• Explore member blogs - most recent entries are at top



  • Numbers Toolkit

    By Research Cooperative, 2021-04-14

    This toolkit will cover all kinds of number conversion other than cash and time conversions, which have their own "toolkits" in this blog.

    Roman to decimal numbers - courtesy of CalculatorSoup, where innumerable other number converters are provided!

    Codes of Conduct and Research Ethics

    By Research Cooperative, 2021-04-08

    Codes of conduct, research ethics and integrity... there are many ways to label the subject, but the overall goal is to make science a positive approach to understanding the world and guiding human activities. Science and knowledge can be powerful, anything that is powerful can do much that is good, and much that is not, however "good" is defined.

    The actual details that need to be considered by any individual person or organisation depend on context: who is doing the work, who else is involved, the topic of study, the place of study, the methods used, what kind of information is generated, how information is communicated, the ways in which information might be used, intended purposes and possible unintended consequences, and who or what will benefit, or might benefit, directly or indirectly, when, and where.

    In this blog post I will gradually add links to a range of websites where codes of conduct and research ethics are discussed or provided. Seeing many different examples may help members of the Research Cooperative consider what is best practice in their own areas of activity, as researchers, students, editors, translators and so on. Codes of conduct are often developed by professional societies, academic societies, institutions. Some may be very broad in scope, others may be designed for specific disciplines or even for specific methods used within a discipline.

    If you would like to discuss these matters with other members of our network, please see our topic focus group for Research Ethics and Integrity

    Here is an example with very broad scope, published by ALLEA (European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities), which represents more than 50 academies in over 40 EU and non-EU countries. ALLEA aims to promote science as a global public good, and facilitate scientific collaboration across borders and disciplines: The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity  

    The Code was published in English on 24th March 2017, and was translated into all official EU languages. All versions can be accessed through the link above.

    Reading in 2021

    By Research Cooperative, 2021-04-08

    Bill Gammage (2012) The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia. Allen & Unwin. 434 pp.

    I started reading this in 2020, and finished a few weeks ago... a long slow read but one I savored, as the author gradually builds up a big picture of what Australia was and is. He describes life-ways and a philosophy of living that do not fit the narrow categories of "farming" or "hunting and gathering" commonly used to distinguish Eurasian agricultural societies from many of those that exist (or existed) in Africa, the Americas, and Australia. By showing what Australia was, the scale of loss that followed European colonisation is overwhelming, at an emotional level. Not all is lost though, as this book is also an attempt to help us learn from historical experience, imagine new possibilities, and seek new directions. The lessons here are not just for those who live in Australia, and not just for the descendants of European colonisers. We all belong to a modern industrial world in which it has become increasingly difficult to remain connected to land, and to care for it.

    Posted in: Books | 0 comments

    Potential for impact in science

    By Research Cooperative, 2021-02-21
    Potential for impact in science

    Today I sent the following message to a new member:

    "Thanks very much for joining.  It would be great if you can offer your services in our service forums, and join the Image Workshop community page here:


    What we really need is more active use of the network by members: activity promotes activity, inactivity promotes inactivity.

    The network is unique in its focus on science communication, so there are interesting opportunities to have an impact for any members who do become active."

    The last point explains why I continue to maintain the network despite the persistent lack of activity. I still believe in the potential to improve science communication through better communication among all those involved in writing and publishing research.

    Perhaps it is little like the origins of life on potentially inhabitable planets: life can happen, but not necessarily so. There might be life on Mars, or there might not. Our network might come to life, or it might not. Perseverance is needed.

    Photo: The Perseverance rover has landed. Photo courtesy NASA, 19th Feb. 2021: https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/25609/high-resolution-still-image-of-perseverances-landing/

    Looking for a world index of academic journals?

    By Research Cooperative, 2021-02-05

    Why look for an index?

    Well... hopefully someone else has done the hard work of looking through zillions of search results and identifying journals that actually exist, and that can be contacted if necessary.

    Let's see. An exact search on "world index of journals" should narrow things down.

    Here's what we get:

    Google: "No results..." but then there are about 264,000,000 results that are not exact.

    No bad. I won't start at the bottom of that list!

    The Index Copernicus , based in Warsaw, is at top.

    After that there are some journal ranking sites. And some incomplete journal indexing sites that seem to have started and then stopped.

    "World list of journals" doesn't lead far either. There is a Wikipedia entry that lists some journals. And a Google snippit highlights this revelation:

    "No one knows how many scientific journals there are, but several estimates point to around 30,000, with close to two million articles published each year."

    That came from a short and pithy article:

    "Too much academic research is being published"

    Philip G. Altbach and Hans de Wit, 07 September 2018, University World News .

    T here is probably not much more I need to say.

    There is No World Index! Just a lot of partial information.

    That's OK.

    We've survived tens of thousands of years with partial information.

    It helps keep us on our toes. We wouldn't need science if we actually knew everything.

    Posted in: Academic | 0 comments
     / 4