Questions tagged [academic-history]

Regarding inquiries into the evolution and development of academia as an institution from a historical perspective.

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After what George was Georgetown University named? [closed]

After what George was Georgetown University named? Or was it named that because of where it is located?
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22 votes
3 answers
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Where are historical research papers stored?

I have been reading some historical papers in the field of computer science, economics and game theory. I have noticed that some of the really old ones such as Equilibrium points in n-person games by ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What does the phrase "loci citati" mean in citations?

In this 1929 paper by Stone, the 3rd citation is given as J. Von Neumann, loci citati; and an unpublished paper which is to appear in Mathematische Annalen, cf. Göttinger Nachrichten, 1927, pp. 1-55, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When do semesters/trimesters begin and end for universities in England and France? [closed]

I keep trying to find out when classes start and end for English and French universities (specifically, Oxford, Cambridge, and the Sorbonne), but for some reason, I can’t seem to get a direct answer. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
377 views

How did US Dartmouth get named after the British officer school? [closed]

I always thought that Dartmouth was the British version of Westpoint. The British officer training school, but now in my googling it seems Google assumes I'm searching for the US university. I was ...
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4 votes
0 answers
159 views

What happened to Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (TAM) departments in the United States?

I’ve read about and personally heard of discussions among senior faculty about Theoretical and Applied Mechanics departments no longer existing today in the United States. Some of those professors ...
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3 votes
2 answers
148 views

Historical accuracy of trends/number of publications on keywords using Google Scholar?

Following this question on SE Academia: Easy way to see historical trend in keywords in publications?, I'm using Google Scholar and the linked script (https://github.com/Pold87/academic-keyword-...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does dismissal due to absence relate to academic or non-academic suspension/dismissal?

I'm working to prepare my master's degree admission. So the admission team provided me with a declaration form and the first question is this: Academic Disciplinary Action Have you ever been placed ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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If the professor says positive things about me, what are my chances of getting into the history graduate program? [closed]

I was just wondering from those who are knowledgeable about the history graduate school process — how much say do history professors have in accepting students to the program? I know they have some ...
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4 votes
6 answers
590 views

What academic researchers published very few scientific articles (say, less than twenty) but exerted large influences on their fields of study? [closed]

I find researchers and writers who published very little, yet were influential in their respective fields of study, interesting. A good example of such a researcher was the mathematician C. F. Gauss, ...
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12 votes
1 answer
308 views

Did mathematicians of the 19th century apply for grant money?

What was the funding structure of pure math research before NSF grants and other modern government or private financial aid? In the recent past in North America and Western Europe (say, 100-200 years ...
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6 votes
4 answers
487 views

How to identify the lead scholars for a particular research subject?

I watched a lecture answering the question "How did Native Americans arrive in North America?" During the presentation, the presenter put up a slide showing the "5 major scholars" ...
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25 votes
7 answers
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Why did some US universities require writing a translation to get a PhD?

My impression is that some US universities at one time required producing a translation of a non-English language article in order to receive a PhD. As far as I am aware, this practice started before ...
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11 votes
1 answer
394 views

What is the the history of Qualifying Exams in the US?

I've been trying to do some research on the history of Qualifying Exams in the US; but, unfortunately, I've not been able to find anything other than the occasional quote, and nothing before the 1950s....
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76 votes
4 answers
8k views

How were scientific plots made in the 1960s?

I've been going over a few papers from the '60s, broadly in physics sub-disciplines. The image below shows a very typical style of plot I come across frequently (1963). I'm guessing this was made by ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Do I need to ask permission to provide a narrative of a scholar's methods?

I am writing a secondary school archaeology and history textbook. I'm inspired to adjust the book based on two types of students: Some are excited about what they are studying, and tell their career ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Origin of 7 year sabbatical leave cycle

I believe many US universities have a 7-year cycle for sabbatical leave. For example, at my university a full-time tenure-track faculty is eligible for sabbatical leave after 7 years of continuous ...
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26 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why did SoftwareX’ impact factor drop from 4.5 SJR to 0.4 last year?

I planned to submit one of my long-developed software pieces to the prestigious journal SoftwareX. I was preparing for this for a while and making my code ready, and was just about to submit and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
467 views

Old Cambridge examination: Draw, from memory, a wheelbarrow turned upside down

I came across the following story about the exams students sat in 1858 see page 4 here. The following questions are taken from the first examinations set by the The University of Cambridge Local ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Impact of W's on grad school admissions in CS theory (TCS) [closed]

I'm an undergrad at the University of Maryland College Park who just finished a computer science bachelors a few days ago. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how much I liked theory (algorithms, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
499 views

Would you consider a very short, non-standard thesis that lacks a research questions, a thesis? [closed]

I recently met an artist. He was very proud of the shortness of his Master's thesis, which was published back in early 90's and has only 3 pages! He had been graduated from the California college of ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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Were the duration of Bachelor's, Master's and PhD degrees different in the U.S. 100 years ago?

Given that there were much less to learn 100 years ago, was the duration of degrees shorter then than it is now?
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5 votes
4 answers
916 views

Is it harder for academics to make fundamental discoveries than in the past? [closed]

In present day academia, it seems much harder to make foundational breakthroughs than it was in the past. Most work now synthesizes previously discovered results to study something extremely specific. ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Has the relation with students changed significantly in the last 20+ years?

I left academia 20+ years ago but I am closely following SE Academia (mostly because it is interesting and gives a different perspective from industry). I noticed several questions regarding the "...
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0 votes
2 answers
240 views

Are there any great researchers who are terrible teachers? [closed]

I'm curious if there's been anyone who's really good at research but also really bad at teaching - for example traditionally, Nobel Prize winners are required to give a public lecture related to the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
187 views

Reporting Plagiarism in Older research

Disclaimer: I apologize for the vagueness of this post as i do not wish to speak negatively about anyone particular on a public forum. I've been doing research on a specific topic looking at two ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Did any of the social science experiments by the Nazis in WWII get published?

