In the current data-driven era, the importance of analytics in academic research cannot be overstated. Analytics help determine editorial decisions and give publishers insight into how their publications are being consumed, making analytics an indispensable tool for researchers across both STEM and HSS fields. In this blog, we assess and explore how analytics enable researchers to extract insights and make evidence-based decisions while also considering the benefits and limitations of analytics within academic research.
Benefits of analytics
Consuming academic research from legal platforms which respect copyright guidelines aid publishers in collecting accurate data to produce and publish new academic research papers. Furthermore, this collection of data and metrics aids researchers advance within their careers as it helps establish researcher credibility through H-index scores and other metrics.
Drawbacks of analytics
Platforms like Z-library, which provide free but illegal access to academic research and publications, pose a threat to the analytics used by publishers. Z Library bypasses traditional publishing by engaging in the unauthorised sharing of copyrighted content. It hosts digital copies of books without the explicit permission of the authors or publishers. This violates copyright laws and intellectual property rights. This can undermine the ability of publishers to make data-driven decisions about which articles to publish and promote, and can also affect the accuracy of analytics data. Which in turn affects the measurement of the true impact of academic research publications.
In conclusion, the growth of analytics within academic research is undeniable. While metrics allow publishers, authors and readers to depict how accurate their sources are and how well their research papers are performing, this comes at the cost of potential privacy concerns, fabrication of data and the lack of a standardised approach to collecting and reporting analytical data. However, investing time and resources to establish safe practices that produce accurate metrics can greatly benefit all parties involved in academic research; publishers can use this data to cater to readers by creating personalised lists and recommendations while also encouraging researchers to work within certain subject areas across different disciplines.
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Investigating Sci-Hub: An Exploration of the Strengths and Limitations
Valuable scientific research papers are usually stored behind paywalls. Sci-Hub is a platform that emerged in 2011 as a means to ‘remove all barriers in science’ while the initiative and establishment of Sci-Hub made strides within the open access movement, various questions and concerns have been raised about piracy and intellectual rights infringements as well is how the future of research will be impacted. From individual authors and researchers to publishing giants, this blog presents a comprehensive framework of the strengths and limitations of platforms like Sci-Hub. What is Sci-Hub? Sci-Hub is a website that provides free access to scientific research papers and academic articles that are behind paywalls. It was founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011, with the goal of making scientific knowledge accessible to anyone, regardless of their financial resources or institutional affiliations. The site uses proxy servers to bypass the paywalls of major scientific publishers and provide users with free access to articles that would otherwise require a paid subscription. The use of Sci-Hub is controversial, as it is illegal in many countries and has been the subject of lawsuits by major publishers. However, it has also gained a large following among researchers and scholars who see it as a way to access scientific research. Why so many are attracted to Sci-Hub? An eminent argument is that Sci-Hub disseminates scientific research papers within emerging regions globally, this is done with no restrictions and in an effort to enhance the accessibility of research. As an open access platform, the establishment of Sci-Hub adds pressure on publishers, libraries and databases alike to provide open access alternatives to level the field within academia. Providing access to high-quality scientific research in emerging countries not only promotes equality within academia but also has the potential to increase the contribution from these countries and provide new perspectives and areas of study within research communities. Moreover, research papers are undoubtedly impacted positively by increased visibility and transparency. Why is Sci-Hub controversial? As Sci-Hub gains popularity, it is a controversial platform known to part-take in copyright infringement. The platform operates by providing free access to scientific research papers that are behind paywalls. By bypassing these restrictions, Sci-Hub has published and disseminated a vast collection of copyrighted material without the permission of publishers, making it a hub for copyright infringement. Due to Sci-Hub operating outside the traditional publishing model and obtaining its content illegally, this flags significant quality control issues; without the peer review process and editorial supervision provided by reputable journals, there is a concern about the research being disseminated by Sci-Hub. While Sci-Hub has gained popularity; Sci-Hub also does not provide key metrics. This impacts the revenue streams of publishers and individual authors as the metrics to track and produce credibility are not taken into account. This lost data has the potential to negatively impact current and future research communities. Metrics like downloads and citations are significant to assessing a researcher’s credibility and career, Sci-Hub does not allow researchers or readers to access this information which creates a roadblock for research communities to operate on reliable metrics. Furthermore, Sci-Hub undermines traditional publishing methods. Due to the platform not relying on article fees and subscriptions; the platform cannot fund the dissemination of quality scientific research. While Sci-Hub’s mission is to increase accessibility, this can be challenging as the platform has been banned in several countries because of Sci-Hub’s illegal methods of obtaining content, it is worth mentioning that the platform has been accused of using email phishing methods and gaining access to 42 university databases. In addition, the research available on Sci-Hub is not reviewed or updated making the research old and less