it is well worth the investment.

 

Tip #1: Use PowerPoint Judiciously

Images are powerful. Research shows that images help with memory and learning. Use this to your advantage by finding and using images that help you make your point. One trick I have learned is that you can use images that have blank space in them and you can put words in those images.

image.jpgHere is one such example from a presentation I gave about immigration law enforcement.

 

PowerPoint is a great tool, so long as you use it effectively. Generally, this means using lots of visuals and relatively few words. Never use less than 24-point font. And, please, never put your presentation on the slides and read from the slides.

 

Tip #2: There is a formula to academic presentations. Use it.

Once you have become an expert at giving fabulous presentations, you can deviate from the formula. However, if you are new to presenting, you might want to follow it. This will vary slightly by field, however, I will give an example from my field – sociology – to give you an idea as to what the format should look like:

  • - Introduction/Overview/Hook
  • - Theoretical Framework/Research Question
  • - Methodology/Case Selection
  • - Background/Literature Review
  • - Discussion of Data/Results
  • - Analysis
  • - Conclusion

 

Tip #3: The audience wants to hear about your research. Tell them.

One of the most common mistakes I see in people giving presentations is that they present only information I already know. This usually happens when they spend nearly all of the presentation going over the existing literature and giving background information on their particular case. You need only to discuss the literature with which you are directly engaging and contributing. Your background information should only include what is absolutely necessary. If you are giving a 15-minute presentation, by the 6th minute, you need to be discussing your data or case study. At conferences, people are there to learn about your new and exciting research, not to hear a summary of old work.

 

Tip #4: Practice. Practice. Practice.

You should always practice your presentation in full before you deliver it. You might feel silly delivering your presentation to your cat or your toddler, but you need to do it and do it again. You need to practice to ensure that your presentation fits within the time parameters. Practicing also makes it flow better. You can’t practice too many times.

 

Tip #5: Keep To Your Time Limit

If you have ten minutes to present, prepare ten minutes of material. No more. Even if you only have seven minutes, you need to finish within the allotted time. If you write your presentation out, a general rule of thumb is two minutes per typed, double-spaced page. For a fifteen-minute talk, you should have no more than 7 double-spaced pages of material.

 

Tip #6: Don’t Read Your Presentation

Yes, I know that in some fields reading is the norm. But, can you honestly say that you find yourself engaged when listening to someone read their conference presentation? If you absolutely must read, I suggest you read in such a way that no one in the audience can tell you are reading. I have seen people do this successfully, and you can do it too if you write in a conversational tone, practice several times, and read your paper with emotion, conviction, and variation in tone.

 

What tips do you have for presenters? What is one of the best presentations you have seen? What made it so fantastic? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Want to learn more about the publishing process? The Wiley Researcher Academy is an online author training program designed to help researchers develop the skills and knowledge needed to be able to publish successfully. Find out more at www.wileyresearcheracademy.com

 

Image credit: Tanya Golash-Boza

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

The African unit of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) recently held an event to address the unique cultural challenges their women researchers face, and to explore ways to improve access to resources, networking, and international collaboration so they might hone their skills and grow professionally.

 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, and the amazing work of these researchers, we’ve put together an infographic with some of the common themes they shared.

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For more of the SETAC Women in Science stories, visit here, and for more of our International Women’s Day program, visit here.

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

The judges of the Wiley Women in Research Travel Grant Competition look forward to reading your words of inspiration to young girls interested in science. Here are theirs:

 

We are delighted to serve as the judges for the 2nd annual Wiley Women in Research Travel Grant Competition. Diverse perspectives are critical for the future of science, for without diverse perspectives, how can we help solve the world’s most complex problems?

 

Before the competition begins, we wanted to share our own words of encouragement, guidance, and at times inspiration, for the next generation of scientists.

