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German government creates 1000 tenure-track positions for youthful researchers

German government creates 1000 tenure-track positions for youthful researchers

The German government has signed an agreement to fund 1000 fresh tenure-track positions in an attempt to improve the job situation in the country. This announcement, made on June 16 by President Angela Merkel, reflects the federal government’s efforts to retain youthful talent within the country.

Germany is one of the leading nations in science and research, but there is a dearth of permanent academic positions in the country. About 28,000 PhD and medical students graduate from German universities every year, but only some of them manage to get employed as professors. Moreover, the universities in Germany hire a limited number of permanent professors, which compels many youthful researchers to take up improvised positions. By the time they become eligible to secure a permanent post, they are in their 40s and find it difficult to carve a strong career path for themselves.

According to the agreement, which will last from 2017 to 2032, the federal government will fund a professor’s position for the very first six years. It will extend the support for up to two more years for those who earn tenure. However, after this time framework, the state-funded universities will need to take on the financial responsibility. Since the agreement fund will mainly cover the costs of the salaries, the researchers will have to acquire grants to support their research. The researchers will be hired in two swings in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

This budge by the government has brought hope among the German academics. Christian Schafer at the German Academic Exchange Service said that, “It’s the very first time that the federal government, as far as I know, is investing such a lot of money into the careers of youthfull scientists.” However, some researchers have pointed out that 1000 positions are too few and that the government should create more positions in order to accommodate all the youthfull researchers in the country. Andreea Scacioc, a structural biologist in Gottingen, mentions that the pact does not reserve a quota for women, and this could lead to a disproportionate hiring ratio inbetween masculine and female researchers.

While the federal government has taken steps to support academia, universities will have to join in the efforts to bring a positive switch in the current academic landscape in the country.


University jobs: Germany to fund tenure-track posts

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Cause and effect papers use analysis to examine the reasons for and the outcomes of situations. They are an attempt to detect either the origins of something, such as an event or a decision, the effects or results that can be decently attributed to it, or both.

Cause and effect papers reaction questions like the following (“A” is your topic):

  • Why did A happen? (discovering the causes of A)
  • What happened as a result of A? (discovering the effects of A)
  • What might happen as a result of A? (predicting further effects of A)

You may write a cause and effect paper primarily about causes, primarily about effects, or a combination of both.

Discovering causes
Before you begin writing or even researching, make a list of all the causes of this event you already know about. Ask questions like these: Why did this happen? What preconditions existed? Were the results foreseen? Could they have been foreseen? Then do some preliminary research, using what you already know to guide the direction of your reading. Switch or add to your original list of causes to reflect fresh information gathered from your research. Done in depth, this kind of analysis is likely to uncover an almost unlimited chain of linked causes, far more than you can effectively address in one paper. Identify one to three of them as more significant (or interesting, or overlooked) than the others. Then, acknowledging that numerous causes exist, limit your discussion to those most significant (or interesting, or overlooked).

As you brainstorm possible causes, do not fall into the trap of thinking that, simply because one event followed another, that there was necessarily a causal relationship. (The mere fact that four youths were seen running away from the scene of an brunt does not itself logically implicate them in the brunt; they could have been running for help, pursuing down the alleged criminal, or simply jogging by.)

Also, do not confuse a necessary precondition for a cause: A large number of costumed students milling about in downtown Chico on Halloween night may be a necessary precondition for a riot, but it is not, in itself, the cause of a riot.

As you write, use the transitions, or signal words, that tell readers you are demonstrating causal relationships inbetween your ideas:

The following example names the cause very first, followed by the effect:

Because the technology program received independent funding from grants and federal Title I funds, it was relatively untouched by the school district’s own budget cuts.

Discovering effects
If you choose to write about effects, very first brainstorm: Make a list of all the effects you know about, and use this list to direct your research to learn more. Have the effects had fine influence on history, culture, or your own life? Or have they had a petite influence with few results? Again, be sure you can demonstrate the causal relationship.

Just as there are usually several causes for anything, there are a multitude of effects that proceed from any one cause. Don’t attempt to address a long chain of effects in one paper. Acknowledge that many effects of various kinds exist, and then limit your discussion to the most significant ones.

