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    Data is King: Tracking internal performance metrics at your journal

Data is King: Tracking internal performance metrics at your journal

Academic journals can improve their publishing and review services by understanding the efficiency and effectiveness of their internal processes. Danielle Padula shares insights from a collection on academic journal management and identifies some key performance indicators that journal staff should be tracking. Authors could also consider these metrics when choosing the best outlet for their research.

If you’re like most editors, […]

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    Digital Object Identifiers: Stability for citations and referencing, but not proxies for quality

Digital Object Identifiers: Stability for citations and referencing, but not proxies for quality

What exactly is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and how does it help in the management and long-term preservation of research? Laurence Horton explains the basic structure and purpose of a DOI and also points to some limitations. DOIs are not the only way of providing fixed, persisting references to objects, but they have emerged as the leading system.

A DOI is a Digital […]

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    The Rise of the Self-Funded Studentship and What It Says about Academia

The Rise of the Self-Funded Studentship and What It Says about Academia

Mark Carrigan draws attention to the growing popularity of self-funded studentships. This option may appeal to cash-strapped academic departments, but these positions are likely to undermine the assumption that this kind of work should be paid, whilst simultaneously privileging those who can work for free. As research funding continues to be squeezed, it is likely practices like this will proliferate.

I see the ‘self-funded studentship’ as a sign […]

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    Scholarly behaviour and evaluation criteria: Uncovering the superficial characteristics that lead to higher citations

Scholarly behaviour and evaluation criteria: Uncovering the superficial characteristics that lead to higher citations

Do scholars adjust their publication behaviour depending on the criteria used in their evaluation? Maarten van Wesel presents findings showing how the publishing behaviour of scholars changed when evaluation switched from emphasising ‘publish-or-perish’ to impact factors. Whilst this may suggest a shift from quantity to quality, the number of citations a paper receives not only depends on its scholarly value, […]

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    Book Review: Ethnography for the Internet: Embedded, Embodied and Everyday

Book Review: Ethnography for the Internet: Embedded, Embodied and Everyday

Ethnographers of contemporary Internet-infused societies consequently find themselves facing serious methodological dilemmas: where should they go, what should they do there and how can they acquire robust knowledge about what people do in, through and with the internet? Casey Brienza thinks Ethnography for the Internet is both a challenging and magisterial book by a scholar working at the fullest extent of […]

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    Self-host a scientific journal with eLife Lens: open source software to power open publishing systems.

Self-host a scientific journal with eLife Lens: open source software to power open publishing systems.

The open access journal eLife has an ongoing commitment to not only making their research articles free to read, reuse and remix, but also their publishing software. By making these underlying resources available, academic communities can explore and embrace their own open digital platforms. Michael Aufreiter introduces the key features of the eLife Lens software. With this simple setup publishers can self-host […]

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    Are we addressing research data management? Diverse skillset and mindset needed for era of digital data.

Are we addressing research data management? Diverse skillset and mindset needed for era of digital data.

Developing and implementing a robust solution to Research Data Management needs to draw upon policies, processes and resources and must be relevant to disciplinary requirements with as few barriers as possible for researchers. Rachel Bruce reflects on the skillset required to improve long-term research management strategies. As each university grapples with this landscape, a shift towards shared services and infrastructure may […]

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    A clear distinction is needed between replication tests and the evaluation of robustness in social science literature

A clear distinction is needed between replication tests and the evaluation of robustness in social science literature

Confusion over the meaning of replication is harming social science, argues Michael Clemens. There has been a profound evolution in methods and concepts, particularly with the rise of empirical social science, but our terminology has not yet caught up. The meaning of replication must be standardized so that researchers can easily distinguish between replication efforts and the evaluation of robustness. 

In Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable […]

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Book Review: Sexuality: A Psychosocial Manifesto

Author Katherine Johnson argues for a psychosocial approach that rethinks the relationship between psychic and social realms in the field of sexuality, without reducing it to either. Weaving through an expanse of theoretical and empirical examples drawn from sociology, psychology, queer and cultural studies, she produces an innovative, transdisciplinary perspective on sexual identities, subjectivities and politics. Alexander Blanchard argues […]

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    The Professor Divide at American Universities and How to Fix It — The Case for a Teaching-Intensive Tenure Track.

The Professor Divide at American Universities and How to Fix It — The Case for a Teaching-Intensive Tenure Track.

The casual hiring of non-permanent teaching staff is a pressing issue for universities in the U.S. and the U.K. Jennifer Ruth focuses her analysis on U.S. universities in particular and shows to what extent this now common practice is deprofessionalizing the academic profession. Creating a tenure track for full-time faculty hired and promoted on the basis of excellence in teaching would establish […]

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    Who, What, Where, When, Why: Using the 5 Ws to communicate your research

Who, What, Where, When, Why: Using the 5 Ws to communicate your research

A lay summary can be a useful approach to breaking down barriers and making research accessible. A good summary focuses on the important aspects of the research, but distilling this information is not always easy. A helpful starting point for identifying the key elements of a research story can be the 5 Ws. Andy Tattersall finds this approach might not work for every piece of research, […]

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    Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together.

Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together.

The imagined slowness of university life has given way to a frenetic pace, defined by a perpetual ratcheting up of demands and an entrepreneurial ethos seeking new and quantifiable opportunities. Mark Carrigan explores the toxic elements of this culture and its underlying structural roots. As things get faster, we tend to accept things as they are rather than imagining how they might […]

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Book Review: How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco

Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. This is its first, long overdue publication in English. Vanessa Longden thinks that in addition to its witty one-liners, Eco’s book contains the bare bones on which to build research. 

This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.

How to Write a Thesis. […]

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    Studies in social data: how industry uses social media for communications and research.

Studies in social data: how industry uses social media for communications and research.

A series of meetups have been arranged for those interested in the use and applications of social data. Farida Vis provides a brief overview of the latest event on business uses of social data. Speakers reflected on principles for handling data, the need to collaborate externally, and how to look more closely at the full lifecycle of social data. Sometimes social […]

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    Collaborate or die? Interdisciplinary work holds great promise but goal-oriented assumptions must be challenged.

Collaborate or die? Interdisciplinary work holds great promise but goal-oriented assumptions must be challenged.

Collaboration holds great promise for social science disciplines, but simply replicating practices from STEM disciplines will not necessarily lead to greater quality research. Each discipline has its own language and set of assumptions, argues Jenny Lewis and ground work must be done to set the stage for a successful exchange of ideas. Disciplines that rest on strongly contested knowledge bases […]

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    Prioritising race equality: Senior leaders must do more to encourage BME talent to stay in UK Higher Education.

Prioritising race equality: Senior leaders must do more to encourage BME talent to stay in UK Higher Education.

According to a recent study, black and minority ethnic academics were significantly more likely to consider a move to an overseas university compared to their white counterparts. Survey respondents acknowledged that countries such as the US valued the study of race and ethnicity and that the importance of race equality and the value of having a diverse group of academic […]

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