Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bin Ladin's Bookshelf: declassified documents, books and magazines found during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

On May 20, 2015, the ODNI released a sizeable tranche of documents recovered during the raid on the compound used to hide Usama bin Ladin. The release, which followed a rigorous interagency review, aligns with the President’s call for increased transparency–consistent with national security prerogatives–and the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act, which required the ODNI to conduct a review of the documents for release.

The release contains two sections. The first is a list of non-classified, English-language material found in and around the compound. The second is a selection of now-declassified documents.

The Intelligence Community will be reviewing hundreds more documents in the near future for possible declassification and release. An interagency taskforce under the auspices of the White House and with the agreement of the DNI is reviewing all documents which supported disseminated intelligence cables, as well as other relevant material found around the compound. All documents whose publication will not hurt ongoing operations against al-Qa‘ida or their affiliates will be released.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What Makes Lawyers Happy?: A Data-Driven Prescription to Redefine Professional Success

This is the first theory-guided empirical research seeking to identify the correlates and contributors to the well-being and life satisfaction of lawyers. Data from several thousand lawyers in four states provide insights about diverse factors from law school and one’s legal career and personal life. Striking patterns appear repeatedly in the data and raise serious questions about the common priorities on law school campuses and among lawyers. External factors, which are often given the most attention and concern among law students and lawyers (factors oriented towards money and status—such as earnings, partnership in a law firm, law school debt, class rank, law review membership, and U.S. News & World Report’s law school rankings), showed nil to small associations with lawyer well-being. Conversely, the kinds of internal and psychological factors shown in previous research to erode in law school appear in these data to be the most important contributors to lawyers’ happiness and satisfaction. These factors constitute the first two of five tiers of well-being factors identified in the data, followed by choices regarding family and personal life. The external money and status factors constitute the fourth tier, and demographic differences were least important. 

Source: George Washington Law Review

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Locked-in on Our Youth: An Inquiry into American Military Recruiting Media

As American military branches continue to encounter challenges associated with filling the ranks, recruitment efforts and corresponding media messages may be inadvertently targeting our nation’s youth. Using existing child-development research, along with relevant theoretical perspectives, this article will explore the strategies used by the military for recruitment and the effects those tactics and media have on a juvenile audience.
Source: American International Journal of Social Science

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Examining Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Plight of Vietnam Veterans

Human beings have been afflicted by the lasting mental effects of warfare for thousands of years. Over twenty – four hundred years ago, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of a soldier at the battle of Marathon who, after witnessing the death of the soldier next to him, went completely blind, despite being “wounded in no part of his body.” William Shakespeare, too, saw the effects of war on the minds of its survivors. After her husband’s return from war in King Henry IV, Lady Percy wonders of him, “What is’t that takes from thee thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?” Both of these writings reference a mental disorder seemingly caused by the intense traumas of war. This disorder has gone by many different names, including shell shock, the thousand – yard stare, and war neurosis. Today, we classify this disorder as post – traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. 

Source: Iowa Historical Review

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Corporate Speech and the First Amendment: History, Data, and Implications

Abstract:
This Article draws on empirical analysis, history, and economic theory to show that corporations have begun to displace individuals as direct beneficiaries of the First Amendment and to outline an argument that the shift reflects economically harmful rent seeking. The history of corporations, regulation of commercial speech, and First Amendment case law is retold, with an emphasis on the role of constitutional entrepreneur Justice Lewis Powell, who prompted the Supreme Court to invent corporate and commercial speech rights. The chronology shows that First Amendment doctrine long post-dated both pervasive regulation of commercial speech and the rise of the U.S. as the world’s leading economic power – a chronology with implications for originalists, and for policy. Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals decisions are analyzed to quantify the degree to which corporations have displaced individuals as direct beneficiaries of First Amendment rights, and to show that they have done so recently, but with growing speed since Virginia Pharmacy, Bellotti, and Central Hudson. Nearly half of First Amendment challenges now benefit business corporations and trade groups, rather than other kinds of organizations or individuals, and the trend-line is up. Such cases commonly constitute a form of corruption: the use of litigation by managers to entrench reregulation in their personal interests at the expense of shareholders, consumers, and employees. In aggregate, they degrade the rule of law, rendering it less predictable, general and clear. This corruption risks significant economic harms in addition to the loss of a republican form of government.
Source: Social Science Research Network

