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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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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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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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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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Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 28,  Issue 2

Brexit: environmental accountability and EU governance

Civil society will be preoccupied in the years to come with ensuring the maintenance of environmental standards formerly set by EU environmental law. This blog provides some thoughts on the less visible aspects of EU environmental governance, aspects that must be held up to scrutiny as we develop an accountability framework ‘independent’ of the rules and institutions of the European Union.

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Engendering debate and collaboration in African universities

A quick scan of issues of the most highly-ranked African studies journals published within the past year will reveal only a handful of articles published by Africa-based authors. The results would not be any better in other fields of study. This under representation of scholars from the continent has led to calls for changes in African universities, with a focus on capacity building. The barriers to research and publication in most public universities in Africa are many.

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Oxford Medical Case Reports

Dosing distraction in the world of augmented-reality

We have reached an age where the trajectories of the advancement of technology including mobile applications, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality may rapidly spike at any given moment, potentiating an increased incidence of unforeseen consequences in the form of distraction-related morbidity. In the not-too-distant past, logging onto the internet meant sitting in front of a computer.

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Making Connections at #OHA2016

In the words of our very own Troy Reeves, the OHA Annual Meeting offers a “yearly dose of sanity.” Whether you’re reading this while waiting for one of the panels to start, sitting this one out, or reflecting back on the excitement of the meeting later, we want to bring you a little taste of the fun. Below you can hear from a handful of oral historians on why they love the OHA Annual Meeting, as well as a look at social media activity during the conference.

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The power of volunteering: you make me happy and I make you happy

Millions of people across the world work for voluntary organisations and invest their abundant energies into helping their communities. Historically, establishments of voluntary organisations date back to at least the nineteenth century, when some of the world’s largest voluntary organisations, such as the Red Cross, were established to help people in need for free. To date, volunteer work remains a popular activity among the public worldwide.

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High-fructose honey and the diet of urban bees

The story of New York’s red honey struck a chord with those already concerned about honey bee health. Bees have been hit hard by a host of challenges ranging from parasitic mites to neonicotenoid pesticides—but could red honey be another sign of bee decline? Could artificial flavors and chemicals in human foods be toxic to bees? Could we be at risk if we eat “local honey”?

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Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 28,  Issue 2

Alternate realities: Brexit and Pokémon

I may not have understood the allure of capturing Pokémon (…) but I hope I am not so trenchant as to run around in the hope of spotting something even rarer; UK membership of the EU as it existed prior to 23 June 2016. That truly is becoming an alternate reality.

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How safe are office-based surgical facilities?

Like many plastic surgeons, and as my aesthetic practice has grown, I prefer to perform most surgeries in my accredited, office-based operating room. By operating in my office, I have access to my own highly qualified team members who are accustomed to working together. In this way, we can create an experience for the patient that is more private, safe, efficient, cost-effective, and highly likely to produce optimal results.

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The early promise of “liquid” cancer tests

A powerful technology that continues to evolve, researchers say, has rekindled interest in liquid biopsies as a way to disrupt tumor progression. The technology, genetic sequencing, is allowing researchers a closer look at the genetic trail tumors leave in the blood as cancer develops. That capability, as these new “liquid” blood tests work their way into clinics, may further a deeper understanding of how tumors alter their molecular masks to defy treatment.

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Barriers to sexual freedom in assisted living

The baby boom generation came of age at a time that pushed boundaries of sexual freedom. Changes in attitudes and behaviors about sexuality were framed by the sexual revolution, women’s rights, gay rights, and the birth control pill. Decades later, the first wave of this generation is now turning 65. While most boomers still have a decade or more before they consider moving into assisted living facilities, a study suggests that sexual freedom is difficult to come by for those who currently reside in a structured environment such as assisted living.

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Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 28,  Issue 2

Air quality law in the United Kingdom at a crossroads

UK air quality law now finds itself at a crossroads. Air quality law is a well-established area of environmental law, having been at the vanguard of much of it. It is a well-established area across multiple levels of governance, with local and national regulation in the UK operating against a backdrop of binding EU standards and an international law framework for transboundary air pollution

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Nutrition Reviews

Whole grains for cancer prevention? Take the evidence with a grain…

An emerging field in the area of nutrition and cancer is the role of whole grains in cancer prevention. In a world where carbohydrates, particularly refined sources, are increasingly viewed as the culprit for obesity and associated chronic disease, are whole grains the safest carbohydrate to recommend for cancer prevention? Currently, consuming a plant-based diet containing whole grain foods is part of the American Cancer Society

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Racing towards OHA2016 in Long Beach, the “International City”

As has become OHR tradition, we have enlisted the help of a local to serve as a guide to the upcoming OHA Annual meeting in beautiful Long Beach, California. Below, Mark Garcia shares some of the city’s fascinating history, as well as his personal recommendations for oral historians who want to venture out and see some of what the city has to offer.

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