Research TO DO list: How can we improve the quality of peer review and research

Peer review in the health and life sciences

Peer Review Week

Research TO DO list: How can we improve the quality of peer
review and research

For Peer review week 2019 Sense about Science haveasked fora series ofblogposts, to begin a Research ‘TO DO’list. What can researchers, universities, funders and governments do to improve the quality of peer review and research? This is just the start, we need your ideas too.

Imagine a world where society has the high-quality evidence it needs to make informed
decisions about crime, health and education. Whataction can researchers, universities, funders and governments take to get us there?

How can we improve the quality of peer reviewed publications?

By Professor Gary Collins @GSCollins and Patricia Logullo @patlogullo on behalf of the EQUATOR Network @EQUATORNetwork

It has been estimated that more than 80% of
articles in biomedical journals lack important information. They are published
without the details that would be necessary for their findings to…

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5 games every e-learning professional should play

I am, according to research, Australia’s third oldest female gamer

E-Learning Provocateur

You can narrow down someone’s age by whether they include spaces in their file names. If they do, they’re under 40.

That is a sweeping declaration, and quite possibly true.

Here’s another one… Gamers are a sub-culture dominated by young men.

This declaration, however, is stone-cold wrong. In fact, 63% of American households are home to someone who plays video games regularly (hardly a sub-culture). Gamers are split 59% male / 41% female (approaching half / half) while 44% of them are over the age of 35 (not the pimply teenagers one might expect). [REF]

In other words, the playing of video games has normalised. As time marches on, not gaming is becoming abnormal.

Woman and man seated on a couch playing a video game.

So what does this trend mean for e-learning professionals? I don’t quite suggest that we start going to bed at 3a.m.

What I do suggest is that we open our eyes to the immense…

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5 papers every learning professional should read

oh and then

E-Learning Provocateur

I don’t read as many journal articles as I’d like.

Given the challenges and pressures of professional life, combined with everything else that’s been going on privately, I’ve fallen out of the habit of scanning the latest abstracts and deep diving into particular studies.

And that’s a problem because as a practitioner, I consider it important to inform my work with the latest science. While blogs (for example) certainly have their place in the discourse, so too do peer-reviewed publications.

So it was with much gratitude that I read The Science of Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters in Practice.

I say “gratitude” because it was one of the pre-reads for last night’s Sydney eLearning and Instructional Design Meetup. If David Swaddle (the meet-up’s organiser) hadn’t prompted me to read this paper in preparation for the event, I fear I never would have done so.

This in turn…

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10 journals every e-learning professional should read


E-Learning Provocateur

I was delighted when Matt Guyan blogged 5 Books Every eLearning Professional Should Read in response to my 5 papers every learning professional should read.

I feel the urge to lob the ball back over the net, so I shall do so now with a list of 10 journals I believe every e-learning professional should read.

By “journals”, I mean academic periodicals that publish the results of empirical research.

By “read”, I mean scan the abstracts occasionally as time permits, while deep-diving into a particular paper if it arouses sufficient interest.

A tennis ball resting on a tennis racquet.

Here are the journals in alphabetical order. Each one is freely accessible.

  1. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
  2. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology
  3. Current Issues in Emerging eLearning
  4. Electronic Journal of e-Learning
  5. International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning
  6. Journal of Educational Technology & Society
  7. Journal of Interactive Media in Education
  8. Journal of Online Learning Research
  9. Online Learning
  10. Research…

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5 podcasts every e-learning professional should listen to

gottagetinto podcasts?

E-Learning Provocateur

…or should that be “to which every e-learning professional should listen”? Never mind, I can end a sentence with a preposition if I want to.

Arcane grammar jokes aside, I’m a late bloomer to podcasts. While everyone else was apparently obsessed with them, they never really appealed to me until I starting taking long trips on the bus. Now I’m hooked.

As many of my peers will attest, there’s no shortage of podcasts directed to the L&D practitioner. In fact, the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming.