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Legal Status at the Federal Level of Assisted Human Reproduction in Canada

This paper provides an overview of the many steps that the Canadian federal government has taken to establish a legislative and regulatory framework for reproductive technologies and related research. This background includes a description of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies, early attempts at legislation and a discussion of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, in force since 2004, including its list of prohibited activities. The constitutional challenge to the legislation that was brought by the Attorney General of Quebec and ultimately heard by the Supreme Court of Canada is reviewed. Finally, the federal government’s response to the Supreme Court decision in the form of amendments to the Act is summarized. This paper does not examine how activities related to assisted human reproduction may be regulated by the provinces.
Source: Canada Library of Parliament Research Publications

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The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence.

Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as a ground of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas.

Moreover, EU competence does not extend to recognition of marital or family status. In this area, national regulations vary, with some Member States offering same-sex couples the right to marry, others allowing alternative forms of registration, and yet others not providing any legal status for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples may or may not have the right to adopt children and to access assisted reproduction. These divergent legal statuses have implications, for instance, for partners from two Member States with different standards who want to formalise/legalise their relationship or for same-sex couples and their families wishing to move to another Member State.

Combating discrimination has become part of EU internal and external policies and the subject of numerous resolutions of the European Parliament. However, action in this area remains problematic when it touches on issues pertaining to areas traditionally reserved to Member States, such as marital status and family law.
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

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Tackling long-term unemployment in the EU

With the onset of the crisis, unemployment rates have increased sharply throughout Europe and the trend seemed set to continue. However in March 2015, the European Commission reported that, for the first time since 2009, the LTU rate fell slightly. Currently, long-term unemployment (LTU) stands at 4,9% for the EU. LTU remains highest in Greece, Spain, Croatia and Slovakia and lowest in Austria, Sweden and Finland.
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

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Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic


In 2013, the national high school graduation rate hit a record high of 81.4 percent, and for the third year in a row, the nation remained on pace to meet the 90 percent goal by the Class of 2020. This sixth annual update on America’s high school dropout challenge shows that these gains have been made possible by raising graduation rates for students who have traditionally struggled to earn a high school diploma, and focuses on the student subgroups and geographic areas that both contribute to this progress and are key to driving toward the 90 percent goal.

Continuing a pattern seen in earlier years, rates of improvement among states and large districts varied considerably between 2011 and 2013. Some districts, including those with a majority of low-income and minority students, made big improvements, while others lost ground. This is significant because it indicates that high school graduation rates are not increasing because of broad national economic, demographic, and social trends. Rather, the constellation of leadership, reforms, and multi-sector efforts at state, district, and school levels drove this progress, and shows that with focus, graduation rates can be increased for all students in every part of the country.
Source: Alliance for Excellent Education

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Top 10 Baby Names For 2014

From the Social Security Administration:

1 Noah Emma
2 Liam Olivia
3 Mason Sophia
4 Jacob Isabella
5 William Ava
6 Ethan Mia
7 Michael Emily
8 Alexander Abigail
9 James Madison
10 Daniel Charlotte

More info on U.S. Baby Names at the SSA: Look up popularity of names for any year after 1879

Unemployment and Depression Among Emerging Adults in 12 States

Abstract:
Introduction:
The high rate of unemployment among emerging adults (aged 18 to 25 years) is a public health concern. The risk of depression is higher among the unemployed than among the employed, but little is known about the relationship between unemployment and mental health among emerging adults. This secondary data analysis assessed the relationship between unemployment and depression among emerging adults.

Methods:
Data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were analyzed. Responses to the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 provided data about the prevalence of depression. Bivariate relationships were assessed using χ2 tests, and multivariable adjusted odds ratios were calculated with logistic regressions. Sociodemographic variables were sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, and education. In addition, logistic regression models adjusted for health insurance status, disability, smoking, and body mass index. The analyses were completed using SAS 9.3 survey procedures to account for the complex sampling design.

Results:
Almost 12% of emerging adults were depressed (PHQ-8 ≥10) and about 23% were unemployed. Significantly more unemployed than employed emerging adults were classified with depression. In the final model, the odds of depression were about 3 times higher for unemployed than employed emerging adults.