Transition words that suggest to the reader that you are discussing effects include the following:

The following statement names a cause very first, and then an effect:

Employees at companies that suggest lithe work schedules are more productive and file fewer claims for mental-health benefits; consequently, the number of companies suggesting flextime is on the rise.

(As a matter of argument, you could claim that the example above shows two linked effects of the flextime policy: Very first, it caused employees to be more productive; and 2nd, their enhanced productivity, in turn, caused more companies to adopt flextime. Linked causes and effects are typical of this type of paper.)

Predicting results
Cause and effect papers often make predictions based on known facts, trends, and developments. Prediction moves from the known and observable into the unknown and possible. Prediction attempts to reaction questions like these: What are the possible or likely consequences? Are these results likely to have superb influence on my life or the lives of others? Are these results likely to have excellent influence on shaping public policy, society, or history? What preconditions would have to exist before my predictions could come about?

If you choose to make predictions, as is common, for example, in political science, education, science, and philosophy, be sure to use credible evidence and strong reasoning. If you do not treat predictions with finesse and ground them in established fact, they are apt to emerge fantastic and unbelievable.

Avoid overstating your case; use language couched in an suitable degree of uncertainty (might, may well be, is likely to, can expect, is entirely possible ). Signal words and verb forms such as these suggest to the reader that you are making the budge from observation to prediction:

Here is a prediction using two of the above transitions:

If the governor fails to clearly proclaim his position and take a leadership role in reforming the state’s workers’ compensation system, voters are likely to take matters into their own palms and call for a statewide referendum.

A cause and effect paper relies strongly on your analysis of the situation. Albeit there are many ways to interpret any situation and the effects that it has produced, in the end the wooing power of your paper depends on specific evidence, clear and persuading language, and logical development.

Peak Sheet

Cause and effect papers use analysis to examine the reasons for and the outcomes of situations. They are an attempt to detect either the origins of something, such as an event or a decision, the effects or results that can be decently attributed to it, or both.

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Latest Articles

Latest Articles

With all the various trades that I put my palms to, I am frequently asked what devices I use to create each work of art. So, in order to please the curiosity of those who go after my work, I have determined to create a blog series that answers this question for each medium I work in. This series will span over a four week period (posted weekly) where I cover the contraptions I use for calligraphy, woodworking, painting, and drawing. To kickstart this series, I determined to begin with Calligraphy. More specifically, the pointed pen. Commencing from the surface up…

  • This may seem demonstrable to some, but the type of writing surface sometimes varies from different styles of calligraphy. For the pointed pen or script calligraphy. you want to write on a vapid, even surface (as opposed to a slant surface which is required for broad-edge calligraphy).
  • Table should have slew of room for you to work, unencumbered by clutter and/or any sort of distractions.
  • Never permit yourself to write where your mitt is elevated above the vapid surface, i.e. writing on a pad of paper. This will inhibit decent arm positioning and whole-arm movement.
  • Critical when writing script calligraphy as it provides elasticity to the writing surface, permitting the pen to smooch the page ever so softly.
  • Permits for very fine hairlines
  • Brings forgiveness to to the writing surface and thus prevents less catching of the acute peak of the pen into the paper.
  • I use a leather pad from Saddleback leather. I’ve used scrap leather in the past to get the kind of surface I wished, but this leather desk pad has made for a sweet writing/desk practice.

    You want your table plane and your paper slick. An utterly slick paper surface gives your pen the freedom to dance fluidly. Avoid paper with fibers that will quickly absorb your ink, lift, and gum up your nib. Avoid paper that is too rigid and stiff, like card stock. These types of paper will negate the supple surface you created with your cushion sheet.

    The types of paper I recommend…

    For practice paper :

  • Clarefontaine Writing Pad (but recall, rip off in sheets, never write on the pad itself).
  • Rhodia
  • Hammermill 28 lb. Bright White Color Copier Paper
  • Life Co. Paper from Nanami Paper
  • For Finished Work:

  • Strathmore Bristol Plate
  • Arches 90lb Hotpress Water Color Paper
  • For black paper. Strathmore Artagain.
  • There are endless varieties of paints and inks that can be used. To make things plain, these are the ones I use most.

