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    Nothing lasts forever: questions to ask yourself when choosing a new tool or technology for research

Nothing lasts forever: questions to ask yourself when choosing a new tool or technology for research

Academia has become increasingly reliant on third-party tools and technologies to carry out many of the processes throughout the research lifecycle. But there are genuine concerns about the sustainability of some of these tools and what the implications would be for users in the event they were discontinued. Andy Tattersall suggests a series of straightforward questions researchers should ask […]

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    Into oblivion: a closer look at the business, management and accounting research literature in Ibero-America

Into oblivion: a closer look at the business, management and accounting research literature in Ibero-America

Faced with institutional requirements to publish in top-tier, international journals, researchers from Ibero-American countries often express concern that their work is becoming distant from their local communities. The value of participating in international debates and being able to influence the direction of research globally is sometimes provided as justification for this. But does this withstand scrutiny? Julián David Cortés-Sánchez […]

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    There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence

There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence

Our social media feeds are full of articles shared by friends and family that make claims about how something can prevent a particular health condition. But how robust is the scientific evidence base underpinning these claims? Noah Haber, Alexander Breskin, Ellen Moscoe and Emily R. Smith, on behalf of the CLAIMS team, report on a systematic review of the state […]

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    How eyes in the sky can cut survey costs and enable researchers to identify key but hard-to-reach populations

How eyes in the sky can cut survey costs and enable researchers to identify key but hard-to-reach populations

Collecting representative survey data on large populations of people can be a very time-consuming and expensive undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be; Marco J. Haenssgen and Ern Charoenboon explain how they have used freely available satellite images to survey hard-to-reach communities in Thailand and Laos.

Countries all around the world are thinking about how to tackle the growing problem […]

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    Diary of an app! Will using mobile devices in qualitative research become the norm?

Diary of an app! Will using mobile devices in qualitative research become the norm?

Researchers have been asking participants to record their experiences and thoughts in traditional, paper-based diaries for many years. But the advent of digital technologies, especially apps for mobile devices, has encouraged some to ask whether these could become the new norm for capturing diary-based data for qualitative research. Laura Radcliffe and Leighann Spencer have pioneered the use of diary […]

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    Your research has been broadcast to millions – but how do you determine its impact?

Your research has been broadcast to millions – but how do you determine its impact?

The potential of broadcast programming to reach millions of people holds obvious appeal to researchers looking to maximise the dissemination of their work. But when it comes to impact, having vast reach is just one part of the equation – how can the significance of broadcast research be determined? Melissa Grant, Lucy Vernall and Kirsty Hill developed a mixed-methods […]

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    Random audits could shift the incentive for researchers from quantity to quality

Random audits could shift the incentive for researchers from quantity to quality

The drive to publish papers has created a hyper-competitive research environment in which researchers who take care to produce relatively few high-quality papers are out-competed by those who cut corners so their bibliometrics look good. Adrian Barnett suggests one way to push back against the pressure to “publish or perish” is to randomly audit a small proportion of researchers […]

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    Looming REF deadlines lead to a rush in publication of lower quality research

Looming REF deadlines lead to a rush in publication of lower quality research

The increased significance of research assessments and their implications for funding and career prospects has had a knock-on effect on academic publication patterns. Moqi Groen-Xu, Pedro A. Teixeira, Thomas Voigt and Bernhard Knapp report on research that reveals a marked increase in research productivity immediately prior to an evaluation deadline, which quickly reverses once the deadline has passed. Moreoever, […]

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    Shorter timeframes, co-designed, with “first-cut” insights: how university policy research can become more responsive to the needs of policymakers

Shorter timeframes, co-designed, with “first-cut” insights: how university policy research can become more responsive to the needs of policymakers

How might universities develop a research agenda that is responsive to the needs of policymakers? After running a series of workshops on public policy innovation with policy practitioners from various levels of government in Australia, Tamas Wells and Emma Blomkamp identified three ways in which policy research might become more “user-centred”: more variety in the timeframes of research projects, […]

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    More room for greater depth and detail: implications for academic research of Twitter’s expanded character limit

More room for greater depth and detail: implications for academic research of Twitter’s expanded character limit

Twitter makes its data available in real-time and at no cost, making it a popular data source for many academic researchers. Wasim Ahmed discusses some of the implications of the decision to expand the character limit from 140 to 280. Greater space makes for greater depth and detail, addressing the difficulties of interpretation that 140-character tweets would sometimes present. […]

Do we (mis)recognise the political power of Twitter?