Conclusion:
The relationship between unemployment and depression is significant among emerging adults. With high rates of unemployment for this age group, this population may benefit from employment- and mental-health–focused interventions.

Source: Center of Disease Control

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Friday, May 15, 2015

An Introduction to Health Insurance: What Should a Consumer Know?

Congress has seen a renewed interest in the market for private health insurance since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended). This report provides an overview of private-sector (as opposed to government-provided) health insurance.It serves as an introduction to health insurance from the point of view of many consumers under the age of 65. No background in health insurance is assumed, and all terms are defined in the body of the report.
Source: Congressional Research Service

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Money for Something: Music Licensing in the 21st Century

The laws that determine who pays whom in the digital world were written, by and large, at a time when music was distributed mainly via radio broadcasts or physical media, such as sheet music and phonograph records, and when each of these forms of distribution represented a distinct channel with unique characteristics. With the emergence of the Internet, Congress updated some copyright laws in the 1990s. It applied one set of laws to digital services it viewed as akin to radio broadcasts, and another set to digital services it viewed as akin to physical media. Since that time, however, consumers have increasingly been consuming music via digital services that incorporate attributes of both radio and physical media. Under existing law, the companies that compete in delivering music to listeners face very different cost structures, depending on the royalty provisions applicable to their unique business models. The royalties received by songwriters, performers, music publishers, and record companies for one play or sale of a particular song may vary greatly, depending upon the particular business model of the company delivering the music.
Source: Congressional Research Service

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Evolution of Retirement Wealth

Is the current mix of tax preferences for employer-sponsored pensions and individual retirement saving in the U.S. delivering the best possible retirement-preparedness across and within generations? Using data from the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances for 1989 through 2013, cohort-based analysis of life-cycle trajectories shows that (1) overall retirement plan participation was relatively stable or even rising through 2007, though participation fell noticeably in the wake of the Great Recession and has remained lower, (2) participation is strongly correlated with income, and the shift in the type of pension coverage occurred within–not just across–income groups, (3) relative to previous cohorts and a counterfactual lifecycle benchmark, the recent decline in retirement plan participation and defined contribution (DC) retirement account balance-to-income ratios is concentrated among younger families and lower-income families.
Source: Federal Reserve Board

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Immigrant and Refugee Workers in the Early Childhood Field: Taking a Closer Look

The face of the young child population in the United States is rapidly changing. Today, children of immigrants account for one in four of all those under age 6, and represent all the net growth in this population since 1990. With research consistently showing the importance of early learning experiences in setting the stage for children's healthy development and academic success, it is increasingly clear that these demographic changes point to the need for a diverse, well-qualified early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce to deliver linguistically and culturally competent care.

This report aims to fill gaps in knowledge about ECEC workforce trends and, in particular, the growing share of immigrants in this field. The primary objective is to gain a better understanding of the unique characteristics of immigrant workers in order to ensure that their needs are reflected in policy efforts that seek to expand and improve ECEC services for young children. The report examines demographic and socioeconomic trends in both the immigrant-origin child population (ages 5 and under) eligible to enroll in ECEC programs as well as the ECEC workforce in the United States, and goes on to discuss policy implications and opportunities to support the advancement of immigrant ECEC workers as part of an overall effort to improve the quality of the early childhood workforce.
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Download full pdf report | Online summary and links to select state fact sheets


Good fortune, dire poverty, and inequality in Baltimore: An American story

The unrest in Baltimore has fostered nationwide discussion about the root causes of the tensions in the city’s poor neighborhoods that led to an outbreak of riots and mass protests. While criminal justice policy and police-community relationships are arguably at the core of the present debate, the economic and social context in which those actions took shape matters greatly too. Yet media coverage has obscured a few key facts about economic and social conditions in Baltimore and other major American cities. The charts below situate the distress affecting neighborhoods like Freddie Gray’s Sandtown-Winchester against the backdrop of wider dynamics in Baltimore City and its metropolitan area, and in comparison to other cities and regions around the country.
Source: Brookings Institution

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Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002): A First Look at the Postsecondary Transcripts of 2002 High School Sophomores

The Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) tracks the educational and developmental experiences of a nationally representative sample of United States high school students who were sophomores in the spring of 2002. This First Look report provides a descriptive portrait of their postsecondary education experiences through the end of the 2012-13 academic year by using information obtained during the postsecondary transcript data collection conducted in 2013–14.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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Survey | Deep Divide Between Black and White Americans on Criminal Justice System’s Racial Equality; Persists from Rodney King to Freddie Gray

