• #DOAJ (#Directory_of_Open_Access_Journals)

    DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. DOAJ is independent. All funding is via donations, 40% of which comes from sponsors and 60% from members and publisher members. All DOAJ services are free of charge including being indexed in DOAJ. All data is freely available.
    #liste #OA #open_access #édition_scientifique #université #revues #revues_scientifiques

    • List of OA journals in geography, political ecology, anthropology, planning, area studies, and various social sciences

      “…….So things might have happily continued, had not the corporate interests within this limited, subsidised economy pushed journal subscription prices to the point where access to the knowledge went into a state of decline, at a time when new publishing technologies enabled researchers to take publishing back into their own hands. These new technologies have been used to demonstrate how access can be greatly increased, improving the circulation of knowledge, restoring the researcher’s control of knowledge, and extending its value as a public good by making it far more widely available.” Willinsky J. 2003. The Nine Flavours of Open Access Scholarly Publishing . J Postgrad Med 49:263-7.

      Academics write most of their work in journals. Journals should publish and curate good quality work, but unfortunately the majority are also used to make money for commercial publishers. This is not a win-win situation. Corporate profits are frequently high because companies retain author copyrights, and sell the material to (mainly) scholarly and university libraries, that frequently struggle to stock key journals because of the cost. Five companies are now dominating the field, and buying out smaller ones. Financing of this form of scholarly publishing is opaque. Academics do not rock the boat on this very often, because their prestige and careers are linked too much to the journals they publish in, and most of the prestigious ones are commercial and expensive. Our systems of merit and performance measures are not yet geared to rewarding publishing that is ethical, or based on social justice criteria (Cahill and Irving 2015). This is especially bad at research universities. (good ref. here, a depressing study here that shows social scientists in particular don’t care as much about OA as they about the rank of outlets).

      To make some contribution to the debate about whether social scientists can avoid the big commercial, firewalled journals, I list below decent academic journals that are free or cheap to publish in, have proper refereeing, and are Open Access – free for readers. Copyright is retained by the author in most but not quite all of them. Open access journals can also impose substantial fees on authors instead of readers. Those with high fees above cUS$500 for authors are excluded- like most social scientists I don’t have more than this to contribute to a publication and I don’t think more is justified. There is a long debate about whether in our internet world, we should be paying at all, which I won’t get into here.

      The list began with fields my students and I publish in, hence the small number of themes [environment & development, human geography, anthropology, urban studies and planning, area studies, general social science, and the university research/teaching/publication process], but it should be useful as a starting point. Further discussion on journals and open access here. Journals are the main systems of prestige, ranking and hierarchy that we have, much as it would be fairer to ignore them and just publish in the most appropriate venue for the readership. I have included Scopus and its useful impact factor derivative Citescore (released Dec 2016, now called Scopus Sources), Web of Science (formerly ISI) and their newish Emerging Sources Citation Index listings.

      For the majority of my colleagues reading this who have not thought much about OA and publishing ethics (and are manically trying to publish in the best places), I hope you find something you can contribute to. In brief, open access is the best way to publish scholarly material – more readers, and articles under authors’ control. It is a logical outcome of the invention of the web, and the Academic Spring protests of 2012 (analysis, reasons), which have had echoes – eg the Lingua debacle over the resignation of an editorial board that was dissatisfied with Elsevier’s control of copyright and high OA charges, and all the Netherlands universities’ fight with the same company in 2015 about high charges.

      Most of the journals on the list are run by the “community economies” of unpaid academics, university libraries or departments, or scholarly societies, and a few are commercial but still have acceptable author fees that mere mortals could afford (APCs) *. Only if the big publishers are able to offer OA at reasonable fees, is it worth considering publishing an OA article with them. That said, as Sir/Prof. Tim Gowers argues, journals these days exist only to accommodate author prestige – you can publish anything online, or easily just email the author for a copy of an article (or use Researchgate, or Sci-hub). So OA journals need to be as good in quality and meticulous as those conventional ones that are costing our libraries a fortune. I hope I only list good ones here.