    This is the choice ink of past masters as it offers ideal viscosity and fluidity for ornamental penmanship. Albeit this ink is acidic and will cause quicker wear and rip on your nibs, it permits you to create beautiful hairlines and dark, bold shades. My two dearest brands are: McCaffery’s and Old World.

    Two. Walnut Ink

  • This ink is fine when you want to achieve a classic vintage look. It is inexpensive and available at most art supply stores. I buy mine at my local Guiry’s .
  • My brand of choice: Tom Norton’s .
  • Five. Sumi Ink

  • This is Japanese or Chinese Stick Ink.
  • My choice ink for finished chunks.
  • A carbon-based ink, which means it is archival and is lightfast (opaque).
  • Brand of choice: Moon Palace.
  • Again, there are uncountable types of nibs on the market, making it sometimes difficult to know which ones to choose from. Here are my top three choice of nibs: 1. Leonard Principle

  • This nib has a acute point that permits fine hairlines yet is supple enough to create thick shades.
  • Two. Gillott 303

  • I recommend this nib for finer (smaller lettering) work.
  • This smaller nib permits you to create fine hairlines, and fairly large shades.
  • Trio. Zebra G

  • This is the nib I recommend to anyone fresh to the art. For the heavy-handed beginner, this pen is very forgiving. It also has a acute point and good ripple.
  • The two primary characteristics to be mindful of when choosing a penholder are functionality and convenience. Here are the top two (oblique) penholders I recommend:

    1. Ergonomic Oblique Penholder As some of you know, I create my own penholders, the Ergonomic Oblique being one among many. In the beginning of my calligraphy career, I found many of the penholders available on the market to be unsatisfactory. I exclusively and whole-heartedly recommend my penholders as I have made them to be the very best, faithful contraption I have ever known in the art due to the care and tailored craftsmanship that goes into each one.

  • My unique ergonomic design embodies functionality and convenience.
  • Encourages whole-arm movement and decent grip of the pen.
  • Lends as a gentle reminder of correct arm position.
  • These specific design elements lend well to both beginners and advanced calligraphers.
  • My Ergonomic Oblique Penholders are individually carved in various types of wood and hand-poured resin. They can be purchased on Wednesday Pens Day through my website beginning at $350.00 on Wednesdays at 9am MST.

    Two. Brian Smith of Unique Oblique Penholders, a talented pen maker from Louisiana makes some beautiful pens that I have had the honor of wielding. You can check out his available penholders on his Etsy site at

    Question: For those of you who have been around the art of calligraphy for a while, what are your top recommendations for contraptions of the trade?

    Wishing you all the best in your calligraphic endeavors!


    Erik Samuelsohn

    January 02, 2016

    These are excellent recommendations! A quick note: having spent some time in Japan and China, I’m often astonished by the universal praise for Moon Palace sumi ink in the West. This ink is meant for elementary students and, while there’s nothing wrong with it in my view, there are literally hundreds of subtler bottled sumi inks available for those who wish its convenience over stick ink. Many of them are just as black, but much higher quality and can be found online with a little diligent searching.


    December 31, 2015

    Hello. I am from indonesia and just a beginner in copperplate calligraphy. I like to purchase one of your ergonomic holder. But I have No idea what to choose. And which suit me better. So can you pls Gideon some opinion. Looking forward to hear from you soon, tq

    Taylor Raine

    December 30, 2015

    While I couldn’t agree more with your nib recommendations, I would stress to anyone desiring better instruments to look into vintage points. While the more affordable of the excellent points such as the Esterbrook 357 or 128 are themselves becoming somewhat scarce, there are still a lot of less well appreciated nibs out there at good prices. For example, I recently acquired a box of Esterbrook 524s for less than one would pay for the better modern nibs and must say that even these pens that were manufactured for students are higher quality than almost anything being made today. If you have the resources and the desire, get a hold of the very best vintage nibs while you still can – they are worth it. The better Gillott’s are absolutely exceptional and last several times longer than their modern counterparts. The Principality especially has a snap to it that makes it both the most responsive pen I’ve ever used as well as remarkably effortless to control, much more so in fact than the Leonardt Principal.


