London Day 13: Wrapping Up

Children playing in fountain, King's College London
Children playing in fountain, King’s College London

This was our last full day in London, and our last half day of scheduled programming, in which we met for the last time in our KCL Strand classroom to discuss topics that came up during the week to which we hadn’t previously devoted sufficient attention. We began with an informal discussion of a couple of issues that our host said seem to receive more attention in the U.S. than in the U.K.: privacy and the security of websites. When I’m back home and in my no doubt copious amounts of free time, I intend to find out what research has been done on cultural differences in these areas.

After that, Carol Tenopir agreed to present on a topic for which we’d run out of time earlier in the week: her research on social media and scholarly reading. I’d read this research previously as part of another project, but this was the first time I’d heard her present on the topic, so I’m grateful we had time to fit it into our schedule.

We next discussed a wide variety of topics, beginning with publishing ethics, in which we went over sub-topics such as retraction, plagiarism (including intentional and unintentional self-plagiarism), and the reproducibility of research. We also talked about the role of journal editors, academic libraries as publishers, and the article (and book) of the future. One of our classmates even gave a brief demo of the open access journal she manages.

After the morning’s discussion, we broke early for the day to give people time to do some last minute sightseeing. My original plan to return to the British Museum was foiled by the queue to get in that was beginning to wrap around the block. So instead, I managed one last trip to Forbidden Planet for a couple of books signed by British authors Neil Gaiman and Joanne Harris, and then stopped by the nearby hardware store to buy some duct tape, as my nearly 20-year-old suitcase had barely survived the trip to London, and was not going to make it back home without being heavily reinforced.

Our group reconvened in the evening for one last dinner together at a place called the Spaghetti House before we finally said goodbye. Some of us, like me, were flying out the next day, while others were staying on in London or going elsewhere in Europe for further adventures.

I am leaving with a lot of information to absorb in the days ahead.

Things to read:

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London Day 13: Wrapping Up

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