New Projects

Open-access journal, the future of banking, South-South migration, resilience in agriculture, and new roles for museums.

New Projects

SUPPORT FOR OPEN ACCESS

The International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) has ended its support for the Journal of Informetrics, owned by Elsevier, and launched a new journal, Quantitative Science Studies. The journal will be published jointly by ISSI and the MIT Press in compliance with fair and open access principles. The initial editorial board for QSS will be drawn from the former editorial board of JOI, all of whom resigned in January when Elsevier chose not to accept open access principles that call for journals to be owned by the scholarly community and for publishers to make citation data freely available. Learn more.


FUTURE OF BANKING

Researchers in Barcelona, Spain, will study the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on the banking and financial markets. With the support of the financial firm Citi, a research team at IESE Business School will focus on the impact of regulation and competition policy on business banking models.

Led by Xavier Vives, professor of economics and finance, the four-year project will explore technological transformation, regulatory change, and the effects of high-frequency trading. Researchers will study interactions between new-economy fintech companies and established financial institutions, as well as the impact of reforms such as the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.


BENEFITS OF MIGRATION

Coventry University in the United Kingdom will lead a new global research hub, which has been funded with £20 million (approximately US$26.2 million) from the Global Challenges Research Fund of the U.K. Research and Innovation (UKRI). The hub will support collaborations among the university’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) and universities, governments, and nongovernmental organizations in 12 countries to study South–South migration across six global migratory routes. These routes connect Nepal and Malaysia, China and Ghana, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia and South Africa, Haiti and Brazil, and Egypt and Jordan.

Researchers will investigate how South- South migration, estimated to account for nearly half of all international migration, contributes to the reduction of global poverty and inequality. “Migration is often associated with unsafe journeys, exploitation, and limited access to rights—particularly for young people, women, and the poorest in society,” says Heaven Crawley, an expert in international migration who will lead the hub’s network of partners. But migration also can “create a wealth of opportunities for developing regions by bringing knowledge, skills, and resources.”


FOOD CHAIN REACTION

A new initiative aims to make Florida’s agricultural supply chain more resilient to the effects of climate change. With the help of nearly US$400,000 in funding from the Walmart Foundation, researchers from the College of Arts, Sciences & Education and the College of Business at Florida International University in Miami will evaluate the supply chain for the state’s strawberry and tomato crops. They will examine factors such as crop rotations, irrigation, and fertilizer and pesticide application to identify environmentally sustainable and ethically responsible management strategies.

Researchers in environmental economics and business will interview farmers, farm workers, and representatives of farm worker service organizations—along with shippers, wholesalers, retailers, and financers. The goal is to understand the challenges affecting them and help the state’s agricultural industry better adapt to droughts, floods, disease, pest infestations, and other consequences of climate change.


THE MUSEUM REIMAGINED

Academics at the University of Exeter in England will work with leaders in the entertainment and education sectors to reimagine the museum visitor experience. U.K. Research and Innovation is also partially supporting this project with £4 million (US$5.2 million); an additional £1.7 million ($2.2 million) will come from private investment.

Led by creative content studio Factory 42, a consortium of academics and practitioners will use technology and storytelling to create immersive museum experiences. Other members of the consortium include Almeida Theatre Company, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum Group, Sky UK, Magic Leap, Intu, and Pearson Education. The University of Exeter Business School’s Centre for Simulation, Analytics and Modelling and the university’s College of Humanities Centre for Intermedia and Creative Technology are also involved.

Participants will create two multisensory adventure experiences, one for the Natural History Museum, and the other for the Science Museum. Within these games, visitors will play the role of detectives who interact with digital characters, from velociraptors to androids. The objective is to create mixed-reality experiences that will increase audiences’ understanding of science, history, and the natural world.

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