      The invention of the web and its rollout in the early 1990s spelled the end of the need for conventional firewalled journals. Printed copies are no longer required (although they may be desired by a few) and the culture among scholars has changed to storing individual article PDFs and only printing them if needed. There are few costs for hosting a journal online – storing its files is easy. Costs, or value, are all in the labour. To suggest there are major cost implications of OA is not true, unless professional editors or translators are used. If publishing is done largely by academics and their institutions, which is my hope, the cost of running journals is absorbed into regular workloads or taken up by grants, and we have a true change in publishing underway. “The commitment of scholars everywhere to finding new ways of improving access to knowledge” (Willinsky 2003) need not be commercialised or costly. The ‘big five’ publishers (who now control 66% of papers in social sciences in the WoS, and rising…) and some of the smaller ones will have to adapt or perish (but they do produce indexing, which is useful for now). We will have our copyrights and a larger potential readership, and university libraries will have more money to spend. We will also be able to support smaller and multilingual world periphery journals.

      Useful sites

      DOAJ if your journal isn’t on here, a curated list of proper OA journals, not good. However in 2016 they did some housecleaning, but it was pretty poorly done so many legit. journals complained about being missed off. This now (2017) seems to be rectified.
      A campaign to alert you to dodgy publishers, because there are some
      A listing of academic articles on radical OA
      A video about OA

      Paywall (2018) the movie – free and recommended.
      Open Access Chronicle
      Beall’s List, Original site was removed in Jan ’17 – possibly the author was threatened with litigation in some way. (now archived and updated Crappy journals designed to make money, and allowing substandard work, (were) identified and weeded out. Beall, now retired, did focus on the negatives of OA, was criticised for libertarian views supporting free enterprise but only for the conventional, subscription-based publishing establishment. And it must be said, he held a very embarrassing conspiracy theory about all OA publishing!
      QOAM Quality Open Access Market. Crowd-sourced assessment of OA journals. Evolving. List of journals and publishers is useful.
      Francophone journals list (geography)
      All Australian university-run journals
      Useful journal list in the environmental field, not all free
      JURN – good and updated list of OA journals, edited and searchable. Site down 2019 try here for a pdf instead
      ESOP young academics list of OA planning journals
      List of online anthropology journals
      INASP It funds Nepal Journals Online (most with credible academic status), Bangladesh Journals Online (BanglaJOL), Philippines Journals Online (PhilJOL) and Sri Lanka Journals Online (SLJOL), (and other countries). For Africa see Not all of these are good though; if I find good ones there I will place them below. For Eastern Europe see
      Latin America journal listing (til 2015)
      Impact of the social sciences – a useful LSE project with some actual data.
      Giant list by Jan Szczepanski, 9mb word file! Not all are cheap or taking english articles.
      Radical Open Access conference, June 2015, Coventry
      Walt Crawford writes more about OA publishing than anybody else- even book length manuscripts interrogating the DOAJ database. He shows reputable free OA journals are predominant – only a minority have high APCs.

  • Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation

    Proportion of degrees that are first class rose from 16% to 27% in six years, OfS finds.

    The higher education watchdog has issued a stark warning to universities that they will be fined or even removed from the official register if they fail to tackle spiralling grade inflation at degree level.

    Research by the Office for Students reveals for the first time the scale of the problem, which is virtually sector-wide with 84% of universities seeing significant unexplained increases in the number of first-class degrees awarded.

    Overall, the proportion of first-class honours awards has risen from 16% of all degrees awarded in 2010/11 to 27% six years later, according to OfS analysis of results at 148 universities and higher education providers.

    At the University of Surrey the proportion of firsts has more than doubled, from 23% in 2010/11 to 50% in 2016/17, while at Bradford University it has almost tripled, from 10.6% to 30.9%.

    The OfS, which is the new regulator of the higher education sector in England, called on universities to take urgent action to address the problem and warned of severe sanctions if they failed to do so.

    Nicola Dandridge, the OfS chief executive, said: “This report shows starkly that there has been significant and unexplained grade inflation since 2010-11. This spiralling grade inflation risks undermining public confidence in our higher education system.”

    According to the OfS regulatory framework, one of the conditions of functioning as a university is that “qualifications awarded to students hold their value at the point of qualification and over time”. If a university is found to be in breach of the condition, it may be fined, suspended from the register or deregistered altogether.

    Ministers have become increasingly concerned about the growing proportion of firsts and upper-class second degrees being awarded at universities. According to the latest research, the proportion of firsts and 2:1s combined has increased from 67% in 2010/11 to 78% six years later.

    The education secretary, Damian Hinds, called on the OfS to crack down on institutions found to be inflating grades. “I sincerely hope today’s figures act as a wake-up call to the sector, especially those universities which are now exposed as having significant unexplained increases,” he said.

