Research Science Network

“We publicize key results of recent research articles, with visual content easy to understand rapidly. Save time in understanding science…

– We are a start-up that is being supported and developed at Harvard Innovation labs since 2020?

– We provide [open access] videos of less than 8 minutes that emphasize key elements of recently published research articles?

– We are innovating the way to receive recent research findings in a concise and fast manner?

– Our visual content includes interviews of authors who summarize their findings and give their point of view regarding their study?

– Our videos feature the authors name, their affiliated institution, and their journal ”

Harvard Law professors team with the MIT Press to launch the American Journal of Law and Equality | The MIT Press

“Three Harvard Law School professors have teamed up with the MIT Press to launch a new journal focused on issues of inequality. The American Journal of Law and Equality will be led and edited by its founders, Randall L. Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law; Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor; and Cass R. Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor.

The new journal is expected to appear once per year and include a diversity of scholarship and views from experts and practitioners from in and outside the legal academy. The first issue, expected this summer, will include essays related to Harvard Professor Michael J. Sandel’s recent book, The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?, which “challenges the hubris a meritocracy generates among the winners and the harsh judgement it imposes on those left behind.” …”

Nearly Four Million Harvard University Volumes Added to the Shared Collection of The Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP) | The New York Public Library

“Nearly four million volumes held by Harvard University have been added into the shared collection of the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP), a partnership between Columbia University, The New York Public Library (NYPL), Princeton University Library, and Harvard. Users of all four libraries can access the shared collection, now numbering nearly 17 million volumes, as though those items were in their own library. 

This means that Harvard Library users can now use the institution’s catalog, HOLLIS, to directly request materials in the shared collection at ReCAP contributed by any of the partner libraries, including the NYPL, its Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and its Library for the Performing Arts. 

For NYPL, this means researchers now have access to a total of 22 million research volumes: NYPL’s 11 million, plus the materials from Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton available via ReCAP.  In other words, the partnership and addition of Harvard’s 3.6 million volumes essentially doubles NYPL’s research holdings, which are available to the public. …”

Library of Congress and Harvard University Form Historic Collaboration on Islamic Law Collections | Library of Congress

“The Library of Congress and Harvard Law School have initiated an unprecedented, multifaceted joint collaboration to identify, select and assess the copyright status of materials focusing on national legal gazettes.

The effort, initially set for three years, will coordinate access to, knowledge-sharing, and legal analysis of Library of Congress’ collections related to Islamic law, including national legal gazettes, manuscripts and other materials. It will also improve a reader or researcher’s ability to search those sources, using new data science tools and faceted searches tailored to Islamic collections. The joint objective is to expand scholarly analysis of and greater public access to relevant legal materials….”

“Optional Data Curation Feature Use by Harvard Dataverse Repository Users” by Ceilyn Boyd

Abstract:  Objective: Investigate how different groups of depositors vary in their use of optional data curation features that provide support for FAIR research data in the Harvard Dataverse repository.

Methods: A numerical score based upon the presence or absence of characteristics associated with the use of optional features was assigned to each of the 29,295 datasets deposited in Harvard Dataverse between 2007 and 2019. Statistical analyses were performed to investigate patterns of optional feature use amongst different groups of depositors and their relationship to other dataset characteristics.

Results: Members of groups make greater use of Harvard Dataverse’s optional features than individual researchers. Datasets that undergo a data curation review before submission to Harvard Dataverse, are associated with a publication, or contain restricted files also make greater use of optional features.

Conclusions: Individual researchers might benefit from increased outreach and improved documentation about the benefits and use of optional features to improve their datasets’ level of curation beyond the FAIR-informed support that the Harvard Dataverse repository provides by default. Platform designers, developers, and managers may also use the numerical scoring approach to explore how different user groups use optional application features.

Executive Director | Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society | Harvard University

“Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (“BKC” or the “Center”) is a University-wide research center and one of the largest and most influential conveners and accelerators of scholars, technologists, activists and makers working on cyberspace and related law and public policy matters in the public interest. The Center now seeks an Executive Director to join our team, appreciate our legacy, and help us shape the next generation of making an impact. The Executive Director leads and directs senior leadership, staff, and our extended community executing development, research, and outreach.  