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Forge your own path

 

“When I first started university, I was studying for a degree in music but realised that I found it much more engaging to work out how the instrument worked than compose a three part harmony. It took courage, but I pursued what I enjoyed and eventually completed a doctorate in Physics. It's opened up the world for me - I've worked across four continents, explored different cultures and countries, and reached heights I’d never thought of. Don't be afraid to follow your strengths, admit you don't know what to do when you grow up and go exploring. You can end up somewhere better than you ever imagined!” – Dr. Mhairi Crawford

 

“Women and minorities are still underrepresented in science and mathematics. The data are all too clear. My vision is that this inequality of opportunity will be fixed in the next generation of scientists and researchers. You can help by insisting that you be part of this next generation. Be aware that you need to use your smarts and your network to help rise above any forces that may discourage you. The renowned woman statistician F.N. David (1909-1993) was born and raised in England. When she was a young girl, she wanted to be an actuary. At the time, however, the actuarial firms were only hiring men. David’s father told her that she would meet this kind of gender discrimination all her life, and that she should just get on with her work. She did. How did she do this? She didn’t give up the idea of doing what she loved. She found a different way to do actuarial-type work: She became an academic statistician. Your path doesn’t need to be the one that is most followed in the sciences and mathematics. In fact, if you are strategic, resourceful, imaginative, and take a road less traveled, this can often help you to do the science and mathematics that you love.” – Dr. Amanda Golbeck

 

“Physics opens the door for a variety of very exciting career options ranging from faculty member to film director.  In addition, physics is intellectually stimulating and a lot of fun to do! However, studying physics can be very hard particularly for women because there are so few at every level. Persistence is important. Remember that most of the male students are struggling as much as the female students.  It is important to find good mentors who can offer words of encouragement and advice. Mentors can also help with networking and providing guidance through one’s career.  I’ve had a number of mentors that have helped me at every stage of my career.  Most have been men but they are eager to see women succeed and understand the value of supporting diversity among colleagues.” – Dr. Beth Cunningham

 

Be curious

 

“Science and Math are two very old sisters – but please don’t tell them I wrote they are old – that embrace each other during a long trip towards Knowledge. Why do they embrace each other? Why do they not prefer to travel on their own seats? The answer is simple: they want to leave one seat available for You, to share with a new sister the excitement of this journey toward the progress of humans and society. Please, don’t leave them alone… you never know…” – Dr. Alfredo Greco

 

“A career in STEM offers the opportunity to solve puzzles, give back to your community, and work with incredible colleagues. The “ah ha” moment that comes from solving a challenging problem or confirming an insight cannot be duplicated. You will work hard but you will earn immense reward from the art and craft of a career in STEM. The trajectory to a productive and rewarding STEM career is not a straight line so be confident and take risks.” – Dr. Donna LaLonde

 

“If you have the motivation and aptitude to become a scientist then read and study broadly—everything you learn will end up being useful.  Ask your favorite science teacher, a relative or guidance counsellor for their support. Join a network or club for science on your campus. Visit science museums and learn about real science careers and women who have had them. Volunteer and learn research skills. Believe in yourself. You don’t have to give up anything in life to have a successful career in science. Be inspired by the International Day of Women and Girls in Science: http://www.unesco.org/new/international-day-of-women-and-girls-in-science/ – L. Anathea Brooks

 

Find others who share your interests

 

The thrill of making a scientific discovery is unique. You might be part of a team, or working by yourself, but discovery is an experience that every young woman and man interested in science can aspire to. Some of us work best in research groups that contain a diverse mixture of women and men from many countries, combining their different skills and backgrounds to solve a problem; a group provides the ideal opportunity for individuals to learn and for everyone to contribute. However, some of us work best walking alone, whether on a sea-shore or a city street, or even sitting at a desk, observing and thinking. Time to explore what is best for you!” – Dr. Jeremy Sanders

 

“Today we work with an interdisciplinary spirit. That means that if you study computer science or mathematics , it is just a basic knowledge that you can then apply  to so many disciplines:  the visual simulation of human body, gaming, simulating emotions in social robots., data science,  biochemistry,  financial sector,  e-commerce, etc. The disciplines are all open to you as now the world is digital: that means everything is simulated through equations and programs. Mathematics or/and computer science will allow you to take an active part to the new development of the four industrial revolution. Do not miss the chance to be part of this fantastic journey.” – Dr. Nadia Thalmann

 

“To young girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics (STEM), ask your parents and teachers to assist you in getting in touch with professionals within the field, to find out more about what it’s like to study / work within the sector. Request for a visit to where they work, and if you’re old enough, seek work experience opportunities within your STEM interest area to help gain further insight. Most companies in STEM will be happy to indulge you in the amazing work that they do applying scientific knowledge to address everyday societal needs. Strengthen your confidence in yourself, and in your chosen STEM subjects / interests by giving yourself the freedom to fail. Every great engineer or scientist knows, that trial-and-error processes are fundamental to acquiring a rounded understanding in STEM subjects. We gain new knowledge, and improve methods by having-a-go, and learning from failures where they occur. So, be free and fearless in exploring your STEM interests and most importantly, HAVE FUN!” – Dr. Ozak Esu

 

By working together and lifting each other up, we hope to inspire girls interested in science to stick with their interests and follow their hearts to learn everything they can.

