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Our JournalReview
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1 March 25, 2018

Special Articles: Commentary

1. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
Challenges to Michael Eisen’s bid for US Senate seat in 2018

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2018, 5(1): 3-10.

Dr. Michael Eisen, a prominent molecular biologist at UC Berkeley, announced on January 25, 2017 that he would run for the US Senate in California in November, 2018. That announcement was made via Twitter. That marks a possible new and refreshing trend of scientists turning to politics. Eisen, a co-founder of the open access portal, Public Library of Science, is openly critical of the copyright establishment, which still dominates biomedical and humanities publishing. Another Tweet by Eisen basically encouraged the direct use of Sci-Hub, a pirate site that captures millions of copyrighted texts of multiple publishers, and makes those texts freely available to the public, i.e., black or pirate open access. This paper examines the intersection between science, information, copyright, social media and morals, and questions whether the public encouragement of copyright infringement, compounded by prolific profanity, serves as the best model role as a public servant for prospective politicians. This paper also examines if bad language and slang – as are frequently used by Eisen – represent the best moral example for voters, and if they increase or decrease trust in political candidates. The intersection between science and politics needs greater debate.

2. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva
Freedom of Speech and Public Shaming by the Science Watchdogs

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2018, 5(1): 11-22.

Freedom of speech in academia can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it gives the liberty to express opinions about issues that affect academics, but on the other, such freedoms can also be used against academics, even by other academics. Science finds itself in a state of reform, perhaps even crisis, in which a dense amount of transformational changes are taking place. As the academic playing field transforms itself, one method by which this is taking place is through the correction of the literature via an active process of critical analysis. In peer review, this is generally handled primarily by blinded (i.e., known to the editors) peers, while in a post-publication process, this may also be subjected to anonymous (i.e., unknown identity to authors and editors) critique. One of the more radical end-points of the post-publication process, which may reveal errors or faults, are retractions. Two organizations, Retraction Watch and PubPeer, are leading the way in terms of raising awareness and critique, but are using public shaming to expose science’s faults and ills. These science watchdogs have now attracted considerable funding, including from powerful politically-driven US philanthropic foundations. Pressure is placed on scientists and academics by these organizations to be transparent, open and forthcoming about their errors. Scientists should cautiously assess queries made at or by Retraction Watch and PubPeer, directly or indirectly, and reserve their right to offer feedback. This is because what they state in response, either by email or on those blogs, may in fact be used against them on and by these public shaming platforms. The same applies to the blog of Leonid Schneider, another vocal science watchdog. Academia is at a cross-roads between openness and transparency, but at what cost? Academics need to urgently appreciate the importance and risks that Retraction Watch, PubPeer and similar websites pose, before their legends become irreversibly transformed by interaction with such watchdogs. This paper also highlights comment suppression, manipulation or blocking by these science watchdogs, which may indicating a deliberate suppression of freedom of speech.

Articles and Statements

3. Antonina Lyashkevych
Stages of Naval Education Development in Ukraine (the 18th Century – Latter Half of the 20th Century)

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2018, 5(1): 23-27.

This article substantiates the very notion of the term “periodization”. Based on analyzed sources, periodization of military-naval education in Ukraine was developed from the beginning of the 18th century to the latter half of the 20th century. The historical events that took place in this development are described in six stages. The first stage is the pre-Peter epoch (from the beginning of navigation to 1701). In this stage, the attainment of knowledge, skills and experience by sailors took place in the process of practical activity that corresponded to the content level of their trade. The second stage also marked the generation of the net of educational institutions for training fleet specialists. 1701 is considered by most scientists as the year of signing the “Highest Order” that founded military-naval education. This period commenced the opening of the first military-naval school, together with the creation of regular Russian fleet at the “Northern war”. The third stage of the development of military-naval education (1798–1877) is connected with specialization of training of fleet officers at the expanse of differentiation of military-naval educational institutions. The beginning of the fourth stage (1877–1917) introduced the formation of multi-level military-naval system and naval technical education. This gave rise to additional professional education for re-training and staff professional development. The fifth stage of the military-naval education development brought the reproduction of the system of military-naval education (1918 – early 1950-ies). This phase is also brought the opening of the schools for fleet commanding staff. It is notable that the first military-naval educational institution of the Soviet period was built in 1918. Finally, the sixth stage introduced the creation of the remaining specialized educational institutions of the Navy (50–90-ies of the 20th century). Historians have characterised it as the deepening of scientific and technological education. Clearly, this gave rise to an increase in engineering and atomic nuclear science development.

4. Mike Omilusi
A Legislative Chamber or Retirement Cocoon? Nigeria’s National Assembly and Former Executive Heads

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2018, 5(1): 28-38.

It has become a familiar trend in Nigeria that many state governors see the national assembly as a retirement ground after an eight-year-tenure as heads of the executive arm. To many of these ex-governors, the Senate is another platform through which they could continue to be relevant and actualize their political goals as far as local and national politics are concerned. Though nothing is wrong with former governors aspiring to be senators, what is important is whether they are in the Senate to serve the interest of their constituencies or their own interest. The latter however, features prominently in the study’s findings.

5. Olga Mishchenko, Dmytryk Alina
Development of Students’ Cognitive Motivation for Studying English

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2018, 5(1): 39-44.

The idiosyncrasies of developing motivation for learning English Language as a foreign language are revealed in the article. The authors emphasize that the question of how to help students to overcome the language barrier as soon as possible and to incite their interest for a foreign language is relevant and not completely resolved. As practice shows, foreign language teachers working at schools are in dire need of improving the communicative foreign language teaching methods and forming the interests and motives for learning the language among students. The authors give a description of modern aids of increasing students’ motivation to learn a foreign language, taking into account all the gains.

6. Joseph Reginard Milinga, Mwajabu K. Possi
Helping Behaviour and Self-Esteem of the Helped in Inclusive Schooling: A Double-Edged Sword?

Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 2018, 5(1): 45-58.

Despite the plethora of studies that have attempted to examine self-esteem in a variety of contexts, few studies have focused on investigating the self-esteem of students with visual impairments as a function of receiving help from their sighed peers within the context of inclusive schooling. Employing a qualitative approach, this study examines the ways sighted students assist their peers with visual impairments in an inclusive secondary school setting in relation to the self-esteem of the help-recipients. It does so, by highlighting the decision for seeking help and threat to self-esteem models. The findings have indicated that, sighted peers assisted their friends with visual impairments in a number of ways despite the fact that, some of the help-recipients were unsatisfied with the help given. Generally, students with visual impairments were comfortable seeking assistance from their sighted peers, with high self-esteem levels despite the concerns raised. Finally, discussions of these findings and recommendations are provided.

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