Top Ten

January 9, 2018

Numerous Canadian scientists publishing in predatory journal

Scientists from top-tier postsecondary institutions across Canada keep publishing their results in fake science journals despite years of warnings, writes Tom Spears for the Ottawa Citizen. The author notes that the India-based OMICS has significantly improved its search engine rankings in ways that have led credible Canadian scientists to publish in it. One veteran science publisher warns that all of the work published with these types of journals is “just thrown away” because it does not undergo a peer review process. Jim Germida of Canadian Science Publishing says that he cannot believe that scientists fail to understand a problem that has been so widely discussed for years. “I couldn’t imagine how people did not see all the information,” said Germida. “I chair the University (of Saskatchewan’s) tenure and promotion committee and we still see situations where young faculty and more experienced faculty find themselves caught in this trap.” Ottawa Citizen

Rise of nationalism puts onus on universities to collaborate globally: Chakma

“While our world is becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent, a countervailing political upheaval is manifesting itself – one that seems determined to create barriers between people and nations alike,” writes Western University President Amit Chakma. The author notes that in the current political climate, universities will have to “double down” on international collaboration in order to bring the peoples of the world together through “the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge, and through the promotion of talent mobility on a global scale.” Chakma concludes by suggesting that institutions view themselves as being “part of a dynamic global system” that ultimately aims to draw on the benefits of a “richly diverse global community.” Times Higher Education

Calgary judge apologizes for racist comments made to class of law students

A Calgary judge has apologized to University of Calgary law students for making racist comments during a guest lecture last Thursday. CBC reports that Court of Queen's Bench Justice Kristine Eidsvik allegedly commented to second-year law students that she felt uncomfortable walking into a room “full of big dark people,” adding that she was used to being in her “ivory tower” where she is normally “removed from the riff raff.” “I made a remark about my initial reaction walking into a JDR [judicial dispute resolution] room that as soon as it came out of my mouth, I recognized was not appropriate and could be construed as insensitive to racial minorities,” said Eidsvik in an apology to the same class on Friday. The law school says that the incident has been resolved and that it plans on using the incident as a learning opportunity. CBC

Economics departments are not keeping up with reality: two professors

“While interest on resolving unemployment, inequality and secular stagnation is growing, economics departments are moving further and further away from teaching relevant economic theories on how to address these issues,” write Laurentian University Economics Professor Louis-Philippe Rochon and Université Grenoble Alpes Assciate Professor Guillaume Vallet. The authors argue that a pervasive culture of hyper-specialization is producing Economics graduates who are “well-versed in manipulating complex and technical models, but who have nothing to say about solving real-world problems.” “University administrators have an opportunity to show true leadership and diversify their hiring,” the authors conclude. “Many institutions are evolving; to remain relevant, economics departments must too.” Globe and Mail

Montréal Gazette highlights success of student passport program

The Montréal Gazette interviews Ion Banaru, an electrical engineering student at McGill University who has benefited greatly from Quebec’s Pathways to Education program. The article notes that Banaru landed in Quebec from Moldova in 2008 speaking neither French nor English. He notes that the program provided him with the academic supports necessary to let me progress through his education at the same pace as his Quebec classmates. Further, Banaru says that the program encouraged him to integrate socially into his new home as he made his way into the CEGEP and university systems. Journal de Montréal

Why classroom learning is better than experiential learning: Kijinski

Proponents of experiential learning often assert that students need “real-life” experience at the expense of important academic work, writes John Kijinski. The author argues that the impetus for giving students exposure to real-life experience often comes from a desire to give these students a leg up in their future careers and to make them more useful to society. Yet while this might prove true in the short-term, Kijinski argues that this may not be the case in the long term. The author goes on to discuss several situations in which a student might do themselves a long-term disservice by choosing an experiential learning opportunity over a classroom learning opportunity. Inside Higher Ed

Lawsuit against Douglas over informal certificate dismissed by courts

Former Douglas College student Agnes Tong has filed a lawsuit against Douglas, alleging that the college misled students in its Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Studies Program. Tong stated that she was misled into believing that the program would earn her an official certificate, adding that “I wanted to have that recognition, a document that showed I know about Aboriginal history and residential schools and their effect on Aboriginal people.” In a statement of defense, Douglas denied all allegations and explained that “students are expressly told this informal certificate is not a credential but is simply recognition from the instructors of the student’s achievements and hard work during the year.” The Province reports that after one day of hearing evidence, the judge dismissed the case and deemed the complaint to be without merit. The Province (1) | The Province (2)

Flawed data greatly exaggerates demise of US libraries

A recent article published by 24/7 Wall St has “greatly exaggerated” the demise of US libraries, reports Inside Higher Ed. The article in question ranked libraries and archives as one of the fastest-declining industries in the US. However, an Inside Higher Ed analysis found that the numbers used in the article were analyzed in such a way that the number of jobs were drastically misrepresented. James Neal, president of the American Library Association, tweeted late last month that he thought the data in the article were “grossly inaccurate, indeed laughable.” Inside Higher Ed

AB Indigenous women receive specialized training from High Velocity Equipment College

High Velocity Equipment College delivered a specialized, heavy equipment program on the Enoch Cree Nation to Indigenous women earlier this month. The province provided funding to the Oteenow Employment and Training Society and the Tribal Chiefs Employment and Training Services Association to deliver the 12-week program. “A well-educated, well-trained workforce is a key driver of a strong and resilient economy … workers need to have the right skills for the jobs that employers are hiring for,” said AB Labour Minister Christina Grey. “Our government is committed to ensuring there is equality of opportunity for Indigenous women who want to work and find success in our province.” CBC | Edmonton Journal

BrandonU, Sport Manitoba partnership sees top athletes train at Healthy Living Centre

A partnership between Brandon University and the not-for-profit organization Sport Manitoba has resulted in the development of the High Performance Centre. The centre is being used by national team athletes, provincial team athletes, and BrandonU Bobcats athletic teams for training and coaching. “Sport Manitoba is excited to grow our partnership with Brandon University and expand the athlete development opportunities in Sport Manitoba’s West region,” says Sport Manitoba President Jeff Hnatiuk. “The services offered mirror the Canada Games Sport for Life Performance Centre in Winnipeg, targeting rural athletes and coaches in Western Manitoba.” BrandonU