    “Institutions should be accountable for maintaining the value of the degrees they award. I am urging universities to tackle this serious issue and have asked the Office for Students to deal firmly with any institution found to be unreasonably inflating grades.”
    Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
    Read more

    Increases in first-class degrees among students entering university with lower A-level results are particularly striking. Graduates who achieved the equivalent of two Cs and a D were almost three times more likely to graduate with first-class honours in 2016/7 compared with six years earlier.

    There is no parallel increase in degree attainment among graduates with top A-level results, and in the main it is the institutions with lower entry tariffs where the highest unexplained increases have been found.

    Universities have defended themselves in the past, saying the sector has changed significantly with more emphasis on the quality of teaching, alongside the fact that with higher tuition fees students are working harder to achieve higher grades.

    The OfS has used statistical modelling at the individual student level to try to account for factors that might influence attainment. It concludes that a significant element of the increases cannot be explained by changes to the graduate population and attainment and therefore remains cause for concern.

    Across the sector as a whole, the OfS found that 11.6 percentage points of the increase in first-class degrees awarded between 2010-11 and 2016-17 were unexplained, though in some universities the figure is much higher. At Surrey it is 27.3 percentage points; other universities where there are relatively high unexplained increases include Huddersfield, Greenwich, Coventry and Essex.

    Dandridge said it was crucial that degrees held their value over time. She said she recognised how hard students worked for their degrees and accepted that improved teaching, student support and pre-university qualifications could explain some of the increase in grades.

    “However, even accounting for prior attainment and student demographics, we still find significant unexplained grade inflation,” she said. “This analysis may make uncomfortable reading for some universities. It shows that individual and collective steps are needed to ensure that students can be confident that they will leave higher education with a qualification that is reliable, respected and helps ensure they are ready for life after graduation.”

    Alistair Jarvis, the chief executive of Universities UK, which represents 137 universities, said the sector was already taking steps to tackle grade inflation. “It is essential that the public has full confidence in the value of a degree,” he said.

    Of the 124 universities (84% of the sample) with significant unexplained increases in the number of first-class degrees, 77 showed a statistically significant unexplained increase relative to both the sector and their own level in 2010-11. A further 28 showed a statistically significant unexplained level of attainment above that of the sector level, and 19 showed a statistically significant unexplained increase relative to their own level in 2010-11.
    #université #UK #Angleterre #effets_pervers #taxes_universitaires #frais_d'inscription #it_has_begun #qualité #chantage #statistiques #chiffres #éducation

  • Hungry in the school holidays: Are voluntary schemes the long-term answer?

    “Is there any more chocolate pudding?” Two children held their bowls up hopefully, looking like 21st century versions of Oliver Twist. It was summer 2014 and I was running a MakeLunch kitchen at a primary school in Coventry for two weeks during the summer holidays.
    #faim #enfants #enfance #UK #Angleterre #alimentation #école #vacances #pauvreté

  • Boadicea, reine des Icéniens

    Boadicea (également appelée Boudicca) est probablement la plus célèbre des reines celtiques. Elle est un symbole de la liberté britannique, et son histoire a été enseignée aux écoliers anglais depuis deux siècles. Il est possible que le nom de Boadicea ou Boudicca lui ait été donné en l’honneur d’une déesse celtique de la victoire. La révolte de la tribu des Icéniens, en 60 après-JC, fut la plus sérieuse rébellion à laquelle les Romains eurent à faire face dans les Iles Britanniques. Le territoire des Icéniens se trouvait au sud-est de l’Angleterre, à l’emplacement des actuels comtés de Norfolk et de Suffolk. On pense que la bataille finale s’est déroulée dans les Midlands, un peu au nord de Coventry. L’île de Mona, citée au début de l’article, est l’île d’Anglesey dans le Pays de Galles. La ville romaine de Camulodunum est l’actuelle Colchester, celle de Verulamium est à présent St-Albans, et Londinium n’est autre que Londres (à l’époque, Londinium comptait probablement environ 30 000 habitants). Un village icénien, reconstitué sur un site celtique, peut être visité près de Swaffham.

    Si même @mona a une île maintenant ;)

  • 10 Facts the Media Won’t Tell You About the War in Syria

    Pour les détails, suivre le lien.

    (ANTIMEDIA) Corporate media regularly attempts to present Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria as solely responsible for the ongoing conflict in the region. The media does report on events that contradict this narrative — albeit sparingly — but taken together, these underreported details shine a new light on the conflict.

