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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

oxford journals

Why peer review is so important

As part of Peer Review Week, running from 19-25 September 2016, we are celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality. We asked some of our journal’s editorial teams to tell us why peer review is so important to them and their journals.

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Beyond the binary: Brexit, environmental law, and an interconnected world

What are the narratives we can tell about the future of UK environmental law in light of the result of the UK EU referendum? Any answer is not just important for the UK, but will also directly shape our understanding of what nationhood means in an era of globalisation. That sounds a rather grandiose statement to make, but let us explain.

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Journal of Refugee Studies

Scaling the UN Refugee Summit: A reading list

The United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants will be held on 19 September 2016 at the UNHQ in New York. The high-level meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants is expected to endorse an Outcome Document that commits states to negotiating a ‘Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework’ and separately a ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,’ for adoption in 2018.

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In the oral history toolbox

Throughout 2016 we’ve featured oral history #OriginStories – tales of how people from all walks of life found their way into the world of oral history and what keeps them going. Most recently, Steven Sielaff explained how oral history has enabled him to connect his love of technology and his desire to create history.

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Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Wounded religious sentiments and the law in India

We live in world suffused with offended religious sentiments: depictions of Muhammad in newspaper cartoons and hackneyed films spark violent global protests; courthouse officials in the US South refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of the Supreme Court; and in India, authors threatened by thugs on the Hindu Right “die” publicly in order to avoid a less metaphorical demise.

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14682621 african affairs

Africa-based scholars in academic publishing: Q&A with Celia Nyamweru

In an effort to address current discussions regarding Africa-based scholars in academic publishing, the editors of African Affairs reached out to Celia Nyamweru for input from her personal experiences. Celia Nyamweru spent 18 years teaching at Kenyatta University (KU) and another 18 years teaching at a US university with a strong undergraduate focus on Africa.

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Misinterpretation and misuse of P values

In 2011, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Matrixx Initiatives Inc. v. Siracusano that investors could sue a drug company for failing to report adverse drug effects—even though they were not statistically significant. Describing the case in the Wall Street Journal, Carl Bialik wrote, “A group of mathematicians has been trying for years to have a core statistical concept debunked.

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Israel and the offensive military use of cyber-space

When discussions arise about the utility of cyber-attacks in supporting conventional military operations, the conversation often moves quickly to the use of cyber-attacks during Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, the US decision not to use cyber-attacks in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, or Russia’s behavior in cyber-space surrounding the conflict with Ukraine that began in 2014. These, however, may not really be the most useful cases to examine.

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Foreign Policy Analysis

Identity, foreign policy, and the post-Arab uprising struggle for power in the Middle East

In recent years, there has been a greater emphasis put on understanding the international relations of the post-Arab uprising in the Middle East. An unprecedented combination of widespread state failure, competitive interference, and instrumentalization of sectarianism by three rival would-be regional hegemons (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran) in failing states has produced a spiral of sectarianism at the grassroots level.

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Hypnosis and the conscious awareness of intentions

A hypnotist tells a subject that their outstretched arm will begin to rise upward as though tied to an invisible balloon. To their astonishment, the subject’s arm rises just as suggested, and seemingly without their intention. While it may appear as though the subject is being controlled by the hypnotist, it is well established that nobody can be hypnotised against their will. Hypnosis therefore seems to present a paradox

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OHR Virtual Issue: from roots to the digital turn

We spend a lot of time in this space pointing to particular people or projects that we think are doing interesting things with oral history. In June we talked to Josh Burford, who is using oral history to start important conversations in North Carolina. In April, we heard from Shanna Farrell, who discussed Berkeley’s Oral History Summer Institute.

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Poverty: a reading list

Poverty can be defined by ‘the condition of having little or no wealth or few material possessions; indigence, destitution’ and is a growing area within development studies. In time for The Development Studies Association annual conference taking place in Oxford this year in September, we have put together this reading list of key books on poverty, including a variety of online and journal resources on topics ranging from poverty reduction and inequality, to economic development and policy.

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Is undercover policing worth the risk?

The recently published ‘guidelines’ on police undercover operations prove to be just ‘business as usual’. The guidelines consist of 80 pages in which a new ‘alphabet soup’ of abbreviations describes each of a set of roles to be fulfilled by officers of given ranks.

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LabMed Cover_Aug 2016

Alcohol and tailgating at football games

Tailgating is a very popular activity associated with American college football games. Tailgating typically involves food and alcoholic beverages served from the backs of parked vehicles or associated equipment at or near athletic events. At large universities with Division I football programs, the football stadiums may hold upwards of 100,000 fans, sometimes with thousands of additional fans

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JMT cover

A new (musical) direction for healthcare?

Most would agree with the idea that music can have a powerful hold over us—our thoughts, feelings, and movements. Given this, how might music help measure thoughts, feelings, and movements in a way that allows professionals in healthcare improve client treatment? The music therapy profession seems to be experiencing a surge in developing data-measuring tools that incorporate music in the client assessment.

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