New paper: “A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review”

Some information on our new paper from Prof. Tom Crick!

Digital, Data & Policy

Today we had the first version of a paper published in F1000Research, looking at future directions in peer review and scholarly communication, developed and written online with 32 international collaborators from across a range of disciplines — the majority of whom I never met in the real world. The paper was led by palaeontologist Jon Tennant, conceived and written in a similar open, online and collaborative way to his 2016 paper on the academic, economic and societal impacts of open access.

As per F1000Research‘s publishing model, this is version one of the paper and it is currently awaiting reviewers and peer review; you can read the full paper online (as well as offering to peer review it):

A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review

Jonathan P. Tennant, Jonathan M. Dugan, Daniel Graziotin, Damien C. Jacques, François Waldner, Daniel Mietchen, Yehia Elkhatib, Lauren…

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Why I decided to publish my Master’s thesis – Where there is light

A great take on the importance of Master’s students publishing their research. Reflects my thoughts on this from a few years back:

Source: Why I decided to publish my Master’s thesis – Where there is light

My interview with Imperial College on the rise and fall of ancient dinosaur-eating crocodiles

While back in London recently for my PhD viva, the opportunity came up to speak with the Communications Office at Imperial College about some of my research. Naturally I pounced at the chance to discuss my research and broadcast it to a wider audience. The short audio for the interview is now online here, and we discuss everything from the impact of changing climates on biodiversity to giant, dinosaur-devouring crocodiles! Enjoy 🙂


Dr Jon Tennant studied these creatures as part of his PhD in theDepartment of Earth Science and Engineering. He was exploring the biodiversity and the extinction of some tetrapods, which is a classification for all creatures with four limbs.

Dr Tennant, who is also a science communicator and children’s author, looked at some of the most fearsome tetrapods of them all – crocodilians. These creatures, which alligators and crocodiles are modern ancestors of, lived on Earth over one hundred million years ago in the deserts, coasts, oceans and even the artic regions of our planet. Some, like the Sarchosuchus, were the size of double-decker buses, and going by the fossil evidence, fed on dinosaurs, who were rival ‘apex’ predators.

Dr Tennant discovered in his research that changes in sea level, brought on by fluctuations in the climate and continent movements, changed the world of tetrapods like the Sarchosuchus forever. Now, he is embarking on a six-month exploration of the planet, including some of the regions where modern crocodilians live. Colin Smith caught up with Dr Tennant to talk about his favourite ancient crocodilians and how changes in early Earth impacted on their biodiversity. 

Full podcast here and you can download the mp3 file here.

The best form of [viva] defense is chilling the fuck out


So, as of 4pm, October 5th 2016, I’m now officially Doctor Tennant! Or Doctor of Dinosaurs, whatever.

I want to try and offer some advice/experience here about how the viva was. Arguably one of the highlights/lowlights of any PhD, it’s a crucial point that essentially decides the ‘grade’ you get at the end – pass, fail, minor revisions, major revisions etc.

So, the viva..well, the viva was ok. I know it varies from university to university and between countries, but the format for mine was to have two examiners – one internal and one external – basically grill me and discuss various aspects of my thesis. The purpose of this was two fold: to see if the work presented was indeed my own, and whether I had developed a sufficient mastery of the field to attain the title of Doctor.

So, how was it?

Well, to begin with it was tough. Your mind beforehand will tell you all sorts of things. What if the examiners are assholes? What if they find flaws in my work? What if I can’t remember every detail from my work? What if they ask me something I don’t know? Have I revised enough in advance??

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Making the Local Global: The Colonialism of Scholarly Communication

Holy hell, everything about this post is on point. How to be meaningfully inclusive in conversations about establishing a global scholarly commons.

At The Intersection

Last week, I was invited to participate in a meeting of the Force11 Scholarly Commons Working Group in San Diego, California, U.S.A. The group, consisting of a mix of researchers, librarians, publishers, and other stakeholders has been using grant funds to examine what it would look like to build a commons centered on open scholarship. During a previous meeting in Madrid, Spain, the group put together a set of 18 principles that would guide participation in the scholarly commons. This current workshop was meant as a time to reflect on and validate the application of those principles.

I really don’t have much to say about the principles. As several of my fellow librarian colleagues pointed out at the meeting, we tend to participate in conversations like this all the time and always with very similar results. The principles are fine, but to me, they’re nothing new or radical. They’re the same…

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