From the Press Release:
In the wake of protests following Freddie Gray’s death while in Baltimore police custody, a new survey released today finds a nearly 30-percentage point gap between black and white Americans’ perceptions of the fairness within the criminal justice system. Only 17 percent of black Americans agree that blacks and other minorities receive the same treatment as whites do in the criminal justice system, compared to 78 percent who disagree. By contrast, white Americans are nearly evenly divided—46 percent agree vs. 47 percent disagree. Looking at trends on this issue, the new survey shows that racial perception gaps today are only slightly smaller than those measured in 1992 by an ABC News/Washington Post poll at the time of the protests and riots that followed the Rodney King verdict. The new survey also finds that white Americans are nearly four times as likely as black Americans to say that police officers treat people equally (47 percent vs. 12 percent).
Source: Public Religion Research Institute

Read online summary of survey | Download pdf topline questionnaire

Psychosocial Maturity and Desistance From Crime in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders

Highlights:
The Pathways to Desistance study followed more than 1,300 serious juvenile offenders for 7 years after their conviction. In this bulletin, the authors present key findings on the link between psychosocial maturity and desistance from crime in the males in the Pathways sample as they transition from midadolescence to early adulthood (ages 14–25)
Source: United States Department of Justice

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Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons

This 127-page report details incidents in which correctional staff have deluged prisoners with painful chemical sprays, shocked them with powerful electric stun weapons, and strapped them for days in restraining chairs or beds. Staff have broken prisoners’ jaws, noses, ribs; left them with lacerations requiring stitches, second-degree burns, deep bruises, and damaged internal organs. In some cases, the force used has led to their death.
Source: Human Rights Watch

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Parent and Family Involvement in Education

This report presents findings from the Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012 (NHES:2012). The Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey collected data on children enrolled in public or private school for kindergarten through 12th grade or homeschooled for these grades. The survey collected information about various aspects of parent involvement in education, such as help with homework, family activities, and parent involvement at school. 

Source: National Center for Education Statistices

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The Impact of Forensic Science Research & Development

Forensic science R&D in the 1980s laid the groundwork for advances in the 1990s and early 2000s that had a profound impact on crime laboratories. Although the scientific advances, particularly the growth of DNA testing, provided more effective tools for analyzing evidence and identifying perpetrators, they also led to a dramatic increase in the demand for lab services. By the late 1990s and through the 2000s, demand outstripped the ability of the labs to respond quickly and efficiently. Today, scientists and technicians at forensic labs are under relentless pressure to produce results faster and at lower cost. 

Source: National Institute of Justice
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Top-Paying College Majors Earn $3.4 Million More Than Lowest-Paying Majors Over A Lifetime, According To A New Georgetown University Report

When it comes to earnings, majors matter more than degrees. Over a career, the report finds, college graduates earn $1 million more than high school graduates on average. But averages are misleading: college graduates with the highest-paying majors earn $3.4 million more than the lowest-paying majors. Using Census data, The Economic Value of College Majors analyzes wages for 137 college majors, including the wages of graduates who go on to earn advanced degrees. It also details the most popular majors, the majors most likely to lead to an advanced degree, and the economic benefit of earning an advanced degree by undergraduate major.

Source: Center on Education and the Workforce (Georgetown University)

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Understanding Rights Reversion: When, Why, & How to Regain Copyright and Make Your Book More Available

"...a guide that arms authors with the information and strategies they need to revive their books. This guide is the product of extensive outreach to the publishing industry. In the process, we interviewed authors, publishers, and literary agents, ranging from a CEO of a major publishing house to contracts and rights managers of trade and academic presses, editorial assistants, novelists, and academic authors."
Source: Author's Alliance

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State of the World's Mothers: The Urban Disadvantage

From the Executive Summary:
The focus of this report is on the hidden and often neglected plight of the urban poor. For the purpose of this analysis, the “urban poor” are defined as the bottom quintile (i.e., the poorest 20 percent of urban households). The “urban rich,” in contrast, are the top quintile (i.e., the richest 20 percent). The “urban survival gap” is a key metric used throughout. For this report, it refers to relative (not absolute) inequity in child survival chances and is given by the ratio between these two groups (i.e., the under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) for the urban poorest is divided by the U5MR for the urban richest). A relative difference of 2.0, for example, means the poorest urban children are twice as likely as the richest urban children to die before reaching age 5.

