Posts Tagged: research

New agreement with Elsevier – 100 percent Open Access

A new agreement has been reached with the scientific publisher Elsevier. The agreement covers university wide reading rights to about 2,000 scientific journals from Elsevier and allows researchers affiliated with Stockholm University to publish Open Access at no extra costs” (Stockholm University Library).

About time! But kudos to the libraries for their patience. 18 months without Elsevier articles was not as painful as I had imagined.

This is a step in the right direction to achieve the goal of 100 percent pure Open Access. This agreement in combination with other transformative agreements implies almost 90 percent Open Access publications at Stockholm University in 2020. In addition to these agreements, we will continue to finance article processing charges in all fully Open Access journals, says Wilhelm Widmark, Library Director at Stockholm University Library and vice Chair of the Bibsam consortium’s steering committee, who negotiated the deal” (Stockholm University Library).

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Want to check for retractions in your personal library — and get alerts — for free? Now you can

We’re thrilled to announce a collaboration with Zotero, the free and open-source research platform, that will allow its users to be alerted to retractions of any papers in their personal libraries” (Retraction Watch).

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If time, as we perceive it, is a function of human cognition and perception then how could music, as we perceive it, not be a human “construct”. Nevertheless, this is the stuff you use when you want to blow minds. Also, Isaac Newton. Was he human though? I am not entirely convinced.

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Seems like this is, at least partial, validation of calls by people like Sam Harris for a more direct study of human consciousness (and other, non-human, types, if at all possible).

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Uppsägningen av Elsevieravtalet

Men varför ett sĂĄdant huvudlöst tilltag, frĂĄgar sig vän av ordning? Det riskerar ju att med omedelbar verkan frĂĄn avtalets upphörande den första juli strypa bibliotekens tillgĂĄng till mĂĄnga av världens främsta vetenskapliga tidskrifter. […] Svaret är enkelt: förhandlingarna med Elsevier har strandat därför att den affärsmodell som de, i likhet med mĂĄnga andra av de stora förlagen, tillämpar och där lärosätena fĂĄr betala tredubbelt, är helt orimlig.”

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Another day, another viva.

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Another doctor, another dinner. This time within the (extended) family.

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Attending a viva. Not an accounting dissertation being defended this time.

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Caught Our Notice: An article about repetition is duplicated? Priceless

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Till den akademiska frihetens försvar

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Is Most Published Research Wrong?

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Here’s a mystery: How did a nonexistent paper rack up hundreds of citations?

Pieter Kroonenberg, an emeritus professor of statistics at Leiden University in The Netherlands, was puzzled when he tried to locate a paper about academic writing and discovered the article didn’t exist. In fact, the journal—Journal of Science Communications—also didn’t exist.

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The Absurdity of the Nobel Prizes in Science

Every year, when Nobel Prizes are awarded in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine, critics note that they are an absurd and anachronistic way of recognizing scientists for their work. Instead of honoring science, they distort its nature, rewrite its history, and overlook many of its important contributors.

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What types of researchers are most likely to recycle text? The answers might surprise you – Retraction Watch

Among Dutch historians we found virtually no text recycling. However, among Dutch psychologists text recycling is more elevated and among economists it is as much as one in seven publications. Text recycling also occurs more often among productive authors, in papers with fewer co-authors, and in journals that do not specify clear rules.

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Byråkratins ökning i universitetsvärlden

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The Nobel peace prize is a who’s who of hawks, hypocrites and war criminals

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May the sting be with you: Another journal prank, too good to overlook

…I created a spoof manuscript about “midi-chlorians” – the fictional entities which live inside cells and give Jedi their powers in Star Wars. I filled it with other references to the galaxy far, far away, and submitted it to nine journals under the names of Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin.

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Postsocialism was not built on the ruins of communism but with the ruins of communism” (Stark, 2009, The Sense of Dissonance, p. 76).

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Academics are being hoodwinked into writing books nobody can buy *

“A few months ago, an editor from an academic publisher got in touch to ask if I was interested in writing a book for them.

I’ve ignored these requests in the past. I know of too many colleagues who have responded to such invitations, only to see their books disappear on to a university library shelf in a distant corner of the world.

If someone tried to buy said book – I mean, like a real human being – they would have to pay the equivalent of a return ticket to a sunny destination or a month’s child benefit. These books start at around £60, but they can cost double that, or even more.

This time, however, I decided to play along.”

What follows is a frank description that illustrates a major element of contemporary academic book publishing. In addition to what is mentioned in the article, I have also heard that writers sometimes have to pay for proofreading and other services normally provided by a publisher.