 

To enter the Women in Research Travel Grant Competition and share your own words of encouragement, click here.

 

Happy International Women’s Day!

 

  • L. Anathea Brooks, Steering Committee member, STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) project
  • Dr. Mhairi Crawford, Development Director, Women in Science and Engineering Campaign
  • Dr. Beth Cunningham, Executive Officer, American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Dr. Ozak Esu, Electrical Engineer, Cundall, and IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year
  • Dr. Amanda L. Golbeck, Associate Dean for Academic Affiars and Professor of Biostatistics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Dr. Alfredo Grieco, Editor-in-Chief, Wiley Transactions on Emerging Telecommunications Technologies & Internet Technology Letters
  • Dr. Donna LaLonde, Director of Strategics Initiatives and Outreach, American Statistical Association
  • Dr. Jeremy Sanders, Deputy Chair, Athena Forum, and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Nadia Thalmann, Professor and Director of the Institute for Media Innovation, NTU, Singapore

 

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It can seem like the need to demonstrate the impact of research outside of academia is a relatively new one. In the UK, as part of The Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in 2014, Higher Education institutions had to demonstrate for the first time to funders not only the quality of their research outputs but also their impact beyond academia.

Whilst the UK became the first country to allocate funding based on the wider societal impact of research, having public support for an idea or for a research program can help to develop a positive brand for an institution or research group, or even an individual, which in turn can help them access the relationships—and funding—necessary to support the furtherance of research and ideas.

 

But the need to be able to demonstrate the impact of scientific research on wider society and communicate it to the wider public effectively is not as new as one might think. Perhaps one of the earliest is illustrated in the image below.

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1577 comet observed by cosmologist Tycho Brahe, which remained visible from November 1577 to January 1578.

 

The image shows Tycho Brache bringing Emperor Frederick II and his court out to witness a comet’s passing with the hope that he might win the favor and support needed for the first custom-built observatory in modern Europe – and Tycho was right. The Emperor was suitably impressed by Tycho’s observations about the comet, and enthusiastic by having simply witnessed the event, the funding for Uraniborg Observatory (and alchemy lab) soon followed.

 

More recently, there are scientists who have been incredibly successful at reaching the wider, non-scientific community. Albert Einstein’s famous “tongue out” portrait showed the human and humorous side of his nature (he was tired of smiling for the AP photographer who took the photo). Viktor Tesla held light shows to display his inventions—and captivate his patrons. And another astronomer, Carl Sagan was massively popular with his show Cosmos, at one point reaching 8.5M viewers across 10 networks.

 

Each of these scientists and personalities has helped in some way to advance awareness and understanding of the value of the sciences among the public.

 

Similarly, the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), one of Wiley Digital Archives’ (WDA) inaugural partners, has a long history of disseminating scientific information to the public for general consumption and education. In fact, the importance of an informed public in matters relating to science and medicine was a founding principle of NYAS’ origins as the Lyceum of Natural History in 1817.

 

But their methods of doing so have changed over time to suit the technologies of the day.

 

Today, activities include international forums and events, awards programs, and conferences many of which are geared to children, junior scientists, and emerging talents across a range of scientific studies. Whilst in the early 20th century, their Puerto Rico Survey, the “most complete multidisciplinary scientific descriptions of any tropical area ever made” was made available in print to NYAS subscribers.

 

With NYAS an inaugural partner of Wiley Digital Archives, their illuminating archives, previously available only in print, (now available digitally, and fully searchable) provide findings and outputs that can be searched, reviewed and discovered online by researchers across the world.

