Early career researchers and the pandemic
funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Harbingers-2 is a continuation of a world-wide project we began in 2015: Harbingers — a longitudinal study of 'digital natives', young researchers who had yet to achieve established or tenured positions. Harbingers-2 takes this work forward in association with the University of Tennessee and with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Once again we will be studying the work lives, prospects and scholarly communication, behaviour and attitude of today’s novice researchers. However, Harbingers-2 — will do so with the express purpose of discovering how the pandemic will have impacted on the cohort that constitutes a most vulnerable generation of researchers.
Led by David Nicholas the international research team includes:
Hamid R Jamali,
Jie Xu, and
A study of change in ECRs' employment status, careers and scholarly communication behaviour and attitudes
An investigation that seeks to establish what the new scholarly normal is going to look like in a world of pandemic-wrought changes and to establish how the future of the scientific enterprise will unfold in these crucial and pivotal times, as seen through the lens of tomorrow’s future professors and leading scientists and social scientists. Building upon and extending the 4-year longitudinal Harbingers study of ECRs we will be studying the work lives, prospects and scholarly communication behaviours and attitudes of today’s novice researchers. However, Harbingers-2 will do so with the express purpose of discovering how the pandemic will have impacted on the cohort that constitutes the biggest and most vulnerable generation of researchers.
Thus, the longitudinal work CIBER have conducted with ECRs in helping to determine whether their millennial beliefs are changing the face of scholarly communication will be continued over the next two years (2020–2022) to include the monitoring of the effects of the pandemic and whether it is accelerating or hindering change, altering the nature of change or giving rise to additional and different changes. We shall also seek to establish how the challenges to the scholarly undertaking, brought about by the pandemic, affected the diverse populations among the ECRs and how they were dealt with in different countries: have the rich become richer and the poor even poorer? How do developed/developing countries fare in result? What lessons can be learnt from different national and institutional policies aimed at warding off the danger of the present-day cohort of ECRs being rendered the lost generation of the pandemic-riddled scholarly world? Where, in these circumstances, do ‘best practices’ lie? The study will feature three sets of repeat interviews, conducted periodically over two years with around 170 ECRs from the sciences and social sciences from the US, UK, China, France, Poland, Malaysia, Spain and Russia, capped by a questionnaire survey to scale up the interview findings to a larger and more international and discipline-diverse population of ECRs.