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    What does Big Data mean to public affairs research? Understanding the methodological and analytical challenges

What does Big Data mean to public affairs research? Understanding the methodological and analytical challenges

The term ‘Big Data’ is often misunderstood or poorly defined, especially in the public sector. Ines Mergel, R. Karl Rethemeyer, and Kimberley R. Isett provide a definition that adequately encompasses the scale, collection processes, and sources of Big Data. However, while recognising its immense potential it is also important to consider the limitations when using Big Data as a […]

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A call to build an impact literate research culture

Last week, Julie Bayley spoke at the 2016 Research Impact Summit, hosted by Knowledge Translation Australia. During her presentation she discussed many of the challenges faced when introducing an impact agenda to the academic community, and how the concept of impact literacy can help. An extended version of the presentation has been made available online, but Julie outlines the key points below.

Consider impact. A […]

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    Citing retracted papers has a negative domino effect on science, education, and society

Citing retracted papers has a negative domino effect on science, education, and society

Once an academic paper is retracted, it is by no means certain it will not go on being cited. Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki and Helmar Bornemann-Cimenti use three key examples to demonstrate how the continued citation of retracted papers can lead to the proliferation of erroneous literature, mislead young academics and cause confusion among researchers as […]

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    Book Review: Being a Scholar in the Digital Era: Transforming Scholarly Practice for the Public Good by Jessie Daniels and Polly Thistlethwaite

Book Review: Being a Scholar in the Digital Era: Transforming Scholarly Practice for the Public Good by Jessie Daniels and Polly Thistlethwaite

In Being a Scholar in the Digital Era: Transforming Scholarly Practice for the Public Good, Jessie Daniels and Polly Thistlethwaite explore how digital media can be used to support scholarship and teaching and also further the pursuit of social justice. Paul Webb recommends this fascinating book for showing how digital scholarship can help generate robust research with genuine impact and […]

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December 4th, 2016|Book Reviews|0 Comments|
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    Oral history as a method to analyse historical and cultural contexts and inform policymaking: the example of the early AIDS epidemic

Oral history as a method to analyse historical and cultural contexts and inform policymaking: the example of the early AIDS epidemic

On this World AIDS Day, Marco Scalvini and Chris Parkes describe how their new oral history project aims to create a new digital archive that will help researchers better understand the early AIDS epidemic and the new model of therapeutic alliance that emerged, in particular. Oral history is an effective research method to explore and analyse the historical and […]

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    Can data sharing improve public services? Lessons for Parliament

Can data sharing improve public services? Lessons for Parliament

The Digital Economy Bill, currently passing through Parliament, includes proposals for HMRC information on benefits recipients to be shared with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in order to identify citizens living in fuel poverty. Sharing data between government departments for policy purposes is not so straightforward, explains Edgar Whitley, outlining some of the key issues that must be […]

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    Working with the media can be beneficial but linking to and citing your research should be compulsory

Working with the media can be beneficial but linking to and citing your research should be compulsory

It’s great when academic research is covered by the media but too often this coverage fails to link back to or properly cite the research itself. It’s time academics insisted on this and Andy Tattersall outlines the benefits of doing so. As well as pointing more people to your work, the use of identifiers allows you to track this […]

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    Book Review: A Survival Kit for Doctoral Students and Their Supervisors: Traveling the Landscape of Research by Lene Tanggaard and Charlotte Wegener

Book Review: A Survival Kit for Doctoral Students and Their Supervisors: Traveling the Landscape of Research by Lene Tanggaard and Charlotte Wegener

In A Survival Kit for Doctoral Students and Their Supervisors: Traveling the Landscape of Research, Lene Tanggaard and Charlotte Wegener offer a hands-on guide for both students and supervisors that seeks to engage with the ‘actual and messy practices of doctoral training’. Contributing to an already dense field of literature on the research process, the book is at its […]