relevant. What actions can the research industry take? Undoubtedly, platforms like Sci-Hub exist because of the gaps present in the research sector. To discourage the use of illegal platforms like Sci-Hub, the research industry can take several significant actions, such as making research papers more affordable and widely available, improving the quality and scope of open access research papers, negotiating better deals with publishers, and substantially increasing public funding for research. Additionally, researchers can publish their work in open access journals or deposit their manuscripts in institutional repositories, which can make their work more accessible. An increase in awareness about the implications on the research community of using pirated content can also help discourage the use of sites like Sci-Hub by readers and learners. In conclusion, the principle that Sci-Hub was built on is to grant access to emerging regions, low-income students and researchers to the world of scientific research. While this is an admirable foundation, the dismissal of the established processes in the industry is harmful to the future of researchers. To significantly reduce the usage of pirated platforms, all stakeholders in the publishing spectrum must work together to create and promote affordable and accessible models of dissemination. Discover millions of journal articles, e-books, proceedings and so much more now on Zendy.
Impacting Academia: How Do The Sustainable Development Goals Help Reduce Inequalities in Research?
To combat global challenges like climate change, poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) organised a framework in 2015 to effectively rectify these issues. In this blog, we highlight how research and academia play a vital role in advancing the SDGs through the Publishers Compact, from generating evidence-based solutions to shaping policies that drive sustainable development. We also explore the ways in which the SDGs are helping to reduce inequalities in research communities. What are the sustainable development goals? The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a total of 17 goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a global call to action to prioritise and overcome the world's most imperative social, economic, and environmental issues. They provide a clear roadmap for countries, organisations, and individuals to transform our world into an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable place for present and future generations. Caption: image credits: sdg-tracker.org Which SDGs directly impact research communities? SDG 4: Quality Education This sustainable development goal is focused on promoting equal access to quality education for all. Mainly targeting STEM fields, SDG 4 aims to increase the skill and knowledge of the global workforce to encourage and increase contributions to research and innovation. By 2030, SDG 4 will ensure that gender disparities in educational sectors are eliminated, increase the supply of qualified teachers in developing countries and build educational facilities that are child and disability friendly. SDG 5: Gender Equality SDG 5 strongly focuses on eliminating discrimination against women and girls to promote their equal participation in all aspects of life. By addressing gender inequality in research communities, such as the underrepresentation of women in STEM disciplines, the sustainable development goals can create a more diverse and inclusive scientific community. SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities SDG 10 aims to reduce social, economic and political inequalities in all aspects of life, including research communities. By promoting equal access to research opportunities, resources, and funding, SDG 10 aims to level the playing field and reduce disparities in the scientific community. SDG 17: Partnerships for Goals SDG 17 places an emphasis on the importance of collaboration to achieve all social development goals. By encouraging and promoting collaboration between researchers, academic institutions, governments and other relevant bodies; the SDGs can create a more integrated research community. To further encourage participation in the succession of the SDGs, the general public needs to be aware of the progress made and the research conducted to progress each SDG. To understand the growth since the launch of the SDGs in 2015, the United Nations has created an accurate SDG tracker. What is the SDGs Publishers Compact? Launched in 2020, the Publishers Compact consists of fellows segregated into 4 groups to tackle 4 key initiatives to amplify SDG content in the publishing sector which will disseminate worldwide and encourage the application and general practice of the SDGs within other industries. Firstly, the Compact ensures the integration of SDG educational materials. Academic societies have been developing methods for publishers to recognise and rectify the lack of SDG-related content and activities in their education systems and materials. An increase in SDG-related content within schools and universities will likely result in a higher participation and contribution from students, professors, researchers and life long learners in the succession of the 17 goals. Moreover, the compact promotes applying and practicing the SDGs. This is to encourage authors, editors, and publishers to create summarised content and formats that are useful and appealing to various industries and sectors (such as businesses, services etc). There is also a list of “Top Actions” tips to encourage the integration of SDGs into daily practice and to catalyse research based on the challenges and opportunities practitioners face. Furthermore, the Publishers Compact is dedicated to redefining the impact indicators of research, like academic rankings and incentives. This is a work in progress, as a list of “Top Actions” tips for publishers, editors, authors, librarians and graduate students is being developed and completed. The committee is preparing a resource to highlight SDG research papers and their impact on policy, education, society and more. Finally, the Publishers Compact is committed to shifting culture in higher education. This initiative is dedicated to taking steps to affect culture change throughout the academic and publishing ecosystem. This requires evaluating the various stakeholders and their needs, to move the focus toward the SDGs. While the initial focus will be on connecting with and elevating those already working with SDGs, eventually this will transition to highlighting additional