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Margin Notes

Your Top Ten stories from 2013

Here are the stories that interested you most from our website last year.


It’s another New Year. But, before we move on, I wanted to take one last look back at 2013. In my previous blog post just before the holidays, I pointed out a few things that caught my attention in the past 12 months. What follows, however, is what interested our readers in 2013 with a list of the most clicked-on articles published last year.

As any editor will attest, it’s not always easy to predict which stories will strike a chord. We, the editorial team here at University Affairs, will sometimes get quite excited about an upcoming article, only to find it creates barely a ripple once published. Other times, an article will draw huge interest and comment much to our surprise (see no. 3, below, for an example of that).

Looking at the Top Ten most clicked-on stories for 2013 does certainly give a sense of what issues occupied our readers – PhD studies, international students, sessional teachers, academic publishing, etc. Here they are, in ascending order, and the date they were published:

10. It’s time to change the way research grants are awarded in Canada (July 3)
9. B.C. makes free online textbooks available (May 22)
8. New study uncovers several reasons for gender disparities in science (Jan. 2)
7. Publishers with questionable practices prey on academics (May 31)
6. Course evaluations: the good, the bad and the ugly (Aug. 21)
5. Access Copyright lawsuit against York is first test of fair-dealing guidelines (Oct. 30)
4. Sessionals, up close (Jan. 9)
3. Why students need to fail (Dec. 4)
2. Changes to immigration rules are a boon to international student recruitment (Mar. 13)

And (drum roll), the top story from last year:
1. The PhD is in need of revision (Feb. 6)

Interesting, no?

As a bonus, I’ve added the blog posts from each of our longer-running blogs that attracted the most views last year. They were:

Speculative Diction: War of attrition – Asking why PhD students leave
The Black Hole: The importance of leaving academic science on good terms
Margin Notes: PhD completion rates and times to completion in Canada

For the first blog, the most viewed post also garnered the most comments. However, for The Black Hole and Margin Notes, different posts prompted the most feedback. For The Black Hole, it was Fewer postdocs with higher salaries? Hold your horses! and for Margin Notes, the most commented was The so-so state of science communication in Canada.


Léo Charbonneau
Léo Charbonneau is the editor of University Affairs.
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