Early-career researchers herald change | Nature Index
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-07-26
"The younger generation sees a collaborative system as key to discovery and advancement, a three-year tracking project reveals.
For decades, waves of early-career researchers have been kept in scholarly order, chained to a reputational system dictated by their seniors and reinforced by university appraisal systems. This impels them to devote most of their energies to publishing papers in high-impact factor journals, just as their senior colleagues do. We have long suspected that the voices of early-career researchers (ECRs) might be supressed by this unforgiving system, and as a consequence misrepresented by countless surveys. Hearing them fully is important: they are the largest group of researchers and the fuel that powers nearly every research project. They are also tomorrow’s Nobel prize winners.
To build trust and rapport with these born-digital millennials, who are often characterised by their belief in openness, sharing and transparency, we conducted interviews with a panel of more than 100 science and social science ECRs under 35 from seven countries (China, Malaysia, United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Poland) for three consecutive years. Each year of our Harbingers 2015-2018 study we asked around 60 questions about every aspect of scholarly communications and reputation in interviews that took 60–90 minutes. Watching our ECRs mature, we found a more nuanced picture, which heralds change on a much larger scale than the typically one-off, one-dimensional surveys envisage. ECRs are very sympathetic to the open science agenda, convinced of the benefits of collaboration and sharing, and use social media and online communities widely in their scholarly activities...."