associations (e.g. journal editors), companies (e.g. publishers) and institutions (e.g. educators and researchers) and the spaces where the SDGs can be incorporated. Zendy, which is a product of Knowledge E, is a signatory of the United Nations Publishers Compact. In our efforts to democratise knowledge, we are committed to the causes and principles that the SDGs are striving to achieve by 2030. By increasing the dissemination of research globally, we aim to contribute in creating a sustainable world driven by knowledge and research. How is open science contributing to the implementation of SDGs? Open science encourages transparency, collaboration and inclusivity in scientific research by publishing research without restrictions; making it as accessible as possible. This has the potential to significantly contribute to the implementation and succession of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Open science facilitates the dissemination and usage of research to promote evidence-based solutions, which will accelerate the progress towards the SDGs in the following ways. Promotes collaborative research and innovation - This enables scientists, policymakers, practitioners, and other relevant bodies to work together across disciplines and regions. This collaborative approach will contribute to interdisciplinary research, the integration of local and indigenous knowledge, and allow diverse perspectives and expertise to be included in the development of sustainable solutions. Enhances the accessibility and usability of research outputs - This makes scientific knowledge widely accessible and usable. Open access publishing of research articles, data, books and other research outputs can enable researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from developing regions to access the latest scientific findings and potentially apply them. Supports evidence-based policymaking and decision-making processes - By openly sharing research findings, data, and methodologies, policymakers can access a database of research-based evidence to further advance policy development and implementation. Open science also promotes transparency in the evaluation of policies, allowing for accountability and learning from successes and failures. Facilitates advancements that contribute to the SDGs - Openly sharing research data, methodologies, and software can allow collaboration among researchers and enable the development of new technologies and solutions that address complex challenges. Promotes inclusivity and diversity in the scientific community - By promoting open and transparent research practices, open science can create opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and people from low-income countries, to participate in the scientific process and contribute their unique perspectives and knowledge to address the SDGs. At Zendy, we believe research papers and educational materials should be affordable and accessible to anyone anywhere. Zendy Open was launched in an effort to disseminate research papers without paywalls or restrictions. We stand to democratise knowledge so that policymakers, governments, researchers, students and relevant authoritative bodies can make informed research-based decisions that impact society. By creating an open access and open science platform, we look to eliminate discrimination and empower the world through knowledge to create a healthy and equally participative educational environment worldwide. What impact will the implementation of SGDs have on the research community? The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is expected to have a significant impact on the research community in several ways: Research Priorities: Global research priorities will be aligned with the SDGs, leading to an increased emphasis on research that contributes to the achievement of the goals. This could result in greater funding and resources being allocated to research areas that are aligned with the SDGs. Interdisciplinary Research: The SDGs encourage integrated approaches to sustainable development. This will promote interdisciplinary research, where researchers from different disciplines collaborate to address complex and interconnected challenges. Collaboration and Partnerships: The SDGs emphasise the need for partnerships, wherein governments, academia, civil society, private sector, and local communities come together, to collectively work towards achieving the goals. This will result in increased collaboration and partnerships within the research community as well. Open Science and Data Sharing: The SDGs highlight the importance of data and evidence-based decision-making for monitoring progress towards the goals. This may lead to increased demand for open science practices, such as open access publishing, data sharing, and transparent research methodologies. The research community may witness a greater emphasis on open science, data sharing, and transparent research practices to facilitate knowledge exchange, collaboration, and enable evidence-based policymaking. Global and Regional Collaboration: The SDGs are a global agenda, but their implementation requires localised actions and context-specific solutions. The research community may witness increased global and regional collaboration to address local challenges in alignment with the SDGs. This could involve cross-border research collaborations, knowledge-sharing platforms, and policy exchanges to learn from different contexts and promote solutions that are relevant to specific regions. In summary, the implementation of the SDGs is expected to have a significant impact on the research community. This will result in an increase in publications being disseminated in open access databases to eliminate discrimination in educational sectors and other aspects of society while also promoting interdisciplinary research to find sustainable solutions to the pressing matters the SDGs aim to rectify; furthermore, the Publishers Compact will play a significant role in ensuring that educational sector abides by their commitment to equal access which will accelerate the progress towards the 17 sustainable development goals. The research community is likely to play a critical role in generating knowledge and evidence-based solutions that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and drive sustainable development worldwide. Zendy, which is a product of Knowledge E, is a proud signatory of the United Nations Publishers Compact. Discover millions of journal articles, e-books, proceedings and so much more now on Zendy.
