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International guest professors on their way

The over twenty guest professors recruited to support LiU’s research are arriving during the autumn. Their main task is to strengthen LiU’s scientific publication effort.

In November last year the university board made the decision to launch a joint and university-wide visiting professors programme as part of a larger strategy to strengthen research at Linköping University.

The idea is that the internationally renowned and highly qualified visiting professors for a short period (their total stay is equivalent to six months until 2012) will inspire others and also contribute their experiences in scientific publishing.

“LiU needs to increase its visibility and competitive value. In the case of scientific publishing LiU's researchers do well quantitatively speaking and through the visiting professors programme, we are now trying improve the quality of the publications too”, says Pro-Vice Chancellor Karin Fälth-Magnusson.

It is essential to ensure research articles are accepted by the ‘right’ journals, the ones with high scientific status. It is also important to increase the levels of citations, to get other researchers to refer to LiU researchers’ work.

“We are hoping that the programme will also lead to future exchanges between researchers and active networks. Cooperation and international contacts are becoming increasingly important, both for the number of citations and for creating opportunities to get research grants”, says Karin Fälth-Magnusson.

How did you select the visiting professors?

“The departments provided us with a list of suggestions and based on this we made a bibliometric analysis which we used to narrow the list down”, says Karin Mårdsjö Blume, Dean at the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Within the educational sciences research field two visiting professors are arriving to strengthen the research. Professor Ute Harms comes from Kiel, Germany, with a research interest focused on the didactics of the natural sciences. And from Colorado, USA, psychology professor Richard K Olson, arrives focused on how people learn how to read and write.

The Tema Institute also went through the process of discussing a series of nominations from the various departments.

The British sociologist Steve Woolgar, professor of Marketing at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, arrives as a visiting professor at the beginning of September. A successful appointment for the Tema Institute as Steve Woolgar has already collaborated with researchers in the Departments of Child Studies and, Technology and Social Change. He will formally have his seat as a visiting professor with the Department of Technology and Social Change. He is also well known in the field of gender studies.

“We were very pleased when he said yes. It is, after all, a task that will take up quite some time. With the arrival of Steve Woolgar, the Tema Institute gains a very visible and high profile face. He is a big international name in the fields of Science Studies and Science Technology Studies, STS, and has worked extensively on issues surrounding how to ‘do science’”, says Anne-Li Lindgren, head of the Department.

“Steve Woolgar is so well known that he will inevitably be asked to give some lectures and seminars. It then remains to be seen how we will work to achieve the aims of the visiting professorship and in the long-term increase international publication.”

Altogether, there are 21 internationally renowned professors on the list for the visiting professors programme, which covers all faculties at LiU and will last until 2012.

“After this it will be evaluated. We need to know that we have achieved the goals we set out to with this programme”, says Karin Fälth-Magnusson.

Therese Winder 2010-09-07

Page manager: therese.winder@liu.se
Last updated: 2010-09-07