[Event] The new practices of scientific evaluation : 22th of may, 6-8 p.m. Paris

Peer-review has come under an unprecedented crisis. The rising rejection rate of academic articles have casted a widespread doubt on the main regulatory process of scientific publishing. Simultaneously, the web 2.0 allows the emergence of uncostly, feasible alternatives. Some people goes as far as talking about an academic spring.

Could daily research work without traditional peer-review? Will the assessment of scholar works require some radically different rules? Or could peer-review survive and evolve into something more compliant with current researchers’ practices?

In order to adress theses significant issues, HackYourPhd welcomes you at the maison de la Recherche. on Wednesday, the 22th of May from 6 to 8 p.m.

What is the future of peer-review?

 Peer-review is far from being a recent invention. This social device seems actually quite essential, both as a way to control scientific activity and as a way to enhance a mutual knowledge of each other’s work within the scientific community.

Peer-review involves a re-reading of a submitted article by fellow researchers belonging to the same disciplines, and therefore apt to bring helpful criticism. Anonymity of the evaluators (or, even, of both the evaluators and the authors) is one of the main guarantees of an efficient and uncompromising peer-review.

As soon as the XVIIth century, several bristish journals set up informal committe whose main mission was to verify the accuracy and interest of the published information. Yet, peer-review really establishes itself as an unconditionnal standard during the XXth century. By then scientific publishing is more and more dominated by wide economic corporation, like Elsevier. The accuracy of a publication is no longer a relative virtue, evolving on a long terme basis. It becomes a selling argument. The peer-review process requires therefore some very specific stages and formal interaction. The drawing below describe the main procedures of “standardized” peer-review:

Schéma Peer-Review simplifié

The generalisation of open access publishing has significantly contributed to reveal the limitations of peer-review. Since the beginning of the 00s, the rejection rate (i. e. the proportional number of articles dismissed by a journal after being published) has experienced an exponential growth. This does not mean that science is less accurate than before but that fraud can be more easily detected. For instance, the psychologist Diedrick Stapel has mystifyed dozens of peer-review comittees for twenty years till several young researchers became increasingly doubtful of the reliability of his work.

Simultaneously, alternatives gain some widespread support. Back in 1982, Perloff and Perloff proposed in some sort of humoristic way a well-established model nowadays: automatic self-archiving, frequently occuring before the peer-review process (the article is therefore called a preprint). In this outlook, every publication is kept, disregarding its quality. In physic and mathematic research, self-archiving (in ArXiv for instance) has become a very current practice.

For few years, we can note the emergence of autonomous peer-review communities, disconnected of a specific journal. Peer-Evaluation.org or F1000 collect the feedbacks and suggestions of fellow researchers, beyond the classic editorial process.

Out of the academic world, the online collaborative projects adapt the main principles peer-review to their specific needs. Wikipedia depends on a continuous collective assessment : « Taken individually, wikipedians are much less clever than experts, yet as each one has to be the ignorant master of the others […] they create a stronger form of publishing knowledge than the one actually used by experts »

With theses rising new uses, is the very concept of academic article still meaningful? Preprint, postprint, blog posts: the growing number of alternative versions make it all the more vain to have a unique and ponctual assessment.

HackYourPhd Workshop on the new practices of scientific publishing

In order to discuss this significant issue, HackYourPhd welcomes you at the maison de la Recherche on Wednesday, the 22th of May from 6 to 8 p.m. The workshop will open with a debate led by Pierre-Carl Langlais (our “hacker” PhD student — see the bio…), that will help to summarize the current state and ongoing evolutions of peer-review.

Then, all these thoughts will materialize into a more concrete case : the conception of an alternative journal, applying new means of assessment. Most aspects of its activities will be questionned, whether it be the editorial format, the economic organisation or the involvement of the reader.

This case study is not a pure conceptual experience. It will enhance a project incepted a few months ago on the wiki@research.com mailing list, under the code name « Knowledge Now » : a periodic academic publication on the new scientific mediations. This aims of the journal are note merely theoretical. Following the advice of the creator of the wiki software, wiki, Ward Cunningham, the journal will implement some of the very mediations it claims to study.

A survey of the workshop will be published in the main French newsletter on wiki studies Nouvelles du Wikilab.

We’re hoping to see you come in numbers !

Our “hacker” PhD student : Pierre-Carl Langlais

Pierre Carl langlais

 

 

 

 

I am a French PhD student at Paris-Sorbonne in information science. My doctoral thesis bears upon the introduction of the stock exchange section in the daily press. Besides financial information, my main research fields include datajournalism (participation in the Jourdain project, funded by the CNRS) and Wikipedia. A regular contributor to the French Wikipedia since 2006, I have become one of its sysop in october 2012. I regularly publish articles on Wikipedia and open knowledge topics on Rue89.

