Early career researchers and the pandemic

funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Harbingers-2 is a continuation of a world-wide project we began in 2015: Harbingers — a longitudinal study of 'digital natives', young researchers who had yet to achieve established or tenured positions. Harbingers-2 takes this work forward in association with the University of Tennessee and with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Once again we will be studying the work lives, prospects and scholarly communication, behaviour and attitude of today’s novice researchers. However, Harbingers-2 — will do so with the express purpose of discovering how the pandemic has affected these researchers.

Led by David Nicholas the international research team includes: Abrizah Abdullah, Suzie Allard, Blanca Rodríguez-Bravo, Eti Herman, Hamid R Jamali, Galina Serbina, David Sims, Marzena Świgoń, Carol Tenopir, Anthony Watkinson, Jie Xu, and Chérifa Boukacem-Zeghmouri.

A study of change in ECRs' employment status, careers and scholarly communication behaviour and attitudes

The longitudinal work CIBER have conducted with ECRs helping to determine whether millennial beliefs are changing the face of scholarly communication will be continued through 2020–2022 to monitor of the effects of the pandemic. We shall also seek to establish how the challenges to the scholarly undertaking, brought about by the pandemic, affected the diverse populations among the ECRs and how they were dealt with in different countries: have the rich become richer and the poor even poorer? How do developed/developing countries fare in result? What lessons can be learnt from different national and institutional policies aimed at warding off the danger of the present-day cohort of ECRs being rendered the lost generation of the pandemic-riddled scholarly world? Where, in these circumstances, do ‘best practices’ lie? The study will feature three sets of repeat interviews, conducted periodically over two years with around 170 ECRs from the sciences and social sciences from the US, UK, China, France, Poland, Malaysia, Spain and Russia, capped by a questionnaire survey to scale up the interview findings to a larger and more international and discipline-diverse population of ECRs.

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The Project

Project Publications

Project Reports

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Harbingers-2 has been funded by a grant (2020-14034) from The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to the University of Tennessee to study the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the scholarly communication practices of early career researchers around the world.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant-making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and chief executive officer of General Motors, the foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance.



Research Ethics

Project schedule

updated: 2020-11-04

Interview Schedule 1: 2020-12-02

Interview Schedule 3: 2022-03-09