Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.


Is Scientific Publishing About to Be Disrupted? ASAPbio, Briefly Explained

A group of biologists gathered last month outside Washington, D.C., for a conference that could help spur change in how the discipline publishes its work. United under the name ASAPbio, attendees discussed how they might upend the traditional publishing structure in the interest of speeding up scientific discovery and making scholarship more publicly accessible.

The New York Times published an article about ASAPbio on Tuesday, effectively lending it more visibility. Here’s what you need to know:


EPA Hits Oregon State U. With $275,000 Hazardous-Waste Fine

Oregon State University was hit with a $275,000 fine on Monday for improper handling of hazardous wastes. According to a news release issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the wastes — nearly 2,000 containers of laboratory chemicals and other substances — were unsafely stored and inadequately identified, endangering students, faculty members, support-staff workers, emergency responders, truck drivers, and landfill employees. In a settlement announced by the EPA, the universi…


In Describing a Pattern to Harassment of Female Scientists, Professor’s Op-Ed Strikes a Chord

The New York Times published an op-ed on Friday night by A. Hope Jahren, a professor of geobiology at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, entitled “She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk ‘Feelings.’” The piece landed with a bang — it has been shared widely among academics and nonacademics alike — and has since reverberated well beyond the sciences.

(A portion of this post is devoted to synthesizing the arguments in Ms. Jahren’s op-ed. You should read it here in full.)

Much of the recent at…


After 10 Days on the Lam, Wayward Goat Is Back at U. of Iowa

The tumult and drama of recent weeks finally drew to a close in Iowa City on Monday. No, it wasn’t the departure of the last presidential candidate or TV crew. It was the recapture of the University of Iowa’s lost goat, missing since late January and the subject of endless speculation, not to mention extensive coverage in the local press.

“We are very happy to report that William the Goat is in custody and back home in a nice warm pen out at the University Research Park,” tweeted the university’…


Black Students Are Overrepresented in Low-Paying Majors, Study Finds

[See correction below.]

Report: “African Americans: College Majors and Earnings”

Authors: Anthony P. Carnevale, Megan L. Fasules, Andrea Porter, and Jennifer Landis-Santos

Organization: Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce

Summary: While more African-American students attend college, they are overrepresented in majors that typically lead to low-paying jobs, such as human services and community organization, social work, and theology and religious vocations.

The report, w…


George Washington U. Stops Accepting Donated Cadavers After Losing Track of Body Identities

George Washington University’s medical school has lost track of the identities of some of the cadavers donated to the institution for research and teaching, and so has ceased accepting donations through its willed-body program.

In a statement issued on Friday, Jeffrey S. Akman, the medical school’s dean and the university’s vice president for health affairs, wrote that “despite exhaustive efforts, we have been unable to make a positive identification of certain donor bodies and as a result are u…


U. of Iowa’s Search for Escaped Goat Enters Day 5

The University of Iowa is still searching for a goat that made a daring bolt to freedom five days ago. The male goat escaped Friday morning from a portable carrier while being transferred to an animal-housing facility at a university research park, and it has eluded the university’s animal-research officers ever since.

There have been a handful of sightings in the City of North Liberty, a suburb of Iowa City about three miles north of where the goat went missing, but university and law-enforcem…


After ‘Chocolate Milk’ Scandal, U. of Maryland Will Review How It Communicates Research

The University of Maryland at College Park, stung by criticism over a news release in December that touted the benefits of a specific brand of chocolate milk among high-school athletes who had suffered concussions, has convened a high-level panel to review the incident and how the university communicates research findings.

The Washington Post reports that Patrick O’Shea, a vice president of the university and its chief research officer, assembled the panel to ensure that the campus’s communi…


Is Community College Already Free? It’s More Complicated Than That, Researchers Say

One critique of the free-college movement, or even debt-free college, is that students have plenty of low-cost options within higher education. For instance, community colleges. “Public two-year colleges … are free or nearly free for low-income students,” wrote Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the U.S. Senate’s education committee, in a July 2015 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

Really? Two researchers took up the question and concluded the reality is more complex. In a policy brief, Sara Gold…


Yahoo Releases Vast Amount of Data to University Researchers

The Internet giant Yahoo Inc. will release a vast amount of data about how its users behave on the web exclusively to university researchers, The Wall Street Journal reports. The data amount to 13.5 terabytes, which, the Journal notes, is two-thirds the size of the Library of Congress.

According to the newspaper, Yahoo’s release represents an effort to attract top researchers to the company. It’s not the first time Yahoo has reached out to academe. In 2014 the company announced a five-year partn…