International research collaboration

By Richard Black|January 22, 2015|Research|1 comments

Building new partnerships, access and equality for women in higher education, new forms of HE delivery and matching HE training to skills needs were all topics of discussion at a joint British Council – SOAS – British Academy workshop today that brought representatives from universities and government across South Asia to London.  In the context of a discussion between South Asian and British academics and policy-makers about key challenges and

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Censorship, plain and simple?

By Richard Black|November 26, 2014|Research|146 comments

A few months ago, I had a visit from a senior diplomat at the Thai embassy in London. A charming, intelligent and urbane man, he had come with a colleague to express concern at the fact that SOAS had advertised a lecture by Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai academic based at Kyoto University in Japan on political developments in Thailand since 2006. Dr Chachavalpongpun is wanted in Thailand for alleged breaches

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Navigating Open Access

By Richard Black|November 7, 2014|Research|5 comments

There are probably lots of candidates for the title ‘most talked about but least understood’ challenge facing researchers in UK universities, but surely ‘Open Access’ is high amongst these.  For some, the question may simply be ‘what is Open Access?’; more likely the question is ‘why?’, or perhaps ‘why should I pay an article processing charge to publish my work when my Library is still paying a subscription to the

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PhD students as researchers

By Richard Black|October 8, 2014|Research|0 comments

One of the pleasures of my role as Pro-Director for Research at SOAS is to welcome the new intake of doctoral students – something I did a couple of weeks ago to a room full of people brimming with ideas and enthusiasm.  All of these new students are embarking on 3-4 years of dedicated research, a luxury most social scientists and humanities scholars are never privileged enough to have again

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