Write Faster Research Papers: 5 Tips to Help Your Academic Writing Skill
It can be argued that writing research papers is a medium of its own, with the delicate academic language and fact-based citations and hypotheses; it’s a skill that is acquired. Academic writing is artistry that most researchers and students have to know how to execute. Research papers are written in a scholarly tone to convey studies and findings in a uniform manner and to eliminate language bias to communicate objectively. However, writing research papers can be considered a daunting task to some. It requires a significant amount of research, analysis, and organization, which can be time-consuming. However, with the right approach and techniques, it is possible to write a research paper faster without compromising the quality of your work. In this blog, we discuss practical tips and strategies that can help you write research papers faster, from the initial research stage to the final editing and proofreading phase. Whether you are a student, academic researcher, or a professional, these tips will help you to save time and increase your productivity when writing research papers. Map out your topic Brainstorm your academic research topic and create a mindmap. Position the title as a question and as a statement to compare how the approach to the topic changes with just the title. Make a list of aspects you can explore within your research topic and use this as a guide for potential subheadings within your research paper. Conduct Research Once you have a title finalised, it’s time to research! Find your primary sources and begin reading the relevant research that covers your academic research, figure out how your research can stand out from what is already published and studied. Ensure that there is an adequate amount of material to highlight and discuss within your paper from reliable sources. Furthermore, try to use material from academic library databases as your sources as these are easier to cite and academic databases provide a variety of research and studies across different aspects of a subject. Create an outline Creating an outline for an academic research paper is an essential step in the writing process. An outline serves as a roadmap that guides you through the paper, ensuring that all the necessary elements are included and presented in a logical manner. The first step in creating an outline is to identify the main topic. Then, break down the topic into smaller subtopics and organise them in a coherent flow. Each subtopic should be supported by evidence and examples. The outline should also include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, along with any necessary headings and subheadings. Structure Your Thesis Statement Your thesis statement drives the purpose of your paper, essentially it clearly communicates the areas your research paper will explore along with the question or issue you are proposing to solve. There is a simple formula to creating your thesis statement; limited subject, precise opinion and blueprint of reasons. It may be structured like this: (Limited subject) This study aims to thoroughly understand the accurate state of refugees globally. (Precise Opinion) The essay will effectively highlight the stereotype perpetuated by mass media in portraying refugees who have been displaced due to national conflicts. (Reasoning Blueprint) To present and challenge this notion, this study will assess and dissect the language utilised in newspaper articles from The Guardian, CNN and Fox News reporting on refugee stories. These newspapers have been selected with consideration to their audiences and general stance in the political sphere. The PEE Method Upon finalising your introduction and thesis statement, you’ll begin working on the body paragraphs that present evidence and effectively support your statement. There’s also a simple formula for these paragraphs: Point, Evidence and Explanation which is the PEE method. Having a structure to execute the lengthy part of a research paper will speed up your writing process as an effective flow has already been established. Your paragraph may be structured like this: (Point) The difficulties that refugees face are overlooked when the mass media creates a bias within the general public’s perception of refugees. (Evidence) Smith (2012) argues that there are negative and positive terminologies that can create a bias within the news headline itself and that this tactic is proven best in the case of reporting refugee-related news articles. (Explanation) A common negative term used when reporting on refugees is ‘homeless.’ An effective method to eliminate bias and portray the situation accurately is to use ‘displaced’ instead. While there are multiple techniques to write at a faster pace, the most effective is to have an organised structure that flows productively. Following structures for statements and paragraphs saves essential time by just rephrasing and restructuring your research to follow the format. Zendy can be a great addition to your academic research, access millions of articles on a seamless platform that generates citations and lets you organise your very own academic reading list.