 

Revealed in the WDA: NYAS archives is a fascinating case study of the evolving communication of scientific discovery as Dr. John W. Kelly, shares his proposal with colleagues to promote science through Jonny Carson’s Tonight Show, and references Johnny Carson’s own stamp of approval (below, undated).

 

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In this appeal to NYAS colleagues, Dr. Kelly points out that the impact of television on the public is strong (noting that there are 14-20M viewers every time the Tonight Show airs) and that the proposal is “a way in which the American scientific community can utilize this power.”

 

Also of note, is Dr. Kelly’s assertion that the “United States is surprisingly antagonistic to pure science—even though science is, paradoxically, responsible for much of our modern wealth and strength.” Dr. Kelly goes on to note that “all new funds for government research grants have been frozen indefinitely.” Dr. Kelly’s proposal and observations are interesting, because in many ways the circumstances which prompted Dr. Kelly’s actions, are mirrored in the present.

 

NYAS has of course weathered the negative environment Dr. Kelly felt was hindering progress when he devised his proposal, and remains committed to the dissemination of scientific information beyond academia.

 

The story of Dr. Kelly’s proposal is just one of the many now available to researchers through the digitization of the NYAS archive. Researchers now have opportunities to uncover further historical information and insights into the activities and resources behind-the-scenes of published research.

 

Discover your own insights with Wiley Digital Archives.

 

Download the eBook, Making Historical Collections Accessible, to learn more about the digitization of primary sources.

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

 

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with women in research around the world to hear their stories. Asha de Vos is the founder of Oceanswell, Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization.

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1. Tell us a bit about your background – what got you interested in your area of research?

 

I am a marine biologist and educator because I am obsessively passionate about sharing my ocean adventures and science with everyone. I knew what I wanted to do at six years old. I wanted to go where no one else had ever gone, to see what no one else has ever seen. I was brought up with a lot of curiosity and a lot of freedom. Marine biology combined all the things I loved: science, exploration, the water.

 

I had to leave Sri Lanka to study. Even though we are a beautiful, tropical, island, it is rare to have marine biologists here and impossible to get a degree in this field. So I went to Scotland. Sri Lankans would always ask me what I was going to do with my degree. They were convinced I would never come home. But my intention was always to go away and learn, to amass the knowledge I needed so I could come back and serve Sri Lanka.

 

2. What have been the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome in your field?

 

One of the biggest hurdles to climb had to do with my area of study. I work with blue whales that as it turns out are non-migratory. I wanted to figure out what this group of whales was doing out by Sri Lanka throughout their lives. I wanted to help people realize we need to protect them, and all the threats they face are human-related. Initially, no one in the government would listen because I was too young and too female, they I got push-back because the biggest threat is ship-strike and they did not want to move the shipping routes in case it affected our economy. I have worked hard to make people realize that this is not a zero sum game. There are ways to ensure that the economy of the country is not affected while also protecting this species that we use for our tourism industry.

 

Along with local challenges, we also have global challenges. Going to any major marine conservation forum, the vast majority are from North America, Australia, Europe. But 70% of coastlines are in developing countries! I wasn’t born into this network, or near a well-established lab, and I don’t have some of the same academic pedigree. So it took a long time for people to acknowledge that I had something to contribute. It’s not that I wasn’t capable. It’s that I was stereotyped. I reached out to people about how to go about studying this unique population of blue whales I had discovered, and they would tell me to apply for a grant and they would come out and do the research. But I was adamant that it was my project, and my research and that I would show people that we had the capacity. It took me five years to save enough money to go out on the water on my own, because I wanted this to be a Sri Lankan born and bred project.

 

When we look at science and what’s published, it is all about being innovative and groundbreaking, its about what amazing technology is used, and what boundaries were pushed. But people like me, people from the developing world, we face different hardships. Many of our projects start out of passion with no funds and no support. I will never have the resources to do crazy innovative research because I just don’t have the funds and infrastructure available. But that does not mean that my work doesn’t push boundaries. It tells about a part of the world that we knew nothing about. The questions is, how do we value science and then how do we become more open about making space for the voices that we are currently diluting out?

 

If you want to save the oceans, every coastline needs a hero. I don’t mean someone from the outside coming in; I mean a local hero. For sustainability to happen, we need to empower and engage local scientists who can work with local communities. It doesn’t matter where you come from. You can contribute to the global conversation.

