Author Archive

Data Science Pre and Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunity — Scholarly Communication and Social Media

The Public Knowledge Project and the Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing are soliciting applications for a data science fellowship (pre- or postdoctoral) to help build, and be an integral part of, an emerging research program on scholarly communication and social media.

Working under the direction of Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin, the position will offer the successful candidate the opportunity to explore a wide range of questions using a combination of computational techniques (including applied statistics, machine learning, network analysis, and natural language processing) and innovative methods (such as Twitter bot surveys) to investigate how knowledge is produced, disseminated, and used.

The position is ideally suited for (but not limited to) someone with an interest in scholarly communication and social media research, as it offers access to an unparalleled set of data and expertise to explore many facets of scholarly communication, particularly around issues of open access and the public’s use of scholarly work.

On top of having a proven record doing data-driven research, the ideal candidate will have the ability to lead multiple research projects, participate in external grant writing and publications efforts, as well as play a leadership role in small, but growing research team.

All candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Ability to conduct research independently.
  • Strong programming skills in either Python (Pandas) or R
  • Ability to wrangle, explore, and visualize data
  • Knowledge of at least one of the following: social network analysis, natural language processing, or machine learning
  • Strong communication skills

Outstanding candidates will also possess some of the following qualifications

  • A demonstrated interest in scholarly communication (interest in Open Access an extra plus)
  • Understanding and experience working with third party APIs
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience with time series data
  • Experience with Tableau or other data visualization tools
  • Research design expertise

The fellow will have access to funding for travel to present at academic conferences and events, as well as to hire research assistants to support them in their work.

Target start date: flexible (as soon as possible)
Duration: one year, renewable
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Location: Simon Fraser University (Downtown Campus), Vancouver, BC
Deadline for applications: This posting is now closed.

Postdoctoral candidates from anywhere in the world are encouraged to apply, regardless of their eligibility to work in Canada; however, in accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, pre-doctoral candidates can only be considered if they are eligible to work in Canada or if they meet the requirements for a visiting graduate researcher.

About Dr. Alperin:
Juan Pablo Alperin is an Assistant Professor at the Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing and the Associate Faculty Director of Research with the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University. He believes that research, especially when it is made freely available (as so much of today’s work is), has the potential to make meaningful and direct contributions to society, and that it is our responsibility as the creators of this research to ensure we understand the mechanisms, networks, and mediums through which our work is discussed and used.

A list of his publications and presentations can be found at, and he can be found on Twitter a @juancommander

Call for Doctoral Research Assistant

The Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University (Canada) is seeking a research assistant to conduct a literature review to assess current review, tenure, and promotion (RTP) practices at higher education institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The review will encompass topics in the higher education literature such as the application of traditional benchmarks of academic achievement (teaching, publication, and service) as promotion criteria, the effects the tenure decision-making process has on tenure-track and early career faculty, and how stated evaluation criteria differ from perceived criteria.

This work is motivated by the recognition of the problematic nature of public investments in research being captured in privately owned, toll-access journals that widely prevent public access to research. A strong and vocal community that promotes open access to research has emerged that has worked to study and educate researchers about the advantages of opening access to research (as well as data and educational materials). However, very little is known about current RTP practices as they relate to questions of openness and public engagement. This dearth of collectively organized information makes it difficult to propose concrete, evidence-based reforms to support openness and public engagement, which this literature review begins to address.

The literature review is part of a larger project supported by the Open Society Foundations under the leadership of Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin (SFU), Dr. Meredith Niles (UVM) and Dr. Erin McKiernan (UNAM). The project will examine the RPT process in the U.S. and Canada through the collection and analysis of RPT documents in ways that can directly inform actions likely to translate into behavioral change and to a greater opening of research.

The literature review is expected to be carried out in the Fall of 2016 at a rate of $25-35/hour CAD (commensurate with experience). The work can be carried out off-site, although an office, library access, and computer resources are available at the Vancouver Campus of Simon Fraser University.

Interested applicants should send a brief cover letter, CV, and sample literature review to Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin ( Position will remain open until filled.

Call for postdoctoral applications – Understanding the societal impact of research through social media

The Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing is soliciting applications for a postdoctoral fellowship on a SSHRC-funded project entitled “Understanding the societal impact of research through social media.”

As the communication of research increasingly takes place on social media platforms, there is enormous potential to capture and analyze digital traces left by scholars. This offers, for the first time, the opportunity to study—using both quantitative and qualitative methods—the processes of knowledge dissemination and co-creation between academia and the public. Taking advantage of this opportunity, this project asks: What is the nature and extent of societal impact of research that can be observed through the public’s engagement with research on social media?

Led by Juan Pablo Alperin (Simon Fraser University), the team brings together the two main poles of research on scholarly communication in Canada: the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) and the Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University, as well as the Canada Research Chair on the Transformations of Scholarly Communication at the Université de Montréal (Stefanie Haustein and Vincent Larivière). Collaborators also include the UQAM Research Chair on Digital Technologies Uses and Changes in Communication (Florence Millerand) and the Simon Fraser University School of Communication (Katherine Reilly)

Target start date: July 1st, 2016 (flexible)
Duration: one year, renewable
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Location: Simon Fraser University (Downtown Vancouver Campus)
Deadline for applications: This position is now closed.

Applicants should send a CV, cover letter, statement of research interest (1 page), as well as the names and contact information of 2 references to Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin (