Tell IGDORE and the OS&A forum about your academic achievement of 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for many of us at IGDORE and in the broader academic community; some of us have faced health concerns from COVID either personally or for our friends and relatives, or professional/financial difficulties from the disruption of the academic sector caused by the pandemic. Yet, throughout this, academic projects have continued and we would like to collect some of the positive academic stories from the community here and then share them IGDORE’s December newsletter. If you have achieved something you would like to share (e.g. published a paper, received a grant, got a new position, started a project, etc.) please post a comment about it here. Alternatively, you can send IGDORE an e-mail (please include your name, affiliation, a brief description of your achievement, and [optionally] a link to further information). I will proudly announce achievements from both posts and emails in the next IGDORE newsletter.

Note that this is not limited to IGDORE affiliates, all forum users are welcome to contribute their story. (sign-up here to receive IGDORE’s newsletter if you don’t already get it)


Having proposed this initiative I guess I should start the ball rolling with my own positive academic story!

I was awarded a personal grant from the EA Funds Long Term-Future Fund to pay for my salary while doing a computational feasibility analysis into using electromagnetism as a broad-spectrum viral inhibitor (the granter’s description is here; I plan to post a public summary on the work early next year). I’m quite excited about receiving this grant as it’s the first competitive funding I’ve got as an independent researcher, and more so, I think the work itself could be quite impactful.


Great initiative @Gavin to make a summary of achievements during this year which was (and still is) hard for all of us (and to be proud of yourself, of course)! I do not have any major academic success in terms of publications but I am feeling fortunate that in the beginning of 2020 I decided to quit academia and seek other options. In the view on how this decision is judged by academic environment and looking back on more than 10 years of my higher education, I will not hide that it was hard.

But I am happy I have discovered the Open Science movement. Before I knew about Open Access, however, I did not have an idea how much potential have Open Science practices! Finally, all the things I was not OK about in academia have their own explanation. I felt relief that my discontent had reasons. So I decided to dedicate my time to Open Science and to try to reform academia.

In 2020, I launched several projects and became a member of Open Science communities:

  • I co-founded Open Science TV, a first independent scientific media platform which promotes principles of Openness in science and society.

  • Toxic Science project is aimed to increase the awareness in academic mental health and working conditions. It is a website where students, researchers and academia related people can post their stories anonymously about their negative experiences.

  • I became a member of IGDORE which not only gives an independent affiliation but is a place where I would not worry about cancelling because I expressed a non-popular opinion (as long as it meets the Code of Conduct).

  • Open Science MOOC invited me to be a steering committee member for this educational community. For the moment we are working on its rebranding and writing a draft-feedback on UNESCO’s Open Science recommendations.


I was somehow reluctant to self-celebrate anything in terms of academic life this year (many things happened but some are still in progress and I wish I will be able to celebrate at some point in the future). However, here is an “achievement” that I personally consider the best one:

2020 was the first year when I finally managed to publish a fully open report of a preliminary study I conducted during my PhD. This includes preprint, openly available datasets, codes and stimuli (I had to fight a bit for the latter and learn about EU copyright laws but in the end I made it!). The manuscript is currently under review in a fully OA journal which evaluate scientific rigour before impact!


Thanks @Gavin for starting this thread and nudging me to contribute :wink:

The thing I’m most proud of from 2020 is the publication of my book Subvert!


BTW, I’m 80% of the way through Dan’s book and loving it! Congratulations on an excellent synthesis of science and society.


On a personal note, I became a doctor. Finally. After 5 years of Phd-lyf. But better late than never! XD

And on a project note, I built a new website for Free Our Knowledge and posted a new campaign (the preregistration pledge). Feel free to take the pledge and really make my year :slight_smile:


It’s great to hear all these cool stories and feel that you folks found some sense of achievement and success in these difficult times :slight_smile: Special congrats to @cooper! Well done and much deserved!

Personally, not sure what I have really achieved this year from an academic point of view. I have launched and promoted this campaign: Which asks the Italian Government to make the data around the COVID-19 emergency open and FAIR.

The campaign is making an impact, with a lot of work still to do, but it’s setting an important moment in the era of open public data (in Italy and in Europe). My two cents :slight_smile:


Hey, everyone, congrats on all you’ve done! It’s been a tough year, and trying deserves al the praise!