    November 17, 2015

    Corinna Taylor

    September 16, 2015

    I recently attempted one of you ergonomic oblique holders, and by the end of one sentence my Spencerian had improved at least 50%! This is obviously the solution to achieving the mitt position I’ve struggled with for years. Alas, your holders are miles beyond my price range. Have you considered making a less expensive version – perhaps cast in resin or some plastic – or an adapter to glue onto other obliques? In the meantime, I’m waiting for a back-ordered Carrot oblique in hopes that it’s fat enough to chop away a bit here and there to treatment the form of your holders.

    By the way – your work is magnificent – but you already knew that

    Rebecca Sherrod

    September 14, 2015

    I am so very interested in this. I have loved writing and calligraphy since I was introduced to it in high school and had no idea there was such height to which I could aspire!

    Where can I find more information about courses of examine?

    viviana vera

    September 13, 2015

    Maravilloso su trabajo, se ve el talento y preocupacion que dedica a cada una de sus obras…. Bravo eres un Davinci de esta era

    Krystel Sanchez

    You truly have inspired me. Which book or books would you recommend? Or do you have a book for beginners?
    Thank you!

    Kim Scales

    September 12, 2015

    Thanks Jake for the inspiration. I am further inspired to improve my own handwriting, I am 55, and resurrect the explore of handwriting with my creative writing students.

    Dawn McCauley

    September 09, 2015

    I recently witnessed your FB Human post presenting you as a Master Penman. It was so inspiring I have observed it over and over. I was fairly good with calligraphy in High School and watching your movie has awakened the desire to learn again. I am not sure where to begin and wonder if you could recommend some books and or process to begin to improve my skill? Thank you in advance for your communication.

    Sam Nelson

    September 03, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your beloved materials! I found out about IAMPETH through your TEDxTalk and am finding the inspiration to practice with pen again.

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    The rise of mass authorship and fractional authorship: Do too many cooks spoil the broth?

    The rise of mass authorship and fractional authorship: Do too many cooks spoil the broth?

    The archetypal photo of a researcher publishing investigate findings as a lone author is long passe. Research is now primarily a collaborative and often an interdisciplinary endeavor. Unsurprisingly, this shift is echoed in the patterns of scientific publications: the author list in many scientific fields has lengthened significantly. But the trend of numerous authorship has evolved into what is called ‘hyperauthorship’ or ‘mass authorship’ with some papers having thousands of authors. For example, a physics paper authored by more than 5000 researchers at CERN, which provides a precise estimate of the size of the Higgs boson, set the record for the largest number of contributors to a paper; while a paper on the genetic makeup of a fruit fly was credited to 1,014 authors. The publishing of papers with thousands of authors, also referred to as ‘kilo-authorship,’ has sparked discussions in academic circles about the meaning of authorship and whether the trend of hyperauthorship is making the credibility and accountability of author contribution questionable.    

    Hyperauthorship has been a norm in some scientific fields, such as high-energy physics and biomedicine, where collaborations in enormous teams is common. However, a similar uptrend is being observed in other fields such as psychology and health policy. A probe conducted by Dr. Andrew Plume and Dr. Daphne van Weijen found that over the past ten years, the number of authorships per author (Two.31 in 2013) has enhanced while the number of single-author articles (0.56 in 2013) has declined. At the same time, the average number of authorships per article has enlargened from Trio.Five to Four.15 authors from 2003 to 2013. As clearly indicated in the probe, the increase in the number of authors per article and the relative decrease in unique authorship indicate the rise of ‘fractional authorship,’ which means more number of authors claiming credit for a single published work.

    The shift in the publishing landscape toward fractional authorship and mass authorship has led some authors to have an exceptionally prolific record, with some researchers churning out an article every ten working days. Some believe that large author lists is an unscrupulous method adopted by some researchers to improve their citation record. Ernesto Priego, Lecturer in Library Science, City University London, says hyperauthorship “in addition to being impractical […] is also menacing the entire system by which academic work is rewarded.” Since a researcher’s career progression is primarily based on the publication and citation record, universities and funding bods should be wary of researchers’ exact contribution to the papers on which they have been listed as authors.

    What has led to this rising trend of hyperauthorship? Extreme competition due to the ‘publish or perish’ culture and international collaborations are deemed to be the primary reasons for the rise of mass authorship. Apart from this, the practice of senior scholars seeking ‘gift authorship’ from youthfull researchers has also led to this phenomenon. As Zen Faulkes elucidates, “We’re observing things that might have, at one point, just been a thank you at the end of the paper [become], hey, could you put my name on this paper as an author?” 

