Technical Support. Nature 517(7536):528.
Technical Support [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
[Excerpt] Given that technical and support staff are such an important pillar of academic life, it is perhaps surprising that so little academic attention has been paid to their lot – and whether they are content with it. In 2011, researchers at King's College London did publish a rare survey of skills and training in the United Kingdom, which raised a series of red flags (see go.nature.com/n74jsb). Technical staff are exposed on the front line when funding cuts bite: numbers working in university departments had decreased across the disciplines, both in absolute terms and relative to the number of academics and students whom they are expected to support. [\n] One academic said: ” We're skating on thin ice – if people are away ill, or on a conference, or on training\,… it's a nightmare. If the academic department is an engine, then technicians are the engine oil that keeps the department running smoothly. Low technician numbers now mean that the department is in danger of seizing up.” [\n] University managers should take note: the report warned that the increasing trend for centralizing services and technical support could weaken the bond between academics and technicians, and so threaten research.
@article{natureTechnicalSupport2015,
  title = {Technical Support},
  author = {{Nature}},
  date = {2015-01},
  journaltitle = {Nature},
  volume = {517},
  pages = {528},
  issn = {0028-0836},
  doi = {10.1038/517528a},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1038/517528a},
  abstract = {[Excerpt] Given that technical and support staff are such an important pillar of academic life, it is perhaps surprising that so little academic attention has been paid to their lot -- and whether they are content with it. In 2011, researchers at King's College London did publish a rare survey of skills and training in the United Kingdom, which raised a series of red flags (see go.nature.com/n74jsb). Technical staff are exposed on the front line when funding cuts bite: numbers working in university departments had decreased across the disciplines, both in absolute terms and relative to the number of academics and students whom they are expected to support.

[\textbackslash n] One academic said: ” We're skating on thin ice -- if people are away ill, or on a conference, or on training\,… it's a nightmare. If the academic department is an engine, then technicians are the engine oil that keeps the department running smoothly. Low technician numbers now mean that the department is in danger of seizing up.”

[\textbackslash n] University managers should take note: the report warned that the increasing trend for centralizing services and technical support could weaken the bond between academics and technicians, and so threaten research.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-13503752,~to-add-doi-URL,bias-toward-primacy-of-theory-over-reality,cross-disciplinary-perspective,disciplinary-barrier,knowledge-integration,research-management,research-metrics,science-ethics,team-diversity},
  number = {7536}
}
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