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    Five recommendations for using alternative metrics in the future UK Research Excellence Framework

Five recommendations for using alternative metrics in the future UK Research Excellence Framework

Although many are excited by the possibilities for using alternative metrics to supplement research assessment, others are concerned about the ease with which the figures can be gamed. It is clear that there is already gaming within traditional citation impact metrics in peer reviewed journals and without quality control mechanisms, social media metrics would be susceptible to the same. Mike […]

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    Data Descriptors: Providing the necessary information to make data open, discoverable and reusable.

Data Descriptors: Providing the necessary information to make data open, discoverable and reusable.

Data need to be more than just available, they need to be discoverable and understandable. Iain Hrynaszkiewicz introduces Nature’s new published data paper format, a Data Descriptor. Peer-review and curation of these data papers will facilitate open access to knowledge and interdisciplinary research, pushing the boundaries of discovery. Some of the most tangible benefits of open data stem from social and […]

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    Wages of Sin: Open Access is growing in theory but not in substance.

Wages of Sin: Open Access is growing in theory but not in substance.

In an age where every other aspect of academia in the UK is being strangled, how is it that publisher profits have continue to rise? Paul Kirby points to the partial embrace of publishing business models that encourage article processing charges mixed with soft policies that reinforce traditional library subscription models. This is not the picture of an industry under […]

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    Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication and closer scrutiny of published findings are generally welcome in the scientific community, but questions have been raised over how replication attempts are being reported. Whilst there are certainly arguments for more friendly and cooperative tones to scientific debate, Dorothy Bishop welcomes this next chapter in rigorous debate. Reputation and career prospects will, at the end of the day, […]

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    Freedom of Information requests uncover the lack of transparency in journal subscription costs.

Freedom of Information requests uncover the lack of transparency in journal subscription costs.

Stuart Lawson and Ben Meghreblian have been compiling a useful dataset via Freedom of Information requests on how much academic publishers are charging higher education institutions for journal subscriptions. Their goal is to highlight the scale of the academic publishing market in the UK and for this to inform policy discussions. Some of the barriers they came across in obtaining data […]

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    Call to arms for shaking up social sciences relies on false premise that science alone can solve all social problems.

Call to arms for shaking up social sciences relies on false premise that science alone can solve all social problems.

A new form of ‘interdisciplinarity’ may be emerging but has so far failed to devote equal demands on the natural sciences, as well as on the social sciences. Will Davies responds to the calls for a social science shake-up by questioning the status of the social sciences in 2014 as something other than mere understudies to the natural sciences. The shared […]

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    Five Minutes with Nicholas A. Christakis: “Discovery is greatly facilitated by methodological innovation.”

Five Minutes with Nicholas A. Christakis: “Discovery is greatly facilitated by methodological innovation.”

Managing Editor Sierra Williams spoke to Professor Nicholas A. Christakis ahead of next week’s LSE event, Do We Need to Shake Up the Social Sciences? Here he discusses his thoughts on the frontiers in interdisciplinary research, the need for social science departmental re-shuffles, and the radical changes shaping social science’s relevance today.

Back in July, your article Let’s Shake Up the Social […]

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    Book Review: Feminist Activism, Women’s Rights, and Legal Reform edited by Mulki-Al Sharmani

Book Review: Feminist Activism, Women’s Rights, and Legal Reform edited by Mulki-Al Sharmani

Aiming to redefine the core issues at the heart of feminist activism in a development context, Feminist Activism, Women’s Rights, and Legal Reform brings together cases from across the developing world in an effort to analyse the successes, and failures, of the evolution and implementation of new laws designed to protect women and girls. Katherine Williams summarises three fascinating chapters.

This review originally appeared on […]

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Podcast: Audible Impact Episode 4: Academics in Exile

In this podcast, we look at what happens when academics turn enemy of the state. Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), talks about the beginnings of the charity first created to assist Jewish academics escaping the Holocaust, and how, 80 years later, academics in harm’s way from Zimbabwe to Syria, still rely on CARA’s support.

Refugees from […]

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    Wall Street analysts say open access has failed due to lack of focus, but their analysis might help it succeed.

Wall Street analysts say open access has failed due to lack of focus, but their analysis might help it succeed.

There are tensions in the open access movement which are putting its sustained momentum at risk, argues Curt Rice. The enthusiasm for the movement’s ideals are now in conflict with what is needed for success, namely a clear message articulated by visible and visionary leadership. Wall Street analysts are predicting open access to be a fading threat to Elsevier profits due to […]

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    Altmetrics can signal flows of information for paths in scholarly communication not yet mapped.

Altmetrics can signal flows of information for paths in scholarly communication not yet mapped.

Research metrics are currently being debated across the UK. With last week’s 1AM conference discussing alternative metrics and this week’s In metrics we trust? event as part of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment, the uses and misuses of metrics are under close scrutiny. Cameron Neylon reports back from last week’s altmetrics conference and looks at the primary motivations […]

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    Perceptions and ‘impacts’ of the REF: Key aim for next round should be to explore apprehension and minimise anxieties.

Perceptions and ‘impacts’ of the REF: Key aim for next round should be to explore apprehension and minimise anxieties.

Discussions around the REF have tended to be negative, but academics appear to have experienced the framework in a number of different ways. To understand the variety of themes and important issues, Tony Murphy and Daniel Sage undertook a media analysis that points to the range of concerns academics have around the REF and its processes. They argue there is much […]

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Book Review: Walter Benjamin and the Media by Jaeho Kang

In Walter Benjamin and the Media, Jaeho Kang strikes a near perfect balance between biographical narrative and theoretical analysis. In doing so, Benjamin’s media critique is fully contextualised, removing any notion of obsolescence which may arise from a contemporary reading, writes Andrew Molloy.

Walter Benjamin and the Media. Jaeho Kang. Polity. 2014.

Find this book: 

For the uninitiated, media theory appears to move as fast as […]

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    Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a brief round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Paige Brown Jarreau at SciLogs calls out Science’s latest ‘Top Scientists on Twitter’ list for reducing social media science engagement to popularity.  She considers what criteria might lead to more enriching experiences with science communication on Twitter in her […]

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