    The switching trends in conducting research warrant the rethinking of the definition of an author. The widely accepted criteria for authorship, as defined by ICMJE, are that an author should have made substantial contributions to the investigate as well as to drafting the work, and should be able to identify all co-authors on a probe and their contribution. In papers that have over a thousand authors, students who contributed in data analysis and so forward have also been added as authors to the paper. Therefore, Faulkes suggests providing up the term “authorship” and focusing on “credits” that describe with greater clarity the contribution individuals make.

    Research collaborations are critical to scientific progress. However, institutions and funding bods need to ensure that large-scale collaborations do not branch out into fractional authorship. Additionally, ethical figures can play a pivotal role in bringing clarity to the definition of authorship by defining the roles of an author and a contributor, thus preserving research integrity. 

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    You should always go after your heart in research

    You should always go after your heart in research

    This interview presents the perspectives of an early-career researcher who conducts research, publishes papers, attends academic conferences as part of his PhD, travels to different parts of the world to help educate researchers about open research and science policy, blogs actively, serves as a peer reviewer, and makes time for several other activities including this interview! Jonathan (Jon) Tennant dived head very first into palaeontology research, i.e., his very first love, even when it required him to switch disciplines. And during this journey, he discovered his passion for all things related to scientific communication and policy, especially open science. He is among those researchers who realize the true potential of networking and utilize it to actively participate in dialogue on some of the most critical issues in academic research — all this alongside managing a requiring research schedule. I spoke to Jon about his interests both within and outside research. I particularly dreamed to understand how he is able to pursue serious research as well as be involved in other activities, and learned that the primary driving force behind Jon’s work is his passion for science and the need to ensure that more and more people are informed about the most significant developments in academic publishing.

    Jon is presently a final year PhD (palaeontology) student at Imperial College London in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. His research concentrates on patterns of biodiversity and extinction in deep time and the biological and environmental drivers of these patterns. Jon is also sultry about science communication and strongly believes that science should be in the public domain. He takes a deep interest in following and talking about how current trends in open science influence science communication. He also maintains a blog, Green Tea and Velociraptors, and tweets actively about topics close to his heart. 

    In the very first of this three-part interview series, Jon talks about the importance of interdisciplinarity in research, based on his practice as a researcher. He explains how he came to develop an interest in science communication and policy, and goes on to talk about his peer review practice.

    Let’s talk about your life as an early-career researcher. Why did you determine to transition inbetween disciplines during your academic journey?

    I originally began university as a planetary geologist! During my 2nd year however, I was seduced by the dark side of science (dinosaurs) thanks to meeting Prof. Phil Manning, and switched to mainstream geology in order to take his class. After that, I was set on getting a PhD in palaeontology, but realized that a purely geological background wasn’t sufficient for much modern palaeontological research, as much of it is geared towards biological sciences. So I made the treacherous switch to the life sciences for a 2nd masters which, combined with my affinities for rocks, formed the flawless basis to launch into palaeontology!

    How effortless or difficult would you say is it for researchers to switch disciplines?

    Hmm, that’s a good question. I think the level of difficulty would depend on why you would want to switch, how related or integrated the two disciplines are, and what sort of opportunities are available. There are no rules here, but you should always go after your heart in research. The difficulty will always be discovering what you need to do to give yourself the best chance to do what you love in the future, and sometimes making a big switch is good for that. I would also say that a lot of it is down to your mentality. You have to be open to the possibility that you might be making a big switch in your life and stepping out into the unknown. For some, this will be titillating, and others it might be scary. My advice is to embrace it the switch, adapt, and excel.

    More and more researchers are taking to multidisciplinarity, either by switching flows or by specializing in more than one discipline during their research. What role do you think interdisciplinarity plays in academic research today?

    Research thrives on interdisciplinarity! I can’t think of anything more significant than collaborating with others in order to expand your skill boundaries. For example, modern palaeontology includes aspects of chemistry, molecular biology, geology, zoology, ecology, and even particle physics, so it’s super integrative. These are less individual decisions however, I think. Interdisciplinarity isn’t about individual choice. It’s more about recognising what is required in order to advance the field, which we work on collectively as a research community. By isolating research fields, we neglect to learn from what others are discovering, and that isn’t helping to progress anything.