    10: Bashar al-Assad has a higher approval rating than Barack Obama

    9: The “moderate” opposition has been hijacked

    There is no longer such a thing as “moderate” opposition in Syria – if there ever was. The so-called Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been dominated by extremists for years. (...)

    8: Assad never used chemical weapons on his own people

    A U.N. investigation into the first major chemical weapons attack committed in early 2013 — an atrocity the West immediately pinned on Assad — concluded the evidence suggested the attack was more likely committed by the Syrian opposition. (...)

    7: Toppling the Syrian regime was part of a plan adopted shortly after 9/11

    According to a memo disclosed by 4-star General Wesley Clark, shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon adopted a plan to topple the governments of seven countries within five years. The countries were Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Iran. (...)

    6: Iran and Syria have a mutual defense agreement

    5: Former Apple CEO is the son of a Syrian refugee [!!!]

    4: ISIS arose out of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, not the Syrian conflict

    3: Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia wanted to build a pipeline through Syria, but Assad rejected it

    2: Leaked phone calls show Turkey provides ISIS fighters with expensive medical care

    1: Western media’s main source for the conflict is a T-shirt shop in Coventry, England

    This is not a joke. If you follow the news, you most probably have heard the mainstream media quote an entity grandiosely called the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” (SOHR). This so-called “observatory” is run by one man in his home in Coventry, England — thousands of miles away from the Syrian conflict — yet is quoted by most respected Western media outlets (BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, and International Business Times, for example).



    Assad may be brutal — and should face trial for allegations of widespread human rights abuses — but this fact alone does not make the other circumstances untrue or irrelevant. People have the right to be properly informed before they allow themselves to be led down the road of more war in the Middle East, and consequently, more terror attacks and potential conflicts with Russia and China.

  • Concours de beauté de tarentules…

    Pictures : Spider ’Crufts’ tarantula showcase attracts thousands as more than 800 species compete for prizes - Mirror Online

    Pictures: Spider ’Crufts’ tarantula showcase attracts thousands as more than 800 species compete for prizes
    Around 2,000 people seemingly unafraid of the hairy beasts turned up at the Coventry event on Sunday

    Crufts, d’après le nom du premier organisateur de concours canin (1886)

  • Rami Abdul Rahman’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights -

    COVENTRY, England — Military analysts in Washington follow its body counts of Syrian and rebel soldiers to gauge the course of the war. The United Nations and human rights organizations scour its descriptions of civilian killings for evidence in possible war crimes trials. Major news organizations, including this one, cite its casualty figures.


    #syrie #statistiques

  • Une pluie de pommes tombe sur une route en Angleterre | Les moutons enragés

    Avez-vous déjà imaginé recevoir une pluie de pommes sur la tête ? C’est exactement ce qu’ont vécu lundi des automobilistes et des passants dans la ville de Coventry, en Angleterre. Selon le Service météorologique britannique, cette averse fruitée serait l’œuvre d’une possible tornade qui aurait transporté ces pommes d’un verger.

    Le phénomène a complètement mystifié les résidents du secteur, en plus de provoquer la fermeture d’un tronçon routier qui s’est retrouvé couvert de pommes écrasées.

    Plusieurs ont cru que les fruits provenaient d’un avion en vol, alors que les gens plus superstitieux se grattaient la tête, allant même jusqu’à qu’à penser qu’une sorcière venait de leur lancer des pommes.

    Selon David Phillips, climatologue, la météo est parfois bizarre et violente, mais il faut se garder certaines réserves sur ce genre d’événements.

    Il y a toujours un risque qu’il s’agisse d’une cause qui n’a rien à voir avec la météo (ex. : un camion perd son chargement de pommes). « Mais en se penchant sérieusement sur ce cas, il y a certainement une explication météorologique », dit-il.
    c’est bon pour #it_has_begun

  • Bedworth ’suicide pact’ couple found lying side-by-side - Coventry News - News - Coventry Telegraph

    A MARRIED couple have been found dead in their Bedworth home following an apparent tragic suicide pact.

    Mark and Helen Mullins were found lying side by side in their home in Henson Road, Bedworth.

    Friends have spoken of the tragic couple’s struggle to access the correct benefits – leaving them living “hand to mouth” on food handouts from a Coventry soup kitchen which they walked five miles to each week.