Source: Save the Children Federation

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Snapshot Review of Sexual Assault Report Files at the Four Largest U.S. Military Bases in 2013

On February 10, 2014, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, in her oversight role as Chairman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, requested the Department of Defense (DoD) provide her office with files pertaining to the investigation and adjudication of sexual assault cases, from 2009 to 2013, at the largest U.S. base for each military service. These installations are the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
Source:  Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Deaths in police custody in the United States: Research review

The limited data available do not suggest a recent overall increase in the number of homicides by police or the racial composition of those killed, despite the high-profile cases and controversies of 2014-2015, according to a New York Times analysis. But a January 2015 report published in the Harvard Public Health Review, “Trends in U.S. Deaths due to Legal Intervention among Black and White men, Age 15-34 Years, by County Income Level: 1960-2010,” suggests persistent differences in risks for violent encounters with police: “The rate ratio for black vs. white men for death due to legal intervention always exceeded 2.5 (median: 4.5) and ranged from 2.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.1, 3.1) in 2001 to 10.1 (95% CI 8.7, 11.7) in 1969, with the relative and absolute excess evident in all county income quintiles.”
Source: Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

Read full research review online here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

State of the News Media 2015

The State of the News Media 2015 is the twelfth edition of an annual report by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project examining the landscape of American journalism. This year’s study includes 13 data - filled fact sheets, each of which provides the latest audience, economic, news in vestment and ownership trends for key sectors of news media, from cable TV to African - American media to news magazines.
Source: Pew Research Center

Download full pdf report | Access online segments and fact sheets | Searchable Media and News Indicators Database

Great Expectations: Students and Video in Higher Education

There is little doubt that students are accustomed to multiple methods for consuming information, ranging from journal articles, books, and textbooks to lectures, newspapers, blog posts, and videos. They participate in courses that take place live in a classroom on a college campus; they join hybrid classrooms; and they learn via courses that occur asynchronously, with instructors whom they will never meet in person. Their classroom experiences are varied. Students bring their own life experiences with them into the classroom, and they are an opinionated group, regardless of their age or geographic location. Combining previous research on video in higher education, surveys of 1,673 students, and a collection of in-depth interviews, this white paper examines student expectations for use of video within the classroom, how and why students use educational video outside the classroom, how likely students are to watch videos produced by libraries, and what tips students have for libraries about how to reach them.
Source: SAGE

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All the President’s Psychologists

This report analyzes emails from the accounts of deceased RAND Corporation researcher and apparent CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) contractor Mr. Scott Gerwehr.1 Sixteen emails were selected for detailed analysis from a larger collection of 638 emails that were obtained by Mr. James Risen, author of Pay Any Price and a reporter for the New York Times. The emails were provided to the authors for analysis with the approval of the original sources of the emails, and with the agreement that only those selected as most relevant to the scope of the report would be released. All 638 emails were reviewed by the authors.

Emails were selected for detailed analysis because they are evidence of the George W. Bush Administration’s integral role in shaping American Psychological Association (APA) ethics policy on psychologist participation in national security interrogations after September 11, 2001. Other emails were chosen because they either conflict with or contradict past public statements made by APA officials, as well as disclose new information related to this issue that the APA appears to have concealed. (See Appendix II for all primary source emails cited in this report.

Lead authors:
Stephen Soldz, Ph.D.
Nathaniel Raymond
Steven Reisner, Ph.D.
Co­authors:
Scott A. Allen, M.D.
Isaac L. Baker
Allen S. Keller, M.D.
Reviewer:
Jean Maria Arrigo, Ph.D.

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Preparing a Referee Report: Guidelines and Perspectives

Abstract:
Peer review is fundamental to the efficacy of the scientific process. We draw from our experience both as editors, authors and association representatives to provide a set of guidelines for referees in preparing their reports and cover letters to journal editors. While our document is directed to anyone asked to review a paper, our suggestions are especially relevant for new members of the profession when preparing their first reports.