    How and when did you develop an interest in science communication and policy?

    After my 2nd Masters, I was unemployed for a few months while waiting for an adequate research chance to pop up. During this “down time”, I embarked blogging and using other social media to develop some abilities in this arena. I was fortunate enough to get a job in science policy with The Geological Society of London, which was a fascinating practice and, for me, cemented the links among research, communication, and policy. Importantly, it provided me with a fully fresh perspective on the value of research than I’d otherwise just got at university. In particular, how research interacts more broadly with society – beyond “science for the sake of science”. I commenced my PhD two days after that job finished, and went into it with an entirely different perspective on research than before the position.

    I always like to acknowledge my boss Nic Bilham (Director of Policy and Communications at the Geological Society), who while I was at the Society, instructed me much about science policy and the value of broad and effective communications, as well as the significant role of learned societies in modern research environments. The abilities I learned during my time at the Society, and have continued to work on since, have been exceptionally valuable to my growth as a researcher. I feel very privileged to have been granted the practice and attempt to encourage others to develop in these areas, too.

    You are presently involved in several activities in addition to core research: writing and publishing academic research papers, blogging, interacting with people from the academic publishing industry, attending conferences, providing talks, etc. How do you make time for everything?

    Honestly, it’s indeed ridiculously difficult, and interferes fairly a lot with my private life at times, especially when it requires travel or working in different time zones. However, I believe that the things I work on are significant and I am blessed to dedicate as much time as I need to them. For example, I strongly believe that science communication and working to make research more accessible are significant, so I spend a lot of time blogging/freelance writing; I also think equal access to skill is imperative, so I spend a lot of my time working on things like open access. Things like blogging become much quicker with time as your writing abilities develop, but sometimes you just have to go for them when you have time! I attempt simply just to do things as they come up, and it’s fairly chaotic at times, but this also means I don’t get bored working on the same thing every day! If you believe something is significant, then it’s worth spending time doing it and committing all you have to it.

    You are also a peer reviewer for Publons; could you talk about this practice?

    So Publons isn’t a peer review platform itself, it’s a place to keep a public (or not, if you choose) record of your reviewing activities. I still find it bizarre that some researchers don’t want to receive credit for their work as peer reviewers given its enormous importance, and Publons is an awesome solution to help shift that mentality. Open is never an end, but a means, and with peer review, open becomes a powerful way of enhancing transparency for accountability, receiving credit, and permitting others to build on and re-use your work. A lot of researchers view peer review as part of their academic duty, and perhaps rightly so, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t receive suitable recognition for it.

    As soon as I did my very first peer review, the record went up on Publons. Sadly, many journals believe that they still have authority over how researchers use their reviews, or consider it to be a privileged or private process; therefore, most often, you can’t post the actual review itself, albeit there is a lot of experimentation in this area at the moment. This is fairly bizarre to me. How can a secretive, non-publicised, and special process be considered as objective? That’s hardly the gold standard we hold “peer review” to be.

    I’ve done five peer reviews during my PhD so far – I don’t know if that’s relatively high or low for this stage! As such, it doesn’t indeed interfere with my “schedule” too much. I’d like to think I’ve been as thorough as possible with these reviews, and they have never taken me more than a week or so to perform. All of them are on Publons, too, to the maximum extent of visibility permitted.

    At this point, it’s unlikely to comment on the influence that this has had so far – I do like the concept of Publons as on open record of “services” contributed to the community through peer review, as well as a sign that I’m not afraid for the content of my reviews to be seen. If I’m writing things that I don’t want others to see, then I very likely shouldn’t be writing them at all. Whether or not using Publons will have a positive influence remains to be seen, as I’m still a “science noob”! My overall practice with Publons has been overwhelmingly positive, albeit some publishers have limitary policies that vastly lower how we can interact with and use Publons for the good of research.

    Could you tell us more about Open Glossary?

