Novel breakthroughs in research can have a dramatic impact on scientific discovery but face some distinct disadvantages in getting wider recognition. Jian Wang, Reinhilde Veugelers, Paula Stephan present an overview of their findings which suggest an inherent bias in bibliometric measures against novel research. The bias is of particular concern given the increased reliance funding agencies place on classic bibliometric indicators in making funding […]
What do academic conferences contribute? How do academic conferences make a difference both in the lives of academics and wider society? Donald J Nicolson looks at a few examples of conferences that have been able to make a demonstrable impact and argues it is to the benefit of the academy to learn more about how to get the most […]
Research collaboration between universities and industry: Five practical principles to make it work.
Increasingly, academics and practitioners in the UK are urged to work together in collaborative research. Ana Isabel Canhoto and Sarah Quinton discuss how social features, material characteristics, and the attributes of the individuals engaged in research collaboration can support the success of a collaborative research project.
Research collaboration is deemed to accelerate the transfer of knowledge between experts and the translation […]
Why are interdisciplinary research proposals less likely to be funded? Lack of adequate peer review may be a factor.
Recent findings suggest interdisciplinary research is less likely to be funded than discipline-based research proposals. Gabriele Bammer looks at how interdisciplinary research is currently peer reviewed and argues different review processes may well be required to do justice to these different kinds of interdisciplinarity. Discipline-based researchers may be ill-equipped to evaluate the integrative processes that an interdisciplinary proposal plans to […]
Social science at the crossroads: the history of political science in the USA and the evolution of social impact.
What role should social scientists play in society? Louisa Hotson explores the evolution of the social sciences through four periods in the history of political science, each with different implications for how social science makes a difference. These lessons from history encourage us to think more broadly than we have in recent decades about how we define the ‘impact’ of the social […]
The inevitable chaos and unpredictability of politics makes trying to achieve policy change a real challenge. But that doesn’t mean academics should just give up. Drawing from policy analysis and public affairs lessons, James Lloyd recommends six steps to get researchers going in the right direction towards achieving policy change.
Last month I wrote a piece for the LSE Impact blog […]
UCL Student Engager project provides platform for PhD students to develop skills in public engagement.
Kevin Guyan provides background on the Student Engager project, a UCL programme for PhD students to engage with the public over museum collections and ongoing research. Projects like this could play a vital role in training the next generation of academics in a way that highlights the benefits of sharing research with non-university audiences.
If you visit one of UCL’s […]
Social science’s trustworthiness is under threat. In order to save it, argues Chris Sampson, we must shift our focus away from media engagement and towards direct public engagement. We need to communicate the findings of our existing research, but just as important is the potential to learn through engaging with wider groups of people. Everyone ought to be a […]
In the States, ‘clinical’ sociologists are frequently hired to address problems within all various organisations and corporations. The UK is still catching up to this, argues Nick Fox. There are some great examples of the use of sociological approaches in public and private sectors, but sociologists interested in applying knowledge to fields of work outside academia need to identify the tools, knowledge […]
The Materiality of Research: Flows of Thought: On Canals, Materiality and Humanities Research by Jodie Matthews
In this feature essay, Jodie Matthews examines how waterways have not just been the topic of her work, but have also become a dominant material metaphor that has channelled her theoretical approach. Tracing the history of the ‘canal age’ and how it continues to influence our physical and conceptual landscapes, this essay discusses how river navigations offer generative ways of considering the materiality […]
Open science has finally hit the mainstream. Alex Lancaster looks at the emerging criticisms leveled against how we publish and disseminate science and argues it may be time to reframe the open science project. Rather than relying on instrumentalist language of “carrot-and-sticks” and “rewards-and-incentives” we should instead focus on the actual working conditions for scientists and the political economy in […]
The uneven impacts of research impact: Adjustments needed to address the imbalance of the current impact framework.
The current approach to measuring and assessing research impact favours certain kinds of academics and research topics over others. Kat Smith and Ellen Stewart outline three areas that require further consideration. Academics who are negatively impacted by the current framework might look to suggest adjustments which limit or ameliorate these effects.
Academics working in the UK are increasingly encouraged and […]
Blockchain technology has the capacity to make digital goods immutable, transparent, and provable. Sönke Bartling and Benedikt Fecher look at the technical aspects of blockchain and also discuss its application in the research world. Blockchain could strengthen science’s verification process, helping to make more research results reproducible, true, and useful.
Currently blockchain is being hyped. Many claim that the blockchain […]
Algorithms, Accountability, and Political Emotion: on the cultural assumptions underpinning sentiment analysis.
Sentiment analysis is an increasingly popular metric for news and social media platforms. Alison Powell reflects here on the implications of sentiment analysis and its potential connection with the rise and intensification of emotion-driven politics. The data inputted to ‘train’ algorithms on sentiment analysis has enormous impact and is imbued with assumptions about the world. What mechanisms might make these algorithms […]
As the Higher Education and Research Bill gets its second reading in the House of Commons, Dorothy Bishop revisits the costs and benefits of one of its primary components, the Teaching Excellence Framework. Based on the government’s own analysis, the system is designed to separate winners and losers with potentially devastating effects for the losers. The outcome will depend crucially […]
Redesigning integration: Access to government records is necessary for researchers to identify policy effects.
Especially for complex social issues like migration and integration, there is a pressing need to understand why certain policies work and others do not. Dominik Hangartner argues that when scholars are able to combine credible research designs with linked registry data and state-of-the-art targeted surveys, they have a greater chance of identifying the causal effects of policy parameters on short- […]