Source: NBER [via SSRN]

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Enlisting in the Military The Influential Role of Genetic Factors

Abstract:
Given that enlistment in the U.S. military is completely voluntary, there has been a great deal of interest in identifying the various factors that might explain why some people join the military, whereas others do not. The current study expanded on this line of literature by estimating the extent to which genetic and environmental factors explained variance in the liability for lifetime participation in the military. Analysis of twin pairs drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) revealed that 82% of the variance was the result of genetic factors, 18% of the variance was the result of nonshared environmental factors, and none of the variance was accounted for by shared environmental factors. In light of a number of limitations, replication studies are needed to determine the robustness of these findings and whether they are generalizable to other samples and populations. 

Source: Sage Open

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Network’s Online Intermediaries project

The Network’s Online Intermediaries project is a policy-oriented research initiative aimed at examining the rapidly changing landscape of online intermediary governance at the intersection of law, technology, norms, and markets. In concert with other research projects, it seeks to develop criteria, comparative methods, and a shared data repository, and to compile insights and lessons learned across diverse communities of knowledge aimed at informing and improving Internet policy-making globally.

The first research output as part of the larger initiative consists of a case study series exploring online intermediary liability frameworks and issues in Brazil, the European Union, India, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam, and a synthesis paper that seeks to distill key observations and provide a high-level analysis of some of the structural elements that characterize varying governance frameworks, with a focus on intermediary liability regimes and their evolution. This research builds upon a series of in-person working meetings, including a workshop hosted by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, where the draft country reports and key elements of the synthesis were discussed. Throughout the process, learning calls supported the sharing of research and methods among the collaborators.
Read more about the project and access reports here.

The Causal Effects of Growing up in Different Counties on Earnings in Adulthood

How can we improve economic opportunities for low-income children? The Equality of Opportunity Project uses “big data” to develop new answers to this question. The previous phase of the project presented statistics on how upward mobility varies across areas of the U.S. and over time. In the current phase, we focus on families who moved across areas to study how neighborhoods affect upward mobility. We find that every year of exposure to a better environment improves a child’s chances of success, both in a national quasi-experimental study of five million families and in a re-analysis of the Moving to Opportunity Experiment. We use the new methodology and data to present estimates of the causal effect of each county in America on upward mobility.
Source: Harvard, Equality of Opportunity Project

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From Humanitarian to Economic: The Changing Face of Vietnamese Migration

Although war and conflict forced the majority of Vietnamese migration that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, Vietnam’s tremendous economic growth has driven recent migration to and from the country. No longer are the indelible images of people on unseaworthy boats trying to survive pirates to reach refuge on foreign shores the face of Vietnamese migration. With a decade of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of more than 5 percent annually, unemployment below 6 percent, and a growing labor force, the face of Vietnamese migration today is more likely to be a student pursuing an overseas education, a construction worker in the Middle East, or a Chinese or Canadian tourist visiting the beaches of Nha Trang and boating in Ha Long Bay.

Source: Migration Policy Institute

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Time Period, Generational, and Age Differences in Tolerance for Controversial Beliefs and Lifestyles in the United States, 1972–2012

From the abstract:
Americans have become increasingly tolerant of controversial outgroups in results from the nationally representative General Social Survey (1972–2012, N = 35,048). Specifically, adults in the 2010s (versus the 1970s and 1980s) were more likely to agree that Communists, homosexuals, the anti-religious, militarists, and those believing Blacks are genetically inferior should be allowed to give a public speech, teach at a college, or have a book in a local library. Cross-classification hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analyses separating the effects of time period, cohort/generation, and age show that these trends were driven by both a linear time period effect and a curvilinear cohort effect, with those born in the late 1940s (Boomers) the most tolerant when age and time period were controlled. Tolerance of homosexuals increased the most, and tolerance of racists the least. The increase in tolerance is positively correlated with higher levels of education and individualistic attitudes, including rejecting traditional social rules, but is negatively correlated with changes in empathy.
Source:  Social Forces (2015)

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Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning

This report is one of a series of reports describing the historical developments and current state of distance education, online learning, and blended learning. With the intent of informing future research and practice in the emerging discipline of digital learning, this tertiary study focuses on the history and state of distance education, and the understanding of the large body of empirical research as captured by secondary studies (i.e., meta-analyses and systematic literature reviews).
Source: MOOC Research Initiative (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

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