We are told that Twitter is the new public sphere, the place where we hold government accountable, encourage diverse voices, and provide resources for public benefit like education, healthcare, and welfare. Using the #metoo campaign as a case study, Naomi Barnes and Huw Davies question whether Twitter really is a public sphere or if it is simply a platform […]

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    Book Review: The Toxic University: Zombie Leadership, Academic Rock Stars and Neoliberal Ideology by John Smyth

Book Review: The Toxic University: Zombie Leadership, Academic Rock Stars and Neoliberal Ideology by John Smyth

In The Toxic University: Zombie Leadership, Academic Rock Stars and Neoliberal Ideology, John Smyth offers a critical reading of the pathological state of higher education today, diagnosing this as the effect of commodification, marketisation and managerialism. While those looking for a minute analysis of the crisis of the university may at times wish for more nuanced and detailed insight, this is an outstanding […]

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    2017 in review: round-up of our top posts on communicating your research with social media

2017 in review: round-up of our top posts on communicating your research with social media

Twitter can help with scientific dissemination but its influence on citation impact is less clear
Researchers have long been encouraged to use Twitter. But does researchers’ presence on Twitter influence citations to their papers? José Luis Ortega explored to what extent the participation of scholars on Twitter can influence the tweeting of their articles and found that although the relationship between tweets […]

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    The Social Mobility Commission is dead. So what does this mean for the impacts arising from the social sciences research that informed its reports?

The Social Mobility Commission is dead. So what does this mean for the impacts arising from the social sciences research that informed its reports?

Alan Milburn’s resignation from the Social Mobility Commission likely spells the end for the body that has come to be seen as an exemplar for the use of research evidence in public policy debate. But what happens to the REF potential of the social sciences research that has been cited in the commission’s reports? Can REF panels ignore the […]

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    Does research evaluation in the sciences have a gender problem? What do altmetrics tell us?

Does research evaluation in the sciences have a gender problem? What do altmetrics tell us?

Many measures used for research evaulation, such as citations or research output, are hindered by an implicit gender bias. Stacy Konkiel examines whether or not altmetrics, which track how research is discussed, shared, reviewed, and reused by other researchers and the public, might be better suited to help understand the influence of research in a more gender-balanced way. Findings […]

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    New media, familiar dynamics: academic hierarchies influence academics’ following behaviour on Twitter

New media, familiar dynamics: academic hierarchies influence academics’ following behaviour on Twitter

For what reasons do academics follow one another on Twitter? Robert Jäschke, Stephanie B. Linek and Christian P. Hoffmann analysed the Twitter activity of computer scientists and found that while the quality of information provided by a Twitter account is a key motive for following academic colleagues, there is also evidence of a career planning motive. As well as […]

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    How can blogging help research make an impact beyond academia? Illustrative examples from the LSE blogs

How can blogging help research make an impact beyond academia? Illustrative examples from the LSE blogs

Previous posts in our series on the Impact of LSE Blogs project examined the effects of blogging on the academic sphere, looking more closely at citations to the original research outputs and also to the blog posts themselves. But what about the effects of blogging beyond academia, on the public sphere? In the final post of the series, Kieran […]

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    How funder pressures can torpedo the credibility of research – the cautionary tale of Google and New America

How funder pressures can torpedo the credibility of research – the cautionary tale of Google and New America

With policy recommendations subject to ever greater scrutiny – not only of their viability but also the credibility of their sources of expertise – many think tanks and research institutions invest considerable time and effort into building and nurturing a reputation for research quality and intellectual independence. However, this most valuable asset remains extremely precarious. Till Bruckner recounts the […]

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    Reading list: eight books on Indigenous research methods, recommended by Helen Kara

Reading list: eight books on Indigenous research methods, recommended by Helen Kara

In this reading list, Helen Kara recommends eight books for those looking to incorporate Indigenous methodologies within their own research and to better understand Indigenous research methods on their own terms.

This version of this post first appeared on LSE Review of Books. The reading list originally appeared on Helen Kara’s personal blog and is republished with permission.
Recently I wrote about challenging the […]

This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.