I got a book review out and IGDORE is there as my institutional affiliation, so thank you for giving me a home. Here’s the link:


I published a short paper on children’s capacity to consent to medical decision-making - definite academic highlight of 2020. A small achievement, but an achievement nonetheless! :slight_smile:

Here’s the link:


Congrats to everybody for academic achievements during this year. I am happy to share with you my last publication this month on democratic consolidation in South Africa, I could not include my IGDORE affiliation yet, only Ronin but I hope next year I will. The link:


Hi Alex! Our dear omnipresent scholar :slight_smile:


Hi! I published three papers this year, but it was before I had my affiliation to IGDORE. Shall I share them anyway? I have a fourth paper, which is currently under submission: if it will be eventually accepted, the IGDORE affiliation will appear on it!

Best wishes to all of you!


[Edit from Gavin - Lucia mailed me the following publications to share]

Tamburino, Lucia, Giuliano Di Baldassarre, and Giulia Vico. “Water management for irrigation, crop yield and social attitudes: a socio-agricultural agent-based model to explore a collective action problem.” Hydrological Sciences Journal 65.11 (2020): 1815-1829.

Vico, Giulia, Lucia Tamburino, and James Robert Rigby. “Designing on-farm irrigation ponds for high and stable yield for different climates and risk-coping attitudes.” Journal of Hydrology 584 (2020): 124634.

Tamburino, Lucia, et al. “From population to production: 50 years of scientific literature on how to feed the world.” Global Food Security 24 (2020): 100346.

A fourth paper is currently under submission on Environmental Research Letter: “Reconciling ecological and human sustainability: a quantitative assessment”


Great to see what everybody has been up to this year!

For me personally, 2020 (and the end of 2019) was the year that I decided to start publishing again, as a side activity to my professional activities.

My first (independent) publications were two review articles and a letter to the editor about topics that I already investigated for other reasons:

Afterwards, I published a letter to the editor within the field of human oncology, which is closer to my educational background:

Currently, I have two more review articles that have been accepted, but not yet published:

  • Injection site sarcoma in other species than the domestic cat
  • Clinical aspects of feline prostate cancer: a literature review

For next year, I hope to publish some research articles with publicly available data within the field of both human and veterinary oncology. This time, I’ll work together with friends that would like to contribute to specific publications.


Congratulations on your productive year of publishing @lucia.tamburino, and welcome to the forum :wave:

Yes, you are welcome to post links to papers you published before joining IGDORE as this thread isn’t intended to be limited just to IGDORE related work or affiliates - all academic achievements from everybody are welcome :slight_smile: And the definition of academic is also quite flexible - any variety of achievement from alt. or indie. academia is also welcome.

Congratulations to everybody else on their achievements as well, I haven’t been posting responses to each person’s comment to avoid cluttering up the thread, but I’ve been impressed to see the diversity of achievements in our community, from publishing articles and books to finishing PhDs and foundings organisations - it’s quite inspiring to see how much we’ve been able to get done despite the difficulties 2020 threw our way.


I just self-published a book on PubPub that I spent a couple years writing (and thirty years researching). I wrote what I felt was both important to bring into the conversation about open science and topics that others didn’t touch (like fierce equality, kindness, practical wisdom, a real sharing economy, anti-incentives, science as anti-rivalrous, assholes in high places, and not least: the infinite play that is science (meaning humanities too!)). I want this book to nourish a Game B for science: removed from the neo-liberal market where perverse incentives have infested our ability to communicate as truthful knowledge-seekers. I love all feedback, and will be opening up this text to community edits and additions soon (and fixing typos along the way).

The bibliography is here:


Thanks @Gavin for prompting me to look at this thread and share something of my own. I love reading the achievements of others amid a very challenging year.

I am very happy with the work we did at COS this year. Our impact report describes some highlights. But, what I am most proud of is something a little different. When the reality of the pandemic became clear earlier in the year, there was also incredible uncertainty (and dour predictions) about the direction of the economy. Operating a non-profit with substantial operating costs and at the end of some of our core grants, this was quite unwelcome and stress-inducing news.