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November 27th, 2016|Book Reviews|0 Comments|
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    Coeducation at university was – and is – no triumph of feminism

Coeducation at university was – and is – no triumph of feminism

In the late 1960s, many elite universities suddenly welcomed women to their undergraduate student bodies. However, as Nancy Weiss Malkiel explains, this was not the consequence of a high-minded commitment to opening opportunities to women but rather one of institutional self-interest. Little wonder, then, that coeducation has failed to lead to a levelling of the playing field for men […]

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    The organisational contexts in which research with impact is produced: lessons from REF2014

The organisational contexts in which research with impact is produced: lessons from REF2014

What are the organisational contexts in which ‘impactful’ research is produced? Following an empirical analysis of a selection of REF2014 impact case studies, Neil Kellard and Martyna Śliwa discuss the links between impact scores and a variety of important contextual factors. In what might be seen as a challenge to the established hierarchy of HEIs, high scores for research […]

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November 24th, 2016|Impact, REF 2014|0 Comments|
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    “The Big Data rich and the Big Data poor”: the new digital divide raises questions about future academic research

“The Big Data rich and the Big Data poor”: the new digital divide raises questions about future academic research

Data is being created faster than ever before. However, as Kate Metzler explains, limited access to this big data is creating a digital divide between large companies and the broader scholarly community. To compound this problem, there is also a big data analysis skills gap that further hinders the progress of social science. Without access to these datasets or […]

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November 22nd, 2016|Big Data|2 Comments|
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    Academic labour markets in Europe vary widely in openness and job security

Academic labour markets in Europe vary widely in openness and job security

Having examined the organisation of Europe’s academic labour markets, Alexandre Afonso outlines the main differences between countries across the continent. There is greatest variance in two particular areas: the extent to which they are open to outsiders, and the job security they provide for recent PhD graduates. This has obvious consequences for the mobility of academics across Europe and […]

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    Surviving work as an academic in the age of measuring impact

Surviving work as an academic in the age of measuring impact

Views that academics can avoid the problems of work and aren’t experienced in the ‘real world’ are wrong, writes Jane Tinkler. Precarious employment, balancing teaching, research and publishing demands and demonstrating impact are very real pressures. Indeed, it is through lasting, trusting partnerships with business that researchers can truly have influence beyond academia.

This piece originally appeared on the LSE Business Review […]

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    Measuring the societal impact of research: references to climate change research in relevant policy literature

Measuring the societal impact of research: references to climate change research in relevant policy literature

A new metric offers insight into the societal impact of scholarly research by tracking the mentions of academic publications in policy documents. Lutz Bornmann, Robin Haunschild and Werner Marx have studied the usefulness of this metric, taking climate change research as their example, and found only a low percentage of papers were referenced in the relevant literature. Does this […]

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    Responsible research and innovation in the UK university: the politics of research governance

Responsible research and innovation in the UK university: the politics of research governance

‘Responsible research and innovation’ (RRI) is a policy tool intended to shape scientific research as a means to achieve public value beyond economic growth. RRI calls for public involvement in the research process, and increased capacity for researchers to respond to public comments and concerns. However, universities offer little guidance on how to put the RRI framework into practice. […]

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November 14th, 2016|Research policy|0 Comments|

Book Review: Metric Power by David Beer

In Metric Power, David Beer examines the intensifying role that metrics play in our everyday lives, from healthcare provision to our interactions with friends and family, within the context of the so-termed data revolution. This is a book that illustrates our growing implication in, and arguable acquiescence to, an increasingly quantified world, but, Thomas Christie Williams asks, where do we […]

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November 13th, 2016|Book Reviews, Metrics|1 Comment|
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    Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

There is plenty to consider when making a decision about which journal to submit your paper to; ranging from basic questions over the journal’s scope, through its review process and open access offerings, all the way to the likelihood your work will be widely read and cited. Patrick Dunleavy has compiled a comprehensive list of these considerations, complete with tips on what […]

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