News Update on Career Progression Research: May – 2019

Open science challenges, benefits and tips in early career and beyond

The movement towards open science could be a consequence of on the face of it pervasive failures to duplicate previous analysis. This transition comes with nice advantages however additionally important challenges that are probably to have an effect on people who perform the analysis, typically early career researchers (ECRs). Here, we tend to describe key advantages, together with reputational gains, accumulated probabilities of publication, and a broader increase within the responsibleness of analysis. The accumulated probabilities of publication are supported by preliminary analyses indicating null findings are well additional probably to be revealed via open registered reports compared to more typical strategies. These advantages are balanced by challenges that we’ve got encountered which involve accumulated prices in terms of flexibility, time, and problems with the present incentive structure, all of that appear to have an effect on ECRs acutely. though there are major obstacles to the first adoption of open science, overall open science practices ought to profit each the ECR and improve the standard of analysis. we tend to review 3 advantages and three challenges and supply suggestions from the angle of ECRs for moving towards open science practices, that we tend to believe scientists and establishments in the least levels would had best to contemplate. [1]

Participatory Action Research and Early Career Researchers: The Structural Barriers to Engagement and Why We Should Do It Anyway

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach to research that focuses on recognising and building the capacity of impacted people to participate in all aspects of the research process. It emphasises action toward social change and improvement in the lives and settings of the research participants (Kemmis, McTaggart, & Nixon, 2013Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., & Nixon, R. (2013). The action research planner: Doing critical participatory action research. Singapore: Springer Science & Business Media. [Google Scholar]). It seeks the “enhancement of human flourishing, emancipation, democracy and the empowerment of those involved through critical reflection” (Wittmayer & Schäpke, 2014Wittmayer, J. M., & Schäpke, N.(2014). Action, research and participation: Roles of researchers in sustainability transitions. Sustainability Science, 9(4), 483–496.[Crossref][Web of Science ®], , [Google Scholar], p. 476). PAR works with communities to co-create research and findings with the goal of unsettling the power relationships that traditionally structure research. It is based on methodological, ethical and epistemological values that promote direct participation of affected communities, a commitment to transformative actions and a belief in situated ethical judgement (Saija, 2014Saija, L. (2014). Writing about engaged scholarship: Misunderstandings and the meaning of “quality” in action research publications. Planning Theory & Practice, 15(2), 187–201.[Taylor & Francis Online], , [Google Scholar]). As a researcher with a social justice focus working in the social and affordable housing area, the appeal of such an approach is undeniable.

The focus on applied research that engages directly with impacted communities and contributes to social change appears to align with global trends towards ‘the engaged university’ (Watson, 2011Watson, D. (2011). The engaged university: International perspectives on civic engagement. New York, NY: Routledge.[Crossref], , [Google Scholar]). My own institution, The University of Melbourne, states that “we have an enduring commitment to public contribution and actively seek to create social, economic, cultural and intellectual value with and for the communities we serve” (The University of Melbourne, 2017The University of Melbourne. (2017). Engagement. Strategy adn governance. Retrieved from [Google Scholar]). In the UK, the Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research outlines the expectations and responsibilities of research funders with respect to public engagement. It features explicit principles that “UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement” and “researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities” (Research Councils UK, 2014Research Councils UK. (2014). Concordat for engaging the public with research. London, UK. Retrieved from [Google Scholar]). [2]

On the value of preprints: An early career researcher perspective

Peer-reviewed journal publication is the main means for academic researchers in the life sciences to create a permanent public record of their work. These publications are also the de facto currency for career progress, with a strong link between journal brand recognition and perceived value. The current peer-review process can lead to long delays between submission and publication, with cycles of rejection, revision, and resubmission causing redundant peer review. This situation creates unique challenges for early career researchers (ECRs), who rely heavily on timely publication of their work to gain recognition for their efforts. Today, ECRs face a changing academic landscape, including the increased interdisciplinarity of life sciences research, expansion of the researcher population, and consequent shifts in employer and funding demands. The publication of preprints, publicly available scientific manuscripts posted on dedicated preprint servers prior to journal-managed peer review, can play a key role in addressing these ECR challenges. Preprinting benefits include rapid dissemination of academic work, open access, establishing priority or concurrence, receiving feedback, and facilitating collaborations. Although there is a growing appreciation for and adoption of preprints, a minority of all articles in life sciences and medicine are preprinted. The current low rate of preprint submissions in life sciences and ECR concerns regarding preprinting need to be addressed. We provide a perspective from an interdisciplinary group of ECRs on the value of preprints and advocate their wide adoption to advance knowledge and facilitate career development.[3]

What do postdocs need to succeed? A survey of current standing and future directions for Australian researchers

When discussing the postdoctoral period in a researcher’s life, a lack of career progression often boils down to “is it you, or is it me?” Is it a reduction in the quality of candidates, or the fact that there are now too many candidates for a rapidly shrinking pool of jobs? Australia provides an ideal case study, as a large and decentralized country with a government mandate to build the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) workforce. The goal of the present study was 1) to provide a baseline for postdoctoral experiences and career aspirations in Australia, and 2) to identify gaps in postdoctoral training. When undertaking a capacity building programme it is important to know where efforts should be focused. To better understand the demographic and career progression of Australia’s current cohort of postdoctoral researchers, a national survey was undertaken from 2014–2015. More than 280 postdoctoral researchers from government, industry and academic institutions responded. Our results indicate that although postdoctoral researchers work more than the legal maximum of a 38-hour a week (on average) and have a long-term plan to stay in research, there is significant concern over the long-term viability of research careers due to job insecurity and a shortage of funding. [4]

The Impact of a Dollar-based Economy on the Hospitality Industry: A Theoretical Explanation and a Research Agenda

The goal of this was to explore and situate the study within a broader context of related researches in relation to impact of dollar-based economy on the hospitality sector. In order to accomplish this goal, this study has been organized in nine sections: the hospitality industry, challenges facing the hospitality industry, demands in the hospitality industry, competitiveness in the hospitality industry, relationship between hospitality; tourism and economic growth, dollar based economies, dollarization of different economies, impact of economy on hospitality industry, economic performance of hospitality industry. [5]


[1] Allen, C. and Mehler, D.M., 2019. Open science challenges, benefits and tips in early career and beyond. PLoS biology17(5), p.e3000246.(Web Link)

[2] Raynor, K., 2019. Participatory action research and early career researchers: The structural barriers to engagement and why we should do it anyway. Planning Theory & Practice, pp.1-7. (Web Link)

[3] Sarabipour, S., Debat, H.J., Emmott, E., Burgess, S.J., Schwessinger, B. and Hensel, Z., 2019. On the value of preprints: An early career researcher perspective. PLoS biology17(2), p.e3000151.(Web Link)

[4] What do postdocs need to succeed? A survey of current standing and future directions for Australian researchers

Margaret C. HardyAdrian Carter & Nikola Bowden

Palgrave Communications volume2, Article number: 16093 (2016) (Web Link)

[5] Letsa, L. (2018) “The Impact of a Dollar-based Economy on the Hospitality Industry: A Theoretical Explanation and a Research Agenda”, Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, 21(2), pp. 1-9. doi: 10.9734/JEMT/2018/37957. (Web Link)