    So the Open Research Glossary is an OpenCon spin off! Ross Mounce and I were providing a joint talk at an OpenCon satellite event in London about the importance of open data. Afterwards in the pub, someone mentioned that a lot of the terminology we used was fresh to them and it made our talk difficult to go after. Essentially, what was exposed to us was a language barrier that we had created around the “world of open.” So right then and there in the pub, we embarked drafting a “jargon list” of terms used in any aspect of open research. This ranged from core terms to those related to policy, and those to do with licensing and principles. We built a resource from this using Google Docs so that anyone could contribute, and a list of community definitions that we could adhere to. A while later, we had produced a fairly comprehensive common app essay resource, and the Right to Research Coalition were kind enough to host it. Anyone can still contribute to it here, and when sufficient fresh content has been added we will create a 2nd version.

    Thanks, Jon!

    This brings us to the end of the very first segment of the interview with Jon Tennant. In the next part, Jon shares his views on some critical topics in scientific publishing.

    Other parts in the series

    • Part Two: “Academics are resilient to switches in peer review”
    • Part Trio: The future of academic publishing and advice for youthful researchers
    Write an I Have a Desire Speech!

    Write an I Have a Desire Speech!

    Racial barriers were shaken with Supreme Court decisions like Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, which ruled that separate schools for blacks and whites were “inherently unequal.” Still, in the fifties and sixties, equality was far from a reality.

    In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. helped organize the March on Washington. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his “I Have a Wish” speech, and his sultry words signaled the shove for desegregation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    The civil rights leader proclaimed: “I have a desire that one day on the crimson hills of Georgia, the sons of former gimps and the sons of former gimp owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” He also speaks of places: “snowcapped Rockies of Colorado,” the “slopes of California,” and the “mighty mountains of Fresh York.” He evokes sounds, too, like children singing of a “sweet land of liberty,” and other senses, as when he speaks of Mississippi, a “state sweltering with the warmth of injustice.”

    Ask what your child has learned at school about Martin Luther King Jr. Hopefully, she has learned that this speech was one of hope during a time of strife – and described what King envisioned for the world in which he lived.

    Your child, too, most likely has a wish: a vision for a bright future. How does she picture the world, from the blocks of her neighborhood to the far reaches of the globe? In her eyes, what constitutes a “blessed” and “free” society? Very first, she must unlock this imagery. Then, she can create her own speech.

    Click to find similar content by grade.

    What You Need:

    • The text of King’s “I Have a Fantasy” speech (found online through a search engine like Google)
    • Several sheets of binder and/or drawing paper
    • A pencil and markers

    What You Do:

    1. Very first, picture King's desire. Urge your child to close her eyes, and then read the speech aloud. The entire speech is preferred, but this may not be possible for a youthful or squirmy child. If not, begin at “I say to you today, my friends…”
    2. Keeping her eyes shut, encourage her to create any pictures in her mind as you read.
    3. When finished, divide a sheet of paper into categories: “glances,” “smells,” “sounds,” “tastes,” “textures,” and “feelings.” Leave spaces for notes in each section. Have her jot down words or phrases that came to mind, even doodles, from King’s words. There are no right or wrong answers; the key is to kindle her imagination to loosely associate the speech with her own sensory imagery.
    4. Recite the speech again, or parts of it, if necessary. And don’t leave behind to ask: “How did the speech make you feel?”
    5. Next, she can write a speech. From the warm-up above, your child is processing what you’ve read with each of her senses. Instruct her to divide another sheet of paper into the same categories.
    6. Ask fresh questions to unlock more abstract ideas: Do you have a wish? What do you wish or hope for? What makes you glad in this world? What upsets or makes you startled? How can your school, neighborhood, or world be better?
    7. Have her record words, phrases, or pictures in the suitable categories: “ice juices” under “tastes,” “my little brother’s laugh” under “sounds,” or a doodle of the family dog under “glances,” for example. Encourage her to pack each blank space with as many words and scribbles as possible.
    8. While she creates her collection of imagery, prepare a speech template on a lump of paper. Each line of her speech will begin with “I have a desire…” Repeat this phrase eight to Ten times – more if she likes to write – skipping two or three lines inbetween each.
    9. Using the glances, sounds, smells, and other senses in her notes, have her finish each sentence on the template: “I have a wish…where the world is always total of flowers,” or “I have a fantasy…that the future is total of plentiful food and clothing for all,” for example.
    10. Read the speech aloud when finished!


    I Have a Wish Worksheet


    Related video: George Orwell – The Road to Wigan Pier