News in brief

January 29, 2009

Young academics

Research habits under scrutiny

They are commonly dubbed "Generation Y", but how do young scholars born between 1982 and 1994 behave when it comes to seeking information for their research? A joint study commissioned by the British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee will attempt to find out. The three-year study will track a number of doctoral students beginning their PhD programmes and will analyse their use of library and information resources on and offline. It builds on the previous study The Google Generation: Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, which focused on researchers born after 1993. It found that information literacy among young scholars had not improved in line with wider access to technology.

Bee research

£2m added to the honeypot

An extra £2 million will be ploughed into bee research over the next two years, Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, announced last week. The funding is part of a £4.3 million package to help bee colonies, which have suffered significant losses over the past two years. A bee health strategy and further funding details will be published in the coming weeks.

Sustainability

Switch off and save

Universities could cut carbon emissions and save thousands of pounds by introducing simple measures such as switching off desktop PCs outside office hours. Advice distributed by the Joint Information Systems Committee (Jisc) calls on universities to act now to ensure that their ICT use is sustainable. ICT use will cost UK institutions an estimated £121 million this year, it said, but sustainable measures, such using software that switches off PCs automatically at the end of the working day, can help. Jisc has also commissioned a sustainability project to help educational institutions meet the green demands placed on them by the Government. Tom Watson, Minister for Digital Engagement and Civil Service Issues, said: "This is exactly the kind of knowledge that IT strategists and policymakers need to have to hand."

Warwick Prize for Writing

Shortlist unveiled

The University of Warwick has announced the shortlist for the inaugural £50,000 Warwick Prize for Writing, an international cross-disciplinary honour. On the shortlist are Lisa Appignanesi's Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors from 1800; Francisco Goldman's The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?; Stuart A. Kauffman's Reinventing the Sacred; Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism; Alex Ross' The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century; and Jonathan Dunne's translation of Enrique Vila-Matas' Montano's Malady. The prize, to be awarded every two years, was initiated by poet David Morley, director of the Warwick Writing Programme. Run and funded by the university, it will honour "an excellent and substantial piece of writing in the English language, in any genre or format". The judging panel is chaired by China Mieville, associate professor of creative writing at Warwick. The winner will be announced on 24 February.

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