This seems to be a relatively big business for the publishers (they are at least almost guaranteed a small profit on each project) and, as the Anonymous Academic in the Guardian points out, not a very good deal for anyone else.

“So why don’t academics simply stay away from the greedy publishers? The only answer I can think of is vanity.”

I can think of another. These books (and book chapters) often count significantly in various academic reward systems. Compared to getting published in a high-quality peer-reviewed journal, writing these books is simply a good career move.

* This is the title of an article originally appearing in The Guardian 2015-09-04 (which recently came to my attention via my Facebook feed).

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“We’ve found four more retractions for an erstwhile accounting professor, bringing his total to 37.

The latest retractions follow a 2014 investigation into the work of James H. Hunton by his former employer, Bentley University in Massachusetts, which found him guilty of misconduct, resulting in more than two dozen retractions. Here’s the list of retractions released by the American Accounting Association (Retraction Watch, May 12th, 2016).

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IFRS – Dilemman och utmaningar

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) fyller 10 ĂĄr i Sverige 2015. Detta uppmärksammar jag och mina sex medförfattare[1] i boken IFRS – Dilemman och utmaningar. Boken rapporterar resultaten frĂĄn olika forskningsprojekt som alla genomförts under det gemensamma paraply som utgörs av ett forskningsprojekt (P2009-0419:1) finansierat av Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser. Som namnet pĂĄ boken antyder ligger fokus pĂĄ de dilemman och utmaningar, som fortfarande ett decennium senare, kvarstĂĄr med den nya standarden. PĂĄ Studentlitteraturs webbplats presenteras boken sĂĄ här:

I Sverige har införandet av obligatorisk IFRS för noterade företag varit omdiskuterat. I boken IFRS – Dilemman och utmaningar diskuteras skälen till detta, med användning av såväl författarnas egen som andras forskning. En aspekt av IFRS är att det är principbaserat och kräver bedömningar vid upprättande av finansiella rapporter. Detta kan leda till brist på harmonisering och skapa svårigheter för exempelvis revisorer. Å andra sidan skulle det sannolikt vara svårt att införa strikta redovisningsregler globalt. En annan aspekt av IFRS är att det baseras på en syn på ägande och företagsstyrning som skiljer sig från den som utgör grunden för svenskt näringsliv. Detta avspeglar sig exempelvis i användning av verkligt värde inom IFRS, och i den traditionellt svaga tillsynen i Sverige.

Boken är av intresse för alla de som i praktiken påverkats av införandet av IFRS i Sverige (revisorer, redovisare och användare av redovisning), samt för studenter och forskare med intresse för svensk externredovisning.

  1. Bino Catasús, Gunilla Eklöv Alander och Gustav Johed från Stockholms universitet; Pernilla Lundqvist från KPMG; samt Jan Marton och Emmeli Runesson från Göteborgs universitet.  ↩
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Papers 3: it’s getting better

There are still some bugs in my, nonetheless, favourite article and reference manager Papers 3. Most notable is the reading list which seems great in principle—it even sync to the web now—but in practice is rather useless as, more often than not, it simply refuses to add new papers to the list. However, as a paper manager it is now really good. Syncing works, including annotations which now follow the paper between the devises (although free hand written notes is still not two way—but that is apparently in the works). Highlighting have been improved and the reading experience on both the iPad and the Mac is rather pleasant. What I haven’t done in a while is using Papers as a writing reference program Ă  la Endnote. (Presently, I add and manage my references manually.) But maybe it is nowtime to go all in on Papers 3.

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Papers 3: still disappointing

“I finally decided to give it a full try by importing my Papers2 library and starting to write with help of Papers3. So far I am sorry to report significant disappointment and regret. The version is still too buggy.” (Academic workflows on a Mac)

I agree. Sad. So much potential here.


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Auditing and the construction of accounting reliability (ACAR)

I guess I know what I’ll be working on…

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Keeping up appearances

Recently it was brought to my attention that a conference paper of mine is the third most viewed “publication” in the Uppsala University library database DiVA. This, I have to admit, made me a little embarrassed. Because, people kept congratulating me for this thing, which I could neither understand nor explain. I was completely bewildered why this “work in progress” would be the text that, out of all the things I have written, would get the most attention. I quickly realised that my only real choices—if I did not want to continue the “I don’t know” mantra at the risk of looking stupid for not knowing, or lazy for not finding out—were to either just smile and try to keep up the appearance that this conference paper was some kind of master piece or to go to the bottom of this mystery and try to find at least a partial explanation for the paper’s popularity. The choice was of course easy. How could I not want to know?