 


 

One thought on “[Event] The new practices of scientific evaluation : 22th of may, 6-8 p.m. Paris

  1. Quelle belle initiative dont j’ai pris connaissance trop tard. Mais permettez-moi de vous signaler ce projet qui vous intéressera peut-être? http://www.johannes-angermueller.de/DISCONEX Et vous pourriez faire circuler cette annonce si vous voulez! Cordialement Johannes Angermuller.

    Call for applications
    three PhD scholarships “Analysis of academic discourse
    in the SSH” (EHESS, Paris, France / Warwick, Coventry, UK)

    English versions below!

    Deux bourses doctorales “Analyse du discours académique en SSH”
    Centre d’Etude des Mouvements Sociaux (CEMS / IMM), Ecole des Hautes Etudes
    (EHESS), Paris

    Durée: trois ans à partir d’octobre 2013
    Date limite de candidature : 20 juin 2013 par mél

    Groupe de chercheurs ERC DISCONEX
    “The Discursive Construction of Academic Excellence.
    Classifying Academic Researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities”,
    dirigé par Johannes Angermuller

    Dans le cadre du groupe jeunes chercheurs DISCONEX, financé par le Conseil
    européen de la recherche (ERC), deux contrats doctoraux sont ouverts pour
    les candidats venant des champs au carrefour de langage et société. En
    s’appuyant sur des méthodes qualitatives, DISCONEX étudie des cultures,
    pratiques et savoirs des chercheurs en sciences sociales et humaines avec
    un
    intérêt particulier pour les usages sociaux des publications académiques
    (pour en savoir plus: http://www.johannes-angermuller.net/DISCONEX, un
    autre
    contrat doctoral sera disponible à l’Université de Warwick).

    Le projet doctoral s’inscrira dans le cadre des Social Sciences and
    Humanities Studies et devra porter sur l’un des deux axes :

    · “Les dynamiques sociales du savoir spécialisé en SSH”: Etude de deux
    communautés scientifiques au carrefour de langage et société (par exemple
    lettres/linguistique/philosophie etc. et
    sociologie/anthropologie/information et communication etc.)
    · “Les institutions d’enseignement supérieur en France, Allemagne,
    Etats-Unis”: Etude comparée de deux ou trois systèmes, organisations et
    cultures académiques

    Contrat doctoral
    Durée : du 1er octobre 2013 au 30 septembre 2016
    Rémunération : à partir de 1660 € brut mensuel
    Laboratoire d’attachement: Centre d’Etude des Mouvements Sociaux (CEMS /
    IMM), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, 190-198 avenue
    de
    France, Paris)

    Conditions de candidature
    Diplôme de Master soutenu avant octobre 2013, notamment en analyse du
    discours, dans la recherche qualitative, dans la sociologie de la science
    ou
    la sociologie des organisations et institutions universitaires.
    Volonté de créer son propre projet de thèse au sein du groupe DISCONEX
    S’inscrire en formation doctorale à l’EHESS

    Compétences requises
    Enthousiasme pour la recherche collaborative. Disposition à participer
    activement aux tâches du projet, notamment la collecte des données
    (documents, interviews) et leur analyse (discours écrits et oraux),
    séminaires, colloques, publication des résultats.
    Expérience internationale et disposition à se déplacer internationalement
    Participation dans les activités du réseau DiscoursNet
    (http://www.analysedudiscours.net )
    Maîtrise de l’anglais et du français, éventuellement de l’allemand

    Dossier à envoyer (en français ou en anglais)
    Lettre de motivation précisant l’intérêt et la contribution éventuelle du
    candidat au projet DISCONEX
    Projet de recherche (5 pages max.) s’insérant dans l’un des deux axes
    thématiques du projet DISCONEX.
    Curriculum vitae
    Une lettre de recommandation d’un enseignant-chercheur ayant suivi le
    candidat peut être réclamée.
    Copie des diplômes depuis le baccalauréat.
    L’ensemble de ces pièces doit être envoyé en un seul document PDF par mél
    à Ronny Scholz.

    Des frais de mission pour les interviews ne pourront être remboursés.

    Personne à contacter: Ronny Scholz (gestionnaire du projet DISCONEX)
    Mél: disconex@live.warwick.ac.uk

    two PhD scholarships “Analysis of academic discourse
    in the SSH”

    Application deadline: 20 June 2013
    Length: 3 years

    ERC DISCONEX research group
    “The Discursive Construction of Academic Excellence.
    Classifying Academic Researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities”,
    led by Professor Johannes Angermuller

    The DISCONEX research group “The Discursive Construction of Academic
    Excellence. Classifying Academic Researchers in the Social Sciences and
    Humanities”, funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor
    Johannes Angermuller, is looking for candidates for two funded PhD
    positions
    at the crossroads of language and society. Against a background in
    poststructuralist and constructivist social theory, DISCONEX studies the
    cultures, practices and knowledges of academic researchers in the social
    sciences and humanities. By having recourse to qualitative methods, the
    group will empirically investigate the social uses of academic publications
    in the social sciences and humanities (for more details
    http://www.johannes-angermuller.net/DISCONEX; another studentship will be
    available at the University of Warwick).

