Studious (HP)

Hello -ello -ello -ello? Anyone there -ere -ere -ere? Job seeking!

It has been forever and a day since I swung by this place, and from the looks of it, nobody else has either.

I finally completed my PhD in social work in May 2017 and am deep in the throes of academic job search. I have a campus visit and job talk coming up in January. Otherwise, I have submitted dozens of applications and received first interviews with five other schools and not advanced to the next round from four (one interview was yesterday). Three schools rejected my application without an interview. I have heard nothing from the others.

Anyone have some good general advice for my campus visit in January? Also, is my response experience typical?

Freelance writing?

There's quite a market for freelance academic writers. Some of the companies are blatantly crooked, selling essays to students so that they'll get good results without learning the material! But other companies might be bona fide. I have a brain. Make my own judgements.

I'm now in the process of signing up to write for money through Writezillas and Writers United.

Have you done this kind of writing, or been a customer of this kind of company? I'm an academic with a publications record but so far, my freelance writing and editing have involved no payment. Any suggestions?

[Update the next day] I've become suspicious of Writezillas. Googling that company's name led me to accusations that it's a scam. For example this. I'm not even sure whether to trust that source, EssayScam! Overall, I'm feeling cautious.

UK libel law and scientific debate

What's the best way to criticise bad scientists if you're in the UK without ending up being taken to court? Feeling very frustrated about certain fraudulent US researchers suing their UK based critics. Not sure I want to wade in on the debate though of pointing out how shoddy this certain person's work is without knowing what I can actually say, since apparently everything is basis for a lawsuit.

Anyone know how science is meant to be criticised by UK based people?

*very frustrated*

Spice up your classroom!

Are your students losing interest in the classroom? Spice up your lesson plan with a VideoClass lesson using our VCrec software!

Download for FREE from our website!

Interact and engage your students! Bring some life to your classroom with VideoClass!

Socialising with grad students

Hi all,
I've just taken up a junior teaching post (Teaching Fellow, so below Lecturer/junior professor, but it's post-doctoral), and as part of my job I'm convening one module, which involves practical classes. The practical classes and assisted (and in some cases led) by PhD students. As course convener I was thinking of inviting them to my home at the end of term for pizza and beer/wine as a thank you for their work on the module. Is that creepy and weird, or a nice way to show appreciation? It's a reasonably informal department but there doesn't seem to be much socialising generally, so I'm not sure whether it would be seen as inappropriate or uncomfortable here.
Iggy The Eskimo

Multiple discovery, simultaneous research or... plagiarism?

In a 2012 Phd by publication, based on a book from 2010, I found a chapter where the author claims to have found some literary references (or sampling) in the literary work of someone else. However, an internet essay, published in 2005 on a forum and updated in 2006 and 2009, has exactly the same findings. But this was published by a mere 'fan' of the work, not by an academic or a scholar.

In 2010 the author claimed there was no problem because he was unaware when he wrote the book that somebody else had researched the same topic 5 years before him. In 2012, for the Phd, he simply ignored it (as the existence of the 2005 essay was several times mentioned to him after the publication of the book).

While there is perhaps no 'plagiarism' as such, shouldn't the doctor have mentioned, out of shere politeness and honesty, that somebody else had already come to the same conclusion?
pic#111812164 bunsen burner

Does research constitute "derivative works"?

The GNU Free Documentation Licence states that "derivative works" must also be distributed under the terms of the FDL. This is the "cancer" by association that Mr Ballmer (Microsoft) famously criticised the related GNU General Public Licence for software (i.e. preventing the usual monopolistic behaviour of the monster from Redmond). It has become noticeable that academic research published via various permutations of the Creative Commons licences are then cited in subsequent subscription access journal articles. Doesn't this maintain unfairly the subscription journal system? If citation of previous research (published open access) makes a new article a "derivative work", shouldn't that article be distributed also via open access? How would researchers respond to this "licence consequence"? Would researchers prefer to reject citation of open access articles, in order to continue submission of work to subscription access articles? Or, would researchers be more willing to publish their work open access if they know any cited works would also be compelled to be published also open access? It is annoying that researchers cite my open access work in new research articles, that are then published in subscription access journals (the motivation for this post!).

pic#111812164 bunsen burner

Why aren't professors and universities liable for the death of students?

A recent article in Chemistry World reminded me of an earlier blog post about the death of the student Sheri Shangji in a chemistry laboratory. The blog post describes that basically, if a student is killed in a university laboratory, neither the professor concerned nor the university are liable to any significance. Ignoring an example such as the Union Carbide Bhopal disaster, it seems incredulous that universities are not liable (as other entities throughout the private sector )for the safety of students (also echoed by other departments elsewhere, at least according to another blog post. Is anyone aware of a similar case elsewhere, e.g. within EU and if so, how does European state and EU laws compare?


Negotiating job offers

AA, I'd like some advice. I'm in the process of interviewing for jobs at the moment, and had an interview for a two year post at a very good university yesterday, and for a permanent lectureship at a less stellar (but up and coming) place this morning. I've just been offered the first one, and the second one say they'll let me know early next week.
So now I need a tactful way of saying to the second place "I need an answer sooner than early next week so I can decide whether or not to take the shorter-term post" and/or a tactful way of saying to the first place "I need a few days before I can confirm so I can hear back from the place with the permanent post on offer".
Suggestions please?