Screenshot 2012 12 09 2229

First of all it is worth noting that the database entry is the third most “viewed” on DiVA. This is an important distinction because the paper is not downloadable. (A later published version of the paper can be downloaded from Elsevier but this conference paper version can’t.) On the other hand, there is no way of knowing that the paper is not downloadable when it appears in the list of search results so from that perspective the distinction is not important. What is important is to be clear about that very few people have actually read the conference paper. That a lot of people have clicked on the link to the database entry for the paper in the list of DiVA search results does hence not mean that we can draw any conclusions about the quality of the paper.

In fact, I would submit that the conference paper is not that particularly good. Although I think the empirical parts of the paper are OK, I am not especially proud of the theoretical parts of the conference paper. Fortunately the published version of the paper is much better. The paper is published as An analysis of the demands on a sufficient audit: Professional appearance is what counts! and can be found in Critical Perspectives on Accounting Vol. 21, No. 8, pp. 669-682. As of december 2012 the journal article is cited by one other paper according to Scopus, and by seven other sources by the more generous Google Scholar. And although only three years have passed since its publication—and it hence is not impossible that a flood of references are still to come—I do not expect the journal article to be referenced in anyway nearly similar numbers to the conference paper. The mystery is not why the journal article is not referenced in the thousands but why the conference paper has been viewed so ridiculously often.

So, how can the popularity of the database entry in Uppsala University’s library catalog DiVA be explained? Well, if one search Google for the title (or parts of the title) of the paper not much shows up. This tell us that the answer has something to do with the content of the database rather than the subject or the title as such. Actually, the story of this database entry tell us a lot about the state of audit research in Uppsala, and Sweden more generally, as one soon finds that there is not much of it in this database. Hence, supply is scarce. Simultaneously, demand is apparently high. And in particular demand is high for studies of “low audit quality”. A search for “low audit quality” (in december 2012) result in five hits. Mine is at the top. Three of the five hits are publications from 2012 and only my entry is a text about financial auditing. It would seem that people are really interested in low audit quality. Present and future students hence ought to keep this in mind when choosing subjects for their bachelor and master theses. (And I and my colleagues should also return to the subject.)

From this perspective the popularity of the database entry is however a little ironic because, as is apparent from the discussion above, I changed the title of the paper between the conference and the subsequent publication of the paper three years later. The paper still is about low audit quality but it is definitely not about “audit quality at the low end of the audit quality continuum” as the title of the conference paper reads. It was however submitted as such to Critical Perspectives on Accounting but I had to change the title to “An analysis of the demands on a sufficient audit” as one of the anonymous reviewers made me aware of the nonsense of talking about an audit quality continuum as if it was a single metric or a compound of metrics that could be measured along a single dimension. It is now clear to me (as it should have been already when I submitted the paper for publication) that audit quality is far more complex than that. Actually, I made this observation the main point of the introduction of the journal article. Later I also changed the second part of the title to “professional appearance is what counts”, by suggestion from the editor after the paper was accepted for publication. It was a good suggestion, which I accepted without alteration or hesitation.

The second part of the title is good because it so accurately describes the main point made in the paper. And this is also why I find the popularity of the title of the conference paper so ironic. Because, the main point of both versions of the paper is, as the later title so clearly emphasises, that although quality in a technical sense is important when deciding what is good and bad auditing, what really matter is the appearance of the auditor as professional. And this is ironic because I suspect that this is exactly what is going on here too. People find the database entry because they search for “low audit quality” and  because there are few if any alternatives in the database. But this does not mean that they have to click on the link. They could just leave DiVA and go to Google Scholar instead. The reason why they click on the link, I believe, has to do with the title having such a scientific ring to it, especially the part I later, thanks to the reviewers, came to view as the most flawed part of the paper: “the audit quality continuum”.

If this is true I guess I should be a bit embarrassed by the popularity of (the title of) the conference paper. Because, what makes people click on the link is the part of the paper I am least proud of. Fortunately they cannot read the paper. Furthermore the popularity of the database entry also gave me this chance to make “clever” analogies between the content of the paper and the popularity of the paper. On the balance, I have therefore decided to be happy for the popularity of the database entry, if nothing else for it being such a good indicator that Uppsala University need more audit research! Furthermore, the conference paper may not be the paper with the highest quality I have written, but (for those who haven’t read this blog post) it sure helps keep up the appearance of me as a competent researcher!

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