    The PhD projects will be in the domain of the Social Sciences and
    Humanities Studies and should focus on one of the two domains:
    The social dynamics of specialised knowledge in the SSH: investigation of
    two scientific communities at the crossroads of language and society (for
    example in letters/linguistics/philosophy and in
    sociology/anthropology/media and culture studies, in English and possibly
    in
    French or German).
    Institutions of higher education in France, Germany, U.S. : comparative
    study of two or three academic systems, organisations and cultures.

    Funding Details:
    Length : 1st of October 2013 to 30th of Septembre 2016
    The scholarship will pay a monthly stipend over three years, beginning at
    1660 €.
    Research centre: Centre d’Etude des Mouvements Sociaux (CEMS / IMM), Ecole
    des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, 190-198 avenue de France,
    Paris)

    Conditions of application
    Candidates should have a minimum first or upper second class honours
    degree (or equivalent such as Master’s or M2), obtained by September 2013
    in
    discourse analysis, qualitative social research or Science and Technology
    Studies or in the sociology of academic organisations.
    PhD project in one of the domains of the DISCONEX project.
    Enrollment in EHESS’s doctoral programme.

    Required competencies
    Strong research orientation, international experience and interest in
    collaborative research.
    Contribution to project-related tasks such as data collection
    (interviews, documents, participant observation etc.) and analysis (written
    and oral discourse), workshops, conferences, publication of results.
    Participation in the activities of the DiscourseNet network
    (http://www.discourseanalysis.net )
    Good command of English and French, possibly in German, too.

    Required documents (French or English)
    Motivation letter laying out the reasons for applying to the DISCONEX
    group and the possible contribution
    A research project (5 pages) in one of the two domains.
    Curriculum vitae
    A reference may be requested from an academic teacher.
    Copies of diplomas since bac / highschool.
    The application documents are sent in a single pdf file by email to Ronny
    Scholz.

    Travel costs for the interview cannot be reclaimed.

    Contact person: Ronny Scholz (DISCONEX project manager)
    Email: disconex@live.warwick.ac.uk

    Call for applications
    PhD Research Studentship / Scholarship “Analysis of academic discourse in
    the SSH”
    Centre for Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

    Application deadline: 20 June 2013
    Start date: October 2013 (subject to negotiation)

    The DISCONEX research group “The Discursive Construction of Academic
    Excellence. Classifying Academic Researchers in the Social Sciences and
    Humanities”, led by Professor Johannes Angermuller (Centre for Applied
    Linguistics, University of Warwick) is looking for candidates for a funded
    PhD position at the crossroads of language and society. Against a
    background
    in poststructuralist and constructivist social theory, DISCONEX studies the
    cultures, practices and knowledges of academic researchers in the social
    sciences and humanities. By having recourse to qualitative methods, the
    group will empirically investigate the social uses of academic publications
    in the social sciences and humanities (for more details
    http://www.johannes-angermuller.net/DISCONEX, another two stipends will be
    available from the French partner institution, CEMS/EHESS). The PhD
    projects
    will be in the domain of the Social Sciences and Humanities Studies and
    should focus on the social dynamics of scientific
    communities in two interdisciplinary fields (for example in
    letters/linguistics/philosophy and in sociology/anthropology/media and
    culture studies, in English and possibly in French or German).

    Awards available: 1 award available

    Funding Details:
    The scholarship will pay an annual stipend (beginning at £13,726). Funding
    may be available for Home/EU fees, subject to eligibility.

    Length of Award: 3 years (PhD)

    Eligibility: Open to Home/EU and Overseas applicants.

    Conditions of application
    Candidates should have a minimum first or upper second class honours degree
    (or equivalent), obtained by September 2013 in discourse analysis,
    qualitative social research or Science and Technology Studies.
    PhD project on one of the domains of the DISCONEX project.

    Required competencies
    Strong research orientation, international experience and interest in
    collaborative research.
    Contribution to project-related tasks such as data collection (interviews,
    documents, participant observation etc.) and analysis (written and oral
    discourse), workshops, conferences, publication of results.
    Participation in the activities of the DiscourseNet network
    (http://www.discourseanalysis.net )
    Excellent command of English, preferably of German and French as well

    Required documents
    Motivation letter laying out the reasons for applying to the DISCONEX group
    Research project (5 pages)
    Curriculum vitae
    Two reference letters may be requested from academic teachers
    Copies of diplomas and grades
    The application documents are sent in a single pdf file by mail to Ronny
    Scholz.

    Travel costs for the interview cannot be reclaimed.

    Network: ERC DISCONEX research group
    Contact person: Ronny Scholz (DISCONEX project manager)
    Email: disconex@live.warwick.ac.uk

    Click link for more information…
    http://www.discourseanalysis.net/wiki.php?wiki=en%3A%3AEvents&id=837

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