If like me you’re just getting started with podcasts, or perhaps you’re looking for another one to add to your subscription, I hereby offer you 5 of my favourites.

A mobile phone with earphones

1. Learning Uncut

Produced by three of the best in the business ? namely, Michelle Ockers, Karen Maloney and Amanda Ashby ? Learning Uncut recently celebrated its first birthday.

Over the course…

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Call for abstracts: Visual sociology

visual sociology opp


IV  ISA  Forum of Sociology

“Challenges of the 21st Century”

Porto Alegre, Brazil. July 14-18, 2020

The International Sociology Association (ISA) and Research Committee 57:

“VISUAL SOCIOLOGY” invite abstracts (300 words) for presentations at the  IV  ISA Forum of Sociology, to be held in  Porto Alegre, Brazil. July 14-18, 2020.


  1. Borders, Boundaries, Walls, and Fences. a Visual Approach to the Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion.
  2. Cultures of Visualization: Comparing Ways of Doing Visual Sociology
  3. Inequality, As a Fact and a Permanent Image of Investigation
  4. Insta-God: Online Religious Visibilities
  5. Mediated Cities: Images, Screens, Citizen Experiences, and Audiences
  6. RC57 Poster Victoria Session
  7. Understanding Educational Settings Using Visual Perspectives: Methodological Affordances and Challenges
  8. Visual Methodologies Revisited
  9. Visualising Uneven Distributions of Petina Powers
  10. Visualities of Childhoods – Images of Innocence, Vulnerability, and Inequality

For more information see:

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Call for chapter abstracts: Autoethnography and self-study

autoeth research opp



Edited by
Deborah L. Mulligan*, Emilio A. Anteliz# and Patrick Alan Danaher*,+,^
*University of Southern Queensland, Australia
#Central University of Venezuela, Venezuela
+Central Queensland University, Australia
^University of Helsinki, Finland

There is recurring and increasing scholarly interest in the ethical and methodological possibilities of autoethnography and self-study as research methods in education (understood broadly and inclusively as encompassing learning and/or teaching in diverse forms and ranging from formal and structured on the one hand to informal and incidental on the other hand). Against the backdrop of that scholarly interest, this proposed edited research book is centred on continuing debates and contemporary applications related to autoethnography and self-study. These continuing debates include the perceived legitimacy and rigour of focusing on the researcher as self, the relationship between that focus and wider conceptualisations of the self and…

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Overwhelmed by your lit review? How to read less and get away with it

Of reading academic

Nick Hopwood

This is a post for any researchers who might be feeling:

  1. That they simply don’t have time to read enough
  2. That their ‘to read’ pile is getting bigger and bigger, no matter how much you read
  3. (Being totally honest) their reading choices are shaped by fear of missing out (FOMO) – or fear of getting caught for not having read something.

I know these feelings all to well.

For those of you who prefer a video, all the key points below are in a lovely 10 minute video on my YouTube channel.

The ideas that follow are very much shaped by what I heard by colleague Julie Robert explain to research students a few years ago. The four labels are not my invention, I heard them from her.

Don’t read lots, read smart

I eventually recognised that my reading practices were not serving me well. I was reading based…

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Faculty on Strike Against Racism: Lessons from the San Francisco State Strike, 1968-1969


The Activist History Review

by Sara Smith-Silverman

Beginning in September of 1968 the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the union representing teachers’ in New York City’s public schools, led three strikes withover 50,000 teachers. What motivated tens of thousands of teachers to defy the law, risk their jobs, and strike not just once, but three times? They did not go on strike to demand a wage increase or to reduce class sizes. Instead, the predominantly white teaching workforce struck to protest efforts by the Black community to assert control over their schools in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school district, a project promoted by Black Power advocates. The teachers’ union ultimately won, defeating the attempt to transfer white faculty out of a school district that was 95% students of color. As a consequence, the African American community in Brownsville became alienated from the teachers’ union, which had demonstrated that it was more concerned with the narrow…

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