Let me count the ways

“What better way to spend the morning of Valentine’s Day than with us and hearing all about the world’s current second fastest supercomputer!” UoQ’s research computing centre, via Twitter yesterday. You don’t get charm like that on Married at first sight.

Funding agencies say open access is covered  

University librarians and open access strategy experts back the European Plan S, which requires which calls for all scholarly publications which result from publicly funded research to be published in OA journals or OA platforms from 2020 (CMM yesterday).

But the big funding agencies and peak uni group are unfazed by any implications for them.

The National Health and Medical Research Council says it will consult with relevant parties about Plan S but that publications based on research it funds, “must be made openly accessible in an institutional repository or other acceptable location (e.g. publisher website, subject repositories) within a 12-month period.”

Except, that is, when they aren’t. The NHNRC policy also states; “If authors are unable to make their publications open access within 12 months of the date of publication for any reason, this must be clearly indicated in the publication record listed in the NHMRC grants management system.”

The Australian Research Council  is also adamant about open access, with a policy stating, “any research output arising from ARC funded research must be made openly accessible within a twelve-month period from the publication date.” Except when, like the NHMRC, it isn’t; “in cases where this requirement cannot be met for any reason, including legal or contractual obligations, final reports must provide reasons why research outputs derived from ARC funded research have not been made openly accessible within a twelve-month period.

CMM also asked Universities Australia what it thinks about Plan S but it wasn’t commenting.


Medical Research Future Fund: the gift that keeps on giving

Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced new research made possible by the Medical Research Future Fund – it’s a sad week when he doesn’t, which is very good for this, or any government.

Yesterday’s was the $32m Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry grant programme “which will assist researchers gain access to entrepreneurial training and experience. CMM thought this is what the MTP Connect medtech and growth centre (“Increasing collaboration and commercialisation across the sector”), does but the feds say, “with a 70 per cent achievement of new to world innovation, Australia could do better this space.” The programme will be allocated over four years with application due April 9.

VC Schmidt sets out ANU agenda

Brian Schmidt reports on his administration’s performance as ANU VC in his annual state of the university address.

Professor Schmidt commits to:

* more Indigenous students and academics

* creating, “a student community that reflects the Australian community in all its diversity

* using new learning environments to create “a better experience for our students”

* setting the pace in critical research

* a new resource management model which, “will make it easier for us to get things done as a team – rather than as silos across the university.

But there are also problems to solve, notably on gender equity which a survey shows staff satisfaction is lower than in 296 and “bullying remains a real concern in some parts of the university.”

Professor Schmidt also acknowledged ANU, “can do better on technology” and will do so this year, specifically referring to “cyber-threats.” The university was hacked in July.

Ham-fisted new year at UNSW

There’s a bemuseageddon at the UNSW business school, which has a Facebook  clip for Lunar New Year. It stars a young blond woman who starts by saying she does not speak Chinese, but she has a friend who does and the pair proceed to bail up passers-by on campus to tell them about new year. So, does the bestie do all the talking? Not on your Year of the Pig she doesn’t. Chinese students, of which there are more than a few thousand on campus, are said to wonder why one of them did not get to star. Academics ask what this has to do with bized.

Uni Wollongong fast-tracks Ramsay western civ degree

The University of Wollongong has fast-tracked a degree funded by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, to start next year.

The BA Western Civ, “will take students on a chronologically ordered, philosophical adventure through the major periods and epochs of intellectual and artistic change in the west. At each stage of their journey, students will engage –first-hand– with exemplary masterpieces of Western thought, art and architecture (and) bring them into dialogue with the some of the greatest exemplars of non-Western traditions. Along the way, they will cultivate open, critical minds, becoming confident participants in the great conversation – one that will bring them to question what they may not have questioned before.”

The curriculum was approved last month by Vice Chancellor Paul Wellings, under the university’s, “well established Fast Track approval process.” UoW management says this is used an average five times a year and was invoked “to meet the tight schedule required to take enrolments for Autumn Session 2020.”

Some ten FTE academic staff funded by the Ramsay Centre will deliver core content and provide academic management, with nine to be hired over 2019-21. They will be “encouraged” to consult a 16-member advisory board member, “for advice,” “on readings, appropriate teaching styles and curricular activities.”

The board includes US and European scholars, Ramsay Centre CEO Simon Haines and Neil Sinhababu, a philosopher at the National University of Singapore. UoW’s PVC Inclusion and Outreach Paul Chandler,  is the university’s representative on the advisory board.

The announcement caught off-guard opponents of the Ramsay relationship, with a National Tertiary Education Union petition still circulating last night. Calling on Professor Wellings, “to tear up the secret deal with the Ramsay Centre.”

It isn’t secret any longer.

Appointments, achievements

Jodie Bradby is the new president of the Australian Institute of Physics. Professor Bradby is at ANU.

Gareth Evans will step down as ANU chancellor at year end, completing ten years. His decision to go then was announced in 2017 and confirmed yesterday by Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt yesterday.

UoQ announces “multi-award winning writer and Indigenous rights champion” Anita Heiss is joining as professor of communication.

Curtin U has awarded an hon doc to Cisco executive Irving Tan. The company and Curtin U are close, collaborating on data science.