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    How to make altmetrics useful in societal impact assessments: shifting from citation to interaction approaches

How to make altmetrics useful in societal impact assessments: shifting from citation to interaction approaches

The suitability of altmetrics for use in assessments of societal impact has been questioned by certain recent studies. Ismael Ràfols, Nicolas Robinson-García and Thed N. van Leeuwen propose that, rather than mimicking citation-based approaches to scientific impact evaluation, assessments of societal impact should be aimed at learning rather than auditing, and focused on understanding the engagement approaches that lead […]

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On (re)building institutional writing cultures

Pat Thomson suggests the benefits of restoring a writing-oriented organisational culture to the modern-day university. A more social, communal setting can create the conditions necessary for gaining confidence as a writer. Writing is core to our disciplines and so ought to be at the very heart of our everyday university lives. While this would certainly require institutional leadership, it also depends […]

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    Patient experience feedback: we need to engage with the issues of using Big Data methods to capture the human voice

Patient experience feedback: we need to engage with the issues of using Big Data methods to capture the human voice

The NHS regularly asks its patients to complete surveys reporting on the quality of care they have received. These surveys include opportunities for patients to submit feedback in their own words. Carol Rivas describes how computational and digital methods can be used to analyse and report patient feedback in an efficient and timely manner. However, it is important to […]

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Google Scholar is a serious alternative to Web of Science

Many bibliometricians and university administrators remain wary of Google Scholar citation data, preferring “the gold standard” of Web of Science instead. Anne-Wil Harzing, who developed the Publish or Perish software that uses Google Scholar data, here sets out to challenge some of the misconceptions about this data source and explain why it offers a serious alternative to Web of […]

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    Lies are fast, truth is slow: the importance of mastering the rhythms of academic life and work

Lies are fast, truth is slow: the importance of mastering the rhythms of academic life and work

In the context of Trumpism and the victory of fast emotions over the slower pace of reasoning and education, Dick Pels hails the unique perspective encouraged by science; the ability to slow down, freeze-frame, and dissect things, liberated from the demands of urgency, immediacy and publicity. However, this should not detract from the existence of temporal diversity within academic […]

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    Undergraduate researchers report only moderate knowledge of scholarly communication: they must be offered more support

Undergraduate researchers report only moderate knowledge of scholarly communication: they must be offered more support

Undergraduate students are increasingly participating in the scholarly communication process, mostly through formal research experiences. However, Catherine Fraser Riehle and Merinda Kaye Hensley, having surveyed and interviewed university students, reveal that undergraduate researchers have only moderate levels of confidence in their knowledge of scholarly communications, especially publication and access models, author and publisher rights, determining the impact of research, and […]

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    Newly updated for International Women’s Day – Gender Bias in Academe bibliography

Newly updated for International Women’s Day – Gender Bias in Academe bibliography

On this International Women’s Day, and the first anniversary of the post originally appearing on the Impact Blog, Danica Savonick and Cathy N. Davidson have updated the Gender Bias in Academe bibliography with 17 new studies. Here, they offer a brief insight into some of these additions and also appeal to readers and collaborators to continue to share details of new studies so […]

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    The starting pistol has been fired – now is the time to heed the drive towards open access books

The starting pistol has been fired – now is the time to heed the drive towards open access books

The Consultation on the Second Research Excellence Framework (REF) revealed funding bodies’ intention to extend open access policy to also include monographs by the time of the third REF in the mid-2020s. Despite this being some time away, Martin Eve argues that preparations must begin now. The economic challenges of publishing open access monographs are clear, so time should […]

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    Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Whereas a large majority of universities have been proactive about claiming ownership of intellectual property such as patents or teaching materials, only a small percentage have been similarly assertive about copyright. However, amidst continued debate over the affordability of and access to scholarly communication, what practical attempts have been made to retain copyright within the academy rather than assign […]

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    When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

Contemporary social sciences unquestionably benefit from the growing accessibility and availability of data sources, and the impressive developments in computational tools for data collection and analysis. However, Marta Stelmaszak and Philipp Hukal emphasise the importance of continued careful reflection when using new forms of data and methods. Any analysis of data requires reflection on the agency that went into […]

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    University students are buying assignments – what could, or should, be done about it?

University students are buying assignments – what could, or should, be done about it?

‘Contract cheating’, whereby students pay companies to complete assignments on their behalf, threatens to seriously undermine higher education standards. Philip M. Newton and Michael J. Draper consider what might be done to tackle this issue, including the Quality Assurance Agency’s suggestion of deploying the UK Fraud Act (2006). While questions remains as to whether the Fraud Act is likely […]

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    Content referenced in scholarly articles is drifting, with negative effects on the integrity of the scholarly record

Content referenced in scholarly articles is drifting, with negative effects on the integrity of the scholarly record

In their 2015 post, Martin Klein and Herbert Van de Sompel reported on the beginnings of an investigation into ‘reference rot’ in scholarly articles. This term incorporated ‘link rot’, whereby referenced web-at-large resources vanished from the web altogether, and ‘content drift’, whereby a resource’s content changed over time to such an extent as to cease to be representative of […]

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    Excel is threatening the quality of research data — Data Packages are here to help

Excel is threatening the quality of research data — Data Packages are here to help

This week the Frictionless Data team at Open Knowledge International will be speaking about making research data quality visible at the International Digital Curation Conference (#idcc17). Dan Fowler looks at why the popular file format Excel is problematic for research and what steps can be taken to ensure data quality is maintained throughout the research process.

Our Frictionless Data project aims […]

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February 22nd, 2017|Big Data, Data science|2 Comments|
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    Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable and unethical. Period.

Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable and unethical. Period.

The removal of the Beall’s list of predatory publishers last month caused consternation and led to calls in some quarters for a new equivalent to be put in its place. Cameron Neylon explains why he has never been a supporter of the Beall’s list and outlines why he believes the concept of the blacklist itself is fundamentally flawed. Not […]

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    Think tanks can transform into the standard-setters and arbiters of quality of 21st century policy analysis

Think tanks can transform into the standard-setters and arbiters of quality of 21st century policy analysis

In recent years, think tanks have been beset by financial constraints, increased competition, and, more recently, a growing questioning of, and popular dissatisfaction with, the role of the ‘expert’ itself. Marcos Gonzalez Hernando, Diane Stone and Hartwig Pautz examine each of these challenges and find that, at a time of huge over-supply of (occasionally dubious) evidence and policy analysis […]

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