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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Brexit and the flow of personal data

At the moment the media, political parties and the legal establishment are all focussed on the big questions of Brexit. What happens to the Northern Ireland border? What does Brexit mean for farmers? And what does it mean for the future of the Nations and regions of the UK? However potentially the most problematic aspects of Brexit are not the big issues but the small technical details

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What can we all do to tackle antibiotic resistance?

Welcome to the Oxford Journals guide to antibiotic resistance. 13th – 19th November marks World Antibiotic Awareness Week, an annual international campaign set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat the spread of antibiotic resistance, and raise awareness of the potential consequences. Even better, it’s not just scientists, politicians, and medical professionals who can work towards a solution

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On burnout, trauma, and self-care with Erin Jessee

Last week, Erin Jessee gave us a list of critical questions to ask to mitigate risk in oral history fieldwork. Today, we’ve invited Jessee back to the blog to talk more in-depth about her recently published article, “Managing Danger in Oral Historical Fieldwork,” spotting signs of trauma during interviews, and dealing with the sensitive nature of oral history.

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Singing insects: a tale of two synchronies

What is a chorus, what is an insect chorus, and why might we be interested in how and why singing insects create orchestral productions? To begin, chorusing is about timing. In a chorus, singers align their verses with one another in some non-random way. When singing insects form a chorus, the alignment may only be […]

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Animal of the month: nine facts about badgers

Badgers are short, stocky mammals that are part of the Mustelidae family. Although badgers are found in Africa, Eurasia, and North America, these animals are possibly best-known from their frequent appearance in literature, such as “Badger” from The Wind in the Willows and Hufflepuff’s house animal in the Harry Potter series, and for being a 2003 internet sensation.

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National Family Caregivers (NFC) Month: a reading list

National Family Caregivers (NFC) Month is celebrated each November, in honor and recognition of the roughly 40 million Americans providing care to an adult family member or loved one. In 1997 President William J. Clinton signed the first NFC Month Presidential Proclamation, articulating that “Selflessly offering their energy and love to those in need, family caregivers have earned our heartfelt gratitude and profound respect.”

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Herpes and human evolution: a suitable topic for dinner?

Politics and religion are always topics best avoided at dinner and it’s perhaps not too much of a stretch to add STIs to that list. But it was over dinner at King’s College, Cambridge that my colleagues Charlotte Houldcroft, Krishna Kumar, and I first started to talk about the fascinating relationship humans have with Herpes.

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Cybercrime as a local phenomenon

Nicolae Popescu was born in the small city of Alexandria, a two-hour bus ride south of Bucharest. After organising a digital scam to sell hundreds of fictitious cars on eBay, and pocketing $3 million, he was arrested in 2010 but eventually was released on a technicality.

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Can microbiology tell us exactly what killed the Aztecs?

The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors to Mexico in the 1620s marked the beginning of the end for the indigenous people. With an estimated population of between 15 and 30 million at this point, this dropped dramatically to only two million by 1700: the result of battles, famine, drought, and perhaps most significantly, infectious diseases. The following Q&A investigates how microbiology contributed to the ruin of the once-flourishing Mesoamerican culture.

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Six questions to ask before you hit record

Erin Jessee’s article “Managing Danger in Oral Historical Fieldwork” in the most recent issue of the OHR provides a litany of practical advice about mitigating risk and promoting security. The entire article is well worth a read, but for the blog we’ve asked Jessee to provide us a list of some of the most important questions for oral historians to think about in evaluating and limiting exposure to risk.

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A Q&A with plant scientist, Hitoshi Sakakibara

The reason for my specializing in plant science is that plants are autotrophic organisms supporting life on the earth, and plants give us a wide range of benefits, such as food, materials, and medicine. After my starting university around the mid-80s, I realized that there is great potential hidden in plant science because there are still so many fundamental unanswered questions.

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Legal scholarship and methodology in the era of big data

In a recent Financial Times article, the journalist and anthropologist Gillian Tett reflected on the significance of Cambridge Analytica’s (CA) work in relation to Donald Trump’s successful 2016 Presidential Campaign. While Hilary Clinton had run a campaign using what was understood as traditional ‘political’ data, CA had collected many thousands of data points on people, much of it amassed from their online consumer and social identities.

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Blue Planet II returns

Blue Planet returns to our television screens tonight as Blue Planet II, 16 years after the first series aired to great critical acclaim. The series, fronted by Sir David Attenborough, focuses on life beneath the waves, using state-of-the-art technology to bring us closer than ever before to the creatures who call the ocean depths their home. Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be sharing a selection of content from our life science resources

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Are we all living in the Anthropocene?

In 2000, atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and biologist Eugene Stoermer published a short but enormously influential article in Global Change Newsletter. In it, they proposed the adoption of a brand new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. Their argument: humans have had and will continue to have a drastic impact on the planet’s climate, biodiversity, and other elements of the Earth system, and the term “Anthropocene” – from the Greek anthropos, or “human” – most accurately describes this grim new reality.

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Open Access: Q&A with GigaScience executive editor, Scott Edmunds

The 10th Annual International Open Access Week is marked as 23-29 October 2017. This year, the theme is “Open In Order To…” which is “an invitation to answer the question of what concrete benefits can be realized by making scholarly outputs openly available?” To celebrate Open Access Week, we talked to Scott Edmunds, Executive Editor for GigaScience.

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