I've read that the Nazi's did a lot of cruel experimentation on Jews during WWII. I was wondering if any of these studies were published, and if they still exist. Preferably available in English.
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20 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are translation journals still a thing?

In the second half of the 20th century there were a large number of English-language journals published in the West that carried only translations by Western academics of Russian-language articles. ...
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8 votes
2 answers
341 views

When did citation counts emerge as indicators of academic impact?

As we know, today, citations of an academic get lots of attentions about whether his research is impfactful. I am just wondering what is the history of citation numbers becoming this important? When ...
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1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Examples of top academics who weren't prodigies [closed]

I'm looking for examples of people who are at the very top of their fields who weren't child prodigies, and followed quite a "normal" path in life (high school > college > grad school) before finding ...
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3 votes
2 answers
643 views

What is the meaning of the title "Akad. Orat"?

What is the meaning of the German academic title "Akad. Orat"? What would its international analogous be?
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7 votes
5 answers
477 views

Is it possible to access referee reports for investigating scientific history?

Do most journals keep archives of referee reports and would historians of science be able to access them? Perhaps after some delay?
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23 votes
3 answers
1k views

When did "Publish or Perish" first become a thing?

Related: What does "Publish or perish" really mean? The issue of "Publish or Perish" is pretty much an accepted reality in Academia nowadays. When I look at history, however, I see that the ...
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47 votes
5 answers
13k views

Why did it become so much more expensive to start a university?

In 1873, Johns Hopkins University was started with an inflation-adjusted $144.5 million. In 1884, Stanford University began with an inflation-adjusted $139 million. Meanwhile, in 2009, KAUST was ...
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4 votes
1 answer
878 views

How did Milton Babitt teach math at Princeton and research math, without an undergraduate degree in math?

Even if Babbitt taught merely elementary calculus, don't universities hire someone with at least an undergraduate degree in math to teach it? I quote Schoenblog.com: Babbitt came to teach at ...
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35 votes
12 answers
8k views

Could one become a successful researcher by writing some really good papers while being outside academia?

Would it still be possible today to go from relatively unknown to a respected figure in physics by writing some spectacular papers being outside the academia? (Just like Einstein did)
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80 votes
14 answers
18k views

How did researchers find articles before the Internet and the computer era?

I find it hard to write a literature review, even though I have Google, the Internet, and all free, very easy to search for information tools. I have to search for days to find a piece of information ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why bioRxiv instead of arXiv.bio?

In view of the need of a preprint repository for biology science, why was it necessary to start bioRxiv, instead of a biology section in arXiv? Is there any fundamental difference between the two? ...
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7 votes
1 answer
208 views

Why/how APA was chosen as a standard for many fields?

My background is in mathematics where we write papers to the style guide of the particular journal, often similar to that of the largest organizations like the AMS or the MAA. I was a little ...
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5 votes
3 answers
12k views

Getting a W on your transcript for grad school applications

I am a Computer Engineering major at a top 15 engineering school. My goal is to get into grad school for Machine Learning. I have set very lofty goals and am aiming for places like MIT, Berkeley, ...
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73 votes
6 answers
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When and why did journal article titles become descriptive, rather than creatively allusive?

In 1926, the article titled “On a certain minimal problem” was published. Nobody could guess what it was about, from the title alone. Nowadays, one may expect something more descriptive, such as "...
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4 votes
2 answers
323 views

How to cite primary source first found in secondary source?

I have the following situation (I am in the humanities): I am writing a paper. In that paper, I several times cite a particular scholar's book. Now, in that book, this scholar cites (not quotes) a ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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What are the implications for academia, if the average IQ is and keeps falling? [closed]

I read a dossier in a newspaper about the falling of the IQ. For decades the IQ was increasing, known as the Flynn-Effect. My question here is not, if the IQ is really falling, make up your own mind ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Which kinds of academic revolutions has philosophy of science indentified so far and when?

Recently, I had an interdisciplinary discussion with some friends about Industry 4.0, internet of things,...which brought up the question, which kind of academic revolutions apart from industrial ...
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1 vote
2 answers
289 views

How were the figures in old pre-TeX research papers and books created?

If you see old pre-TeX-era classic research papers, technical articles and books the figures still look pretty good. They seem to be hand drawn but with some components of computerization. For ...
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15 votes
5 answers
3k views

Publishing research using outdated methods

I'm currently an Economics MA student doing a referee report on a paper that employs a dated empirical method. This particular method was originally created in 1980 but then improved upon in 1998 by ...
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4 votes
0 answers
136 views

Are there apart from single, double-blind... review other common categories focusing choice/number of reviewers [closed]

A current question here reminded me on the Sokal affair/hoax initiated by physicist Alan Sokal in 1996 by publishing a nonsense article in an social journal. I am wondering whether this triggered any ...
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7 votes
1 answer
471 views

Was there ever a time in American history when humanities PhDs were more sought after than STEM PhDs?

Was there ever a time in American history when there was greater interest in a humanities PhD, say, a PhD in Philosophy or Creative Writing, than a STEM PhD? Perhaps during the period of time ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the etymology of "Assistant Professor"?

In the US, "Assistant Professor" is a junior rank among permanent university faculty. Generally, Assistant Professors are independent researchers with more or less the same job responsibilities as ...
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6 votes
1 answer
287 views

Name of a fictional scientist with fictional publications invented and ‘working’ at an existing British university

At some British university a fictional professor was invented in the 20th century. He also had is own office and his own (fictional) field of research, in which he published about three papers (in a ...
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