We immediately updated our forecasts and found that we were fine for 2020, but faced huge uncertainty for 2021 with only a very small portion of our budget secure. To give us the best chance to adapt to bad and worst-case scenarios, we instituted a bunch of cost containment strategies–hiring freeze, salary freeze, reduction costs where possible, etc. And, we identified key activities that we had to hit as a team to have a chance at renewal of some grants and doors opening for other support to stay focused on our mission.

What I am most proud of? The COS staff responded with support, energy, resolve, and high performance. We saved money, we hit our goals, we got our grant renewals, and we landed secure for 2021 without needing any dramatic interventions. It went as well as it could have gone despite team members dealing with challenging personal situations, kids at home, loneliness, etc.

That isn’t a very good story about advancing open science or an academic accomplishment, but it is a reality constraint that I wrestle with as we try to spend our time focused on nudging the research culture toward openness, integrity, and reproducibility. I am as proud to be a member of COS as I am to be a member of this open science movement that drives many of us.

Best wishes to everyone for a successful close to 2020 and renewal in 2021.


I guess mine would be the AIMOS conference, which was a heck of a lot of work, but really came together in the end. It wasn’t what we drew up a year ago, of course!


Amazing initiative @Gavin :smiley:

In 2020, I co-founded In&Vertebrates, a publishing platform aiming for more transparency.

It’s been quite a year. We gathered a fantastic community around our project, launched a Youtube channel, created the Researcher ID (a video format where we explore the scientific world with researchers), partnered with associations and institutions to make science a better place, and have almost finished the development of our own tools to help scientists in documenting all their experiments.

We are looking forward to continuing our actions to make science open, transparent and reproducible. I wish you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

Congrats to all!



In chronological order:

  • In January I did some small-scale experiments on the heights of water jets fired vertically. The accuracy of the measurement was considerably better than previous measurements, and the design of the experiments as a whole was fairly different from most as I intentionally tried to place the water jets in different “regimes” to get different behavior. For the moment I am holding off on publication of these experiments for various reasons, but I am particularly happy with the results so far. I’m planning to start some new related experiments in about a month.

  • During the initial part of the COVID-19 pandemic I was editing this paper in response to reviews. I had a few epiphanies which dramatically improved the paper in my view. I recognized a simple way to model what I call the “turbulent Rayleigh” regime of liquid jets (which works nicely with the limited data available), and I also found a simple way to model the boundary between what I call the “downstream transition” and “laminar Rayleigh” regimes. The latter approach stands in strong contrast to the prevailing approaches to this, which I argue are wrong and can’t account for the observed phenomena. The preprint I linked to unfortunately doesn’t contain these improvements as the journal required me to transfer copyright to submit the article. In about a year I can post an updated copy, however. I doubt most would find these developments particularly exciting, but they’ve opened a lot of research possibilities for me. (Re: turbulent Rayleigh modeling, I recently learned that what I did in this paper was only approximately correct, though a good approximation, and that the truly correct approach would be a lot more work.)

  • In August, I successfully defended my PhD after 7 years. Few PhDs are easy, but mine was particularly difficult due largely (in my view) to differences in research philosophy between my advisor and myself.

  • For a variety of reasons I wasn’t able to get a postdoc in my field after my PhD. However, I was able to figure out some decent ways to continue doing research on the side while working a full-time (non-research) job. I discuss this a bit more here. I am still improving here and learning about my current job (patent examiner). I will have more to report later, perhaps in February.

  • Since starting my current job, I’ve made a few notable research accomplishments for my new project. In a paper I published this year I criticized “stability theory” approaches to calculating the breakup of a turbulent liquid jet into droplets. Yet despite my criticisms, which one reviewer called overly negative as I recall, I’ve started doing my own version of stability theory which addresses my criticisms. :stuck_out_tongue: Here’s one thing I’ve figured out so far: On a turbulent liquid jet, when one measures the RMS roughness of the jet as a function of distance from the nozzle, there’s an initially linear increase in the RMS roughness with distance. To my knowledge there was no explanation of this behavior before my work. I have developed a theory derived from the Euler (corrected from Navier-Stokes; I’m not including viscosity) equations which easily explains this behavior, and predicts the slope. My theory shows that this behavior is not universal for turbulent jets, however. (Calculating farther downstream is not trivial.)