This is a rare and unusual opportunity to join a flourishing, intellectually robust community of faculty, students, fellows, and affiliates from multiple disciplines and backgrounds, committed to studying and improving the digital space by building in it. The Center works on the cutting edge of research and development while operating amid, and benefiting from, one of the most revered educational institutions in the world. We contain legacy and innovation, history and future-vision, ambition and humility. The reach of the Center is global and local, and our passionate, committed community builds, studies, educates and connects. We make a difference in the world. And we are looking for a very special leader. …”

Executive Director | Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society | Harvard University

“Since 1997, Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society has pioneered the study of, and building within, the digital environment in the public interest. The Center now seeks an Executive Director to help us shape the Center’s next generation of work and engagement on technology and society. 

This is a rare and unusual opportunity to join a flourishing, intellectually robust international community of faculty, students, fellows, and affiliates from multiple disciplines and backgrounds, dedicated to studying and improving the digital space by building in it. The Center works on the cutting edge of research and development while operating amid, and benefiting from, one of the most revered educational institutions in the world. We contain history and innovation, ambition and humility. The reach of the Center is global and local. The work and well-being of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society are profoundly strengthened by our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and more. Our passionate, committed community builds, studies, educates and connects. We make a difference in the world. And we are looking for a very special leader….”

IBM, MIT and Harvard release DARPA “Common Sense AI” dataset at ICML 2021 | IBM Research Blog

“Before we can build machines that make decisions based on common sense, the AI powering those machines must be capable of more than simply finding patterns in data. It must also consider the intentions, beliefs, and desires of others that people use to intuitively make decisions.

At the 2021 International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), we are releasing a new dataset for benchmarking AI intuition, along with two machine learning models representing different approaches to the problem. The research has been done with our colleagues at MIT and Harvard University to accelerate the development of AI that exhibits common sense. These tools rely on testing techniques that psychologists use to study the behavior of infants….”

What the edX Acquisition Means for the Future of Higher Education

“By entering into this deal, Harvard and MIT have shown that they’re committed to a new business model. That is, they’ll continue their excellence in the residential model for a select few but will also leverage their expertise and teaching resources to provide high-quality education to the masses at affordable prices. To start with, they developed an incredible collection of content in edX, which netted them $800 million. They’ll use that money to further expand their online strategy.

This development should serve as a wakeup call for other colleges and universities. Lamenting a lack of government support and declining enrollments won’t help. They must instead ask how they can orchestrate an ecosystem to offer high-quality education at low cost. They currently follow a vertical integration model where they perform the entire value chain in house, from admitting students all the way to awarding degrees. They must start thinking about how to unbundle the value chain and outsource areas where others possess superior core competencies — for example, to content creators like Outlier.org, outreach platforms like edX, and those in the gaming industry with expertise in artificial and augmented reality and capabilities to create immersive experiences. By partnering and controlling significant parts of value chain instead of resisting them, universities can gain a significant portion of revenues that would steadily migrate toward EdTech companies. Those additional revenues can provide seed capital to universities to drive their own EdTech initiatives. Right now, they’re mere spectators in the game.”

Open Access Mandates in Universities: Challenges and Opportunities

“An Open Access mandate refers to a policy adopted by a funder, institution or the government which necessitates researchers to make their research articles public. This can be done via two routes: Green OA or Gold OA. The former refers to the researcher depositing her research article to an open access repository, generally institutional. The latter refers to submission of research to open access journals?—?some of which may levy Article Processing Charges (APCs) that can be paid by the researcher, his institution or from the research grant.

Universities that have adopted OA mandates include Harvard University (the first to do so), MIT, ETH Zurich, University of Liege and University College London. Harvard University has also developed a model policy language document for institutions looking to implement an open access policy for their faculty….”

MIT and Harvard Have Sold Higher Education’s Future

“Last week Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sold their edX platform to a for-profit company for $800 million. Founded by the two institutions nearly a decade ago, edX was higher education’s answer to the venture-backed start-ups jostling for an online-course windfall. With the sale to one of those firms, Maryland-based 2U, Harvard and MIT have surrendered. Their decision to fold is a major, and potentially fateful, act of betrayal.

