Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Open in Action

Over a decade has passed since the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access. A bystander could be forgiven for thinking that the level of discussion and the apparent differences in position across higher education institutions, publishing houses, laboratories, conference halls, funder headquarters, and government buildings must mean that progress has been limited.

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Etymology gleanings for October 2016

Mr. Madhukar Gogate, a retired engineer from India, has written me several times, and I want to comment on some of his observations. He notes that there is no interest in the reform in Great Britain and the United States. I have to agree.

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Which Founding Father are you? [quiz]

The interests of the Founding Fathers heavily influenced the framing of the Constitution. Much like representatives today, each came to the convention prepared to defend their right to conflicting benefits. Take this quiz to see which Founding Father you most align with. For more on the Founding Fathers and the history behind the Constitutional Convention, check out The Framers’ Coup: […]

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What exactly is ‘contract theory’?

At first glance, it may seem a dizzyingly impenetrable subject matter, but Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström’s contributions to ‘contract theory’ have revolutionized the study of economics. They have recently been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, with the presentation committee noting how their pioneering analysis laid the “intellectual foundation for designing policies and institutions in many areas, from bankruptcy legislation to political constitutions.”

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Why is the Bible so much like a horror movie?

What does the Hebrew Bible have in common with horror movies? This question is not as strange as it might seem. It only takes a few minutes with the biblical texts to begin to realize that the Bible is filled with all kinds of horror. There are strange figures dripping blood (Isa. 63) and mysterious objects that kill upon touch (2 Sam. 6:7).

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A question of public influence: the case of Einstein

Einstein’s scientific achievements are well known even if not widely understood by non-scientists. He bestrode the twentieth century like a colossus and physicists are still working through his legacy. Besides, the theory of relativity penetrated far beyond science into many areas of literature and the arts. If hard to measure, evidence of his cultural influence is unmistakable.

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Pinpointing the beginnings of audiology

There is little agreement on when the particular branch of science known as ‘audiology’ really begins. Much depends upon one’s view of what constitutes audiology. Definitions vary slightly but basically all agree that audiology is the science, study, measurement, or treatment of hearing, hearing loss, and associated disorders. Although the word ‘audiology’ itself seems not to have come into use until after World War II,

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“The Brazilian Cat” – an extract from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Gothic Tales

We’re eagerly preparing for Halloween this month by reading all of our creepy classics and spine-chilling tales. Below is an extract from “The Brazilian Cat”, one of many short stories from master of the gothic form Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle drew on his own medical background, his travels, and his increasing interest in spiritualism and the occult for his Gothic Tales. Read on if you dare…

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Nine most thought-provoking moments in Radiohead

Radiohead is clearly a thinking-person’s music, but which of their songs are the most thought-provoking, and why? How do we make sense of their often surprising, even shocking music? If you’ve ever found yourself pondering Radiohead way too much, here are some clues, a few answers, and even more questions…

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Lovecraft resurgent

Not many, however, noted that Stranger Things, with its murderous, tentacled creature unleashed through a trans-dimensional portal into a small town by the experiments of a mad professor, owed virtually everything to the imagination of H. P. Lovecraft. He composed these scenarios over eighty years ago in classic stories like ‘The Dunwich Horror’ and ‘The Shadow over Innsmouth’.

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Treatment of depression in autism spectrum disorder

Mood disorders, including major depressive disorder, appear to be more common in those with developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in the general population. However, diagnosing depression in ASD represents a challenge that dates back to Leo Kanner’s original description of “infantile autism” in 1943. Kanner described a disturbance of “affective contact” in those with autism.

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The ultimate reading list, created by librarians

At this year’s UKSG conference we asked our librarian delegates to help us build the perfect library by answering one simple question: which one book couldn’t you live without? Whilst the instructions were straightforward – write your chosen title on one of our book stickers and stick it on our bookshelf – the question itself proved challenging for the majority of our exceptionally well-read participants.

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Discussing Open Access in action

The 24 October marks the beginning of International Open Access Week 2016. This year, the theme is “Open in Action” which attempts to encourage all stakeholders to take further steps to make their work more openly available and encourages others to do the same. In celebration of this event, we asked some of our Journal Editors to discuss their commitments to Open Access (OA).

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What is the future of human rights in the UK following Brexit?

Imminent departure from the European Union has delayed but not dimmed the British government’s determination to have done with domestic human rights law. Enacted in the early years of the Blair administration, the Human Rights Act 1998 has long irritated the Conservative Party and its influential friends. It is the recent attack on immigration launched by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd at the most recent Tory conference that makes the Act particularly vulnerable in the context of the move to Brexit.

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Baylis 7e

Nuclear arms control in a globalized world

We live in a dangerous and uncertain world. While terrorism is the most immediate contemporary threat, the dangers of nuclear weapons remain an ever present concern. During the Cold War a series of nuclear arms control agreements helped to mitigate the worst excesses of the arms race and contributed to the easing of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, and their respective alliances.

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Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion

Are God and chance compatible?

It has long been the unquestioned assumption of many religious believers that the God who created the world also acts in it. Until recent scientific discoveries, few challenged the idea of how exactly God interacts with the world. With the introduction of Newtonian science and quantum theory, we now know much more about how the world works, and the mode of God’s action has become a serious question for believers.

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