Informed consent is important in large-scale social media research to protect the privacy, autonomy, and control of social media users. Ilka Gleibs argues for an approach to consent that fosters contextual integrity where adequate protection for privacy is tied to specific contexts. Rather than prescribing universal rules for what is public (a Facebook page, or Twitter feed) and what is private, contextual […]
The Policy Institute at King’s College London, along with colleagues in the digital humanities department, teamed up with technology company Digital Science to build a searchable database and produce a rich analysis of the impact case studies for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Saba Hinrichs and Jonathan Grant introduce the key findings of the analysis and explain how the resource […]
Gold open access in practice: How will universities respond to the rising total cost of publication?
Are universities able to shoulder the costs of the open access transition? Stephen Pinfield presents findings on the current state of institutional costs. The total cost of publication is defined as existing subscription costs, article processing charges (APCs) and the costs of administering them. So is the total cost of publication rising for universities overall? In the short term at […]
What does the future hold for academic books? Rebecca Lyons introduces The Academic Book of the Future, a two-year project funded by the AHRC in collaboration with the British Library in which a cross-disciplinary team from University College London and King’s College London explores how scholarly work in the Arts and Humanities will be produced, read, shared, and preserved […]
Measuring development: the importance of statistics on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda.
In 2013 the UN set up a specific group to look at broadening its data gathering. This is part of a wider trend looking to embrace partnerships that can provide regular evidence of development progress. Thomas Wheeler and Craig Fagan argue that in the age of ‘open’ government, budgets, contracts and aid, there is no reason why data should remain the remit […]
Amidst the confusion and the hype around big data, Luke Dormehl’s The Formula charts the growing influence of algorithms in modern society and how they affect our daily lives. Michael Veale finds that this book’s strength lies in providing background on the personalities behind the hype. He recommends it to people new to the field looking for a basic recent history, and to those […]
Under Ed Miliband, the Labour Party’s ideational activities have taken centre stage. His wonky style is derided by many, but gurus, intellectuals and policy wonks perform a crucial role in the political process, says Eunice Goes. The role of intellectuals and experts does not stop with political diagnosis. They also help political actors, and in particular political parties, to develop ideas […]
Adopting new tools can open up more effective ways of working and communicating research. But the new terrain can be daunting. Andy Tattersall breaks down the complexity and poses four initial questions for any researcher contemplating using some of these new tools. These questions can help ground a deliberate digital strategy and encourage researchers to prepare for the inevitable difficulties of […]
The grant economy as tragedy of the commons – are researchers just wasting time by applying for ever-elusive funding?
Pressure to bring in grants is steady and increasing, but with only 20% of US applications receiving funding, is the collective time spent writing multiple rejected applications actually worth it? Unless the pool of grant funding is massively increased at the federal level—a remote possibility—this is a zero-sum game. Elizabeth Popp Berman suggests a cap to the number of applications—either at […]
Beyond Beall’s List: We need a better understanding of predatory publishing without overstating its size and danger.
Although predatory publishers predate open access, their recent explosion was expedited by the emergence of fee-charging OA journals. Monica Berger and Jill Cirasella argue that librarians can play an important role in helping researchers to avoid becoming prey. But there remains ambiguity over what makes a publisher predatory. Librarians can help to counteract the misconceptions and alarmism that stymie the acceptance […]
Engineering knowledge is more important than ever, but it needs to be responsive and accessible to a wider range of democratic actors if it is to solve societies’ most challenging problems. Typically framed by the interests of large institutional and industrial actors, engineering research has been much less successful in directly engaging with local communities. Sarah Bell outlines the core […]
Language in Mind highlights the topics that capture the imagination of researchers and students alike, for example, deaf communities, poetry, jokes, misutterances, and Alzheimer’s disease. It would be a joy to teach using this book, writes Gwyneth Sutherlin.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.
Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. Julie Sedivy. Sinauer Associates Inc.,U.S. 2014.
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Taking the malapropism mantle […]
Data sharing has the potential to facilitate wider collaboration and foster scientific progress. But while 88% of researchers in a recent study confirmed they would like to use shared data, only 13% had actually made their own data publicly available. Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Marcel Hebing, Stephanie Linek, and Armin Sauermann look at the mismatch between ideal and reality and argue that academia is a reputation […]
The weight placed on p-values and significance testing has come under increasing criticism, with one social psychology journal banning their use entirely. Nicole Radziwill argues that many of the issues come down to sampling errors. Inferential statistics is good because it lets us make decisions about a whole population based on one sample. But inferential statistics is bad if your sample size is […]
Cornelius Puschmann and Marco Bastos expand on the computational methods employed to understand the contributions and online networks of two prominent scholarly blog platforms, HASTAC and Hypotheses. Their analysis suggests one community is driven more by an emphasis on the new media movement and cross-disciplinary aspiration, compared to the other’s more traditional disciplinary approach with a focus on the […]
Choosing the Right Criteria: Universities need to identify what behaviours should be valued and reward accordingly.
If universities are to thrive, evaluation criteria must capture and recognise exemplary contributions. To discontinue the legacy of poor indicators, Athene Donald calls for the focus on quality to be in more fundamental ways. For example, the mobility of an individual to accept overseas posts and attend international conferences has been frequently used as a proxy for excellence. […]
A blog may get you street credibility, but for formal academic recognition, books are still the preferred medium.
Could blogs replace books? Michael Piotrowski reflects on the current scholarly debate surrounding immediacy and impact of academic work. A significant issue for blogs is the lack of formal recognition, largely down to the general lack of pre-publication peer review. Books are more formal in all respects, but this doesn’t disqualify blogs per se. Blogs and books have different strengths and […]
Publication of the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework evaluation of the quality of work undertaken in all UK universities last December attracted much attention, as league tables of university and department standings were constructed and estimates of the financial consequences of the achieved grades were assessed. Soon after that, a book was published savagely criticising the peer […]
A few weeks ago allegations surfaced over undisclosed ties between Dr Willie Soon, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and corporate interests from the energy industry. Dr Soon is now under investigation, and a Democratic member of Congress has used it as an opportunity to suggest climate change academics who have been invited by Republicans to give evidence at Congressional […]