Alan Garber, Harvard’s provost, adopted the language of edX’s profit-maximizing rivals in conceding defeat. “Taking full advantage of [online learning’s] potential,” he told The Harvard Gazette, “will require capital investments at greater scale than is readily attainable for a nonprofit entity like edX.” The decision to sell comes as investor interest in higher education has swelled during the pandemic. Coursera, the Silicon Valley online-course provider, went public in March, and Instructure — the maker of the popular learning-management software Canvas — filed for an IPO last week. The Covid Zoom boom has brought the inevitable wave of start-ups hoping to cash in on the virtual college classroom. So it’s no surprise that the market value of 2U, after the edX announcement, surged past $3 billion.

Before the sale, edX was academe’s public option — a mission-aligned satellite of the brick-and-mortar campus. Now all the major players in the sector are profiteers, legally obligated to maximize shareholder return….

By the turn of the millennium, most societies had handed over their journals to be published by the big commercial players, in exchange for a share of profit. Now most scholarship is published by an oligopolist quintet of information conglomerates that, in turn, charge their college customers usurious fees.

That industry is among the most profitable in the world, in part because academics write and review for free. As the historian Aileen Fyfe has shown, there was nothing inevitable about the joint custody — nonprofit colleges and for-profit publishers — we’ve ended up with. We owe our current predicament, in part, to the decisions of learned societies who chose short-term cash over their scholar-members’ long-term interests. Harvard and MIT have just made the same disastrous miscalculation….

2U’s mission is fundamentally misaligned with the university tradition. 2U, Coursera, and their venture-funded competitors are built to squeeze profit from our students, using our faculty and course offerings. Harvard and MIT had no right, in the meaningful sense, to sell us off. None of us — not faculty members, not students — signed up for edX to increase Silicon Valley’s wallet share. We will look back on this careless abrogation of stewardship as the tragic squandering that it is.”

edX: A Look Backward

“It soon became clear that edX was pursuing a strategy fundamentally different from that which I had signed up for. Rather than being a force for innovation and educational research, it would instead be content aggregator, marketing platform, and a (second-tier) LMS.

This week, edX announced that it would be absorbed by 2U in exchange for $800 million that would establish a non-profit dedicated to access, research, and innovation 

Talk about lucrative investments. Over nine years, Harvard and MIT transformed an initial “loan” of $60 million plus a subsequent investment of $20 million into $800 million that will be fund the non-profit that the two institutions will govern. 

By my calculations, that’s a return of 900 percent – or over 29 percent a year.

It’s my understanding that neither Harvard nor MIT will receive any cash from the transaction. But the two institutions will no longer have to bankroll any aspect of edX and will, it appears, exercise control over the new non-profit entity that the edX sale will create….

edX’s sale will not be widely mourned. But I, for one, feel an acute sense of loss, frustration, and, yes, disappointment. edX had promised to make high quality courses by the best professors in the world available globally for free. It was to drive technological and pedagogical innovations in online education. It was to create an international consortium of educational researchers and innovators. Spoiler alert: It didn’t….”

Harvard and MIT to Sell edX for $800 million | Harvard Magazine

“HARVARD, MIT, AND EDX ANNOUNCED TODAY that edX, the two institutions’ 2012 joint venture into online education, would be sold to leading educational technology company 2U for $800 million. 2U, a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ, with revenues expected to approach $1 billion in 2021, is an online program manager. The company provides digital platforms and marketing and logistical support that allows colleges and universities to offer online instruction but does not itself provide degrees. 

As part of the agreement, which is subject to approval by Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey ’92, 2U will own and plans to operate edX as a public benefit entity, which means that in addition to creating value for shareholders, edX will also provide a specific public benefit—in this case, online courses, some of which can be audited for free. Currently, edX offers more than 3,000 online programs. “With the acquisition,” according to a University statement, “2U’s network will expand to include more than 230 partners, including over 185 nonprofit colleges and universities and 19 of the top 20 ranked universities globally.”

 

 

Harvard University provost Alan M. Garber said in an interview that the most important aspect of the match with 2U is that the company will continue edX’s mission. “They have committed to continuing to provide free audit tracks—in other words, free courses—in a wide range of subjects. And there are other provisions of the agreement,” said Garber, “that give us a great deal of comfort” that they will continue to make “great courses available at low or no cost to learners throughout the world.” …”

Three Charts That Help Explain the 2U / edX Acquisition – PhilOnEdTech

“I won’t describe the announcement here but instead list preliminary media coverage and then share three charts that I think help explain why 2U would acquire the edX assets for $800 million. I’ll add some additional analysis on what this deal means for online education in a second post….”