 

3. Was there anyone who inspired you, or acted as a role model for you, when you were starting out on your career?

 

For me, my role models were my parents. My mom always told me that if she could only educate one child, it would be me. Because I’m a girl, education is the best way for me to stand on my own two feet. She was a stay at home mom, even though she was a qualified nurse and midwife. I’ve learned a lot about the meaning of sacrifice from her. She did it for the sake of her children. That’s been the power behind what I’ve been able to achieve. In South Asia, marriage becomes the focus for girls at a certain age. It’s what society measures you by. Luckily my father supported my education so I was able to follow my dreams. Today I still deal with people who overlook my accomplishments because of my marital status. We need to change this, and my parents are important cogs in this change. Neither of my parents cared about money or societal status, they really just cared about their children’s happiness.

 

David Attenborough is also a role model. In many ways, he’s a pioneer for open access. He brought nature to everyone, right in their living room. He allowed people to see things and learn. He communicates with humility and believes in the power of people. It’s an incredible service, and I want to follow in his footsteps with how I engage with people about the work that inspires me.

 

When I started out, there was no one I could relate to in my field who could become my role model. The faces of marine conservation just do not represent the vast majority of the world. I learned about the academic community through a lot of trial and error. It would have been fabulous to have someone who could show me how to review a paper, how to apply for a grant. As such, I now see the importance in being a role model and mentor to others. I commit two hours a week to mentoring students because sometimes people just need to know what’s possible and they need to know from the source. Take a professor for example, you have only heard of them through the perfectly written scientific paper – but you don’t know their story, their mistakes, their rejections. You can’t relate to that. I would like to guide people, but I always want people to see a piece of who I am. I want them to think “wow, she’s just like us” – because I am!

 

4. Is there anything you think the research community could be doing to encourage greater diversity in academia?

 

In scientific papers we need to get away from the idea that the world speaks fluent English. We have to understand that there are a lot of people who speak the language of science but don’t speak the language of English. But that doesn’t mean the science isn’t deserving of publishing. If I try to publish a paper about my region, I’m sometimes told to find a regional journal. But Western regional research doesn’t have to be in a regional journal. What makes that work not regional, but my work regional?

 

How we value knowledge needs to be reassessed. We should be trying to understand how we can bring in those different voices and allow them to engage and be part of the overall solution to a problem. That includes talking to people outside the scientific community – to create change we need to engage full communities. When it comes to career growth, we should be more committed to the change we make in the world, not just celebrating ourselves. Why don’t we celebrate how many people we inspire and train to create sustainability – that’s our legacy – that’s what tenure should be based off of.

 

On the whole I think we should assess people on merit and not on their gender. So the question is, how do we become gender blind? Well how do we become blind about anything really? The perspective of a woman is different from that of a man. A person from a remote part of the world will see their coastline different to someone in the US. In the end, we need everyone to come onboard to solve our greatest planetary challenges.

 

5. What would be the one piece of advice that you would give to a young woman hoping to pursue an academic career?

 

Marine biology is one of those careers that every child dreams of at one point, but so many don’t follow through. If everyone who dreamed of it had pursued it, we might have saved the oceans by now!

 

It does not matter what you do in life, just make sure it is your own dream. Do what you love, and you’ll do it well (this is what my parents told me). Take the time to explore what your dream is. It doesn’t need to be decided at eighteen or twenty-one because those numbers are arbitrary. Sometimes the adventure is the most interesting part. To get to where I am, I’ve polished brass on boats, I’ve worked in potato fields.

 

My more practical advice is that challenges are things you can climb over or walk around. There’s no such thing as a never-ending wall. Life is all about the story, and it’s a better story if there are ups and downs.

 

To read more stories, or learn more about our International Women’s Day program, visit here.

 

    Samantha Green
Samantha Green
Society Marketing, Wiley

Earlier this year, we asked our followers on social media to vote for the scientists across research and science fields who have inspired them. We’ve taken their votes and are thrilled to share the stories of their favorites in this comic strip to commemorate International Women’s Day (March 8).Trailblazing Women in Science_2nd Edition.jpgDon’t miss our previous comic strip Trailblazing Women in Science: An illustrated History.

 

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