Graduate school is bad for your mental health

A new study by a team of Harvard-affiliated researchers highlights one of the consequences of these realities: Graduate students are disproportionately likely to struggle with mental-health issues. The researchers surveyed roughly 500 economics Ph.D. candidates at eight elite universities, and found that 18 percent of them experienced moderate or severe symptoms of depression and anxiety.…

Turning to AI to help with peer review

A handful of academic publishers are piloting AI tools to do anything from selecting reviewers to checking statistics and summarizing a paper’s findings. In June, software called StatReviewer, which checks that statistics and methods in manuscripts are sound, was adopted by Aries Systems, a peer-review management system owned by Amsterdam-based publishing giant Elsevier. And ScholarOne,…

Another big replication project has disappointing results

Over the past few years, an international team of almost 200 psychologists has been trying to repeat a set of previously published experiments from its field, to see if it can get the same results. Despite its best efforts, the project, called Many Labs 2, has only succeeded in 14 out of 28 cases. Six…

Teachers don’t find educational research relevant

Depressing but not surprising. From the Director of IES: For starters, many teachers view research as a search for bright shiny objects pushed by administrators without adequate attention to the needs and skills of teachers. Many told us they felt that their professional knowledge is all too often neglected in education research and, to use…

Academia is a cult

I “blew out” of the cult — to use its own lingo for leaving — after my senior year to attend a Catholic university 20 miles away. I still read the Apostle Paul, but Jane Austen and James Joyce, too. Then I earned a PhD in English at the University of Minnesota, where I rehearsed…

Sarah Lawrence students demand professor be stripped of tenure and fired for writing a NYT op-ed

Here is the horrifying op-ed: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/opinion/liberal-college-administrators.html After penning an op-ed for The New York Times decrying the ideological homogeneity of his campus administration, a conservative-leaning professor at Sarah Lawrence College discovered intimidating messages—including demands that he quit his job—on the door of his office. […] In the two weeks since the incident, Samuel Abrams, a…

How academic mobbing works

Kenneth Westhues, professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo, himself a victim of such a campaign, devoted himself to the topic for decades. In his 2006 book, The Envy of Excellence: Administrative Mobbing of High-Achieving Professors, Westhues developed a list of criteria to identify true mobbing. Amongst them: The target is popular and high-achieving. Mediocre performers tend not…

Professor disciplined because he didn’t write a reference letter!

So what happens if he agrees to write a letter, but the language is less-than-stellar? Is that verboten? And what about getting in trouble for writing a reference letter? John Cheney-Lippold, a tenured American and digital studies associate professor, will not get a merit raise during the 2018-19 academic year and can’t go on his upcoming sabbatical in…