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    The Uberification of the University: How much further could the public university be disrupted?

The Uberification of the University: How much further could the public university be disrupted?

As a natural extension of wider trends towards greater privatisation and deregulation, plans are currently underway to make the UK a global centre for the so-called ‘sharing economy’. Gary Hall examines the potential effects of this transformation on higher education. The data available on certain platforms could be used to develop an intermediary business model for education services. Higher Education workers would have […]

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    The origins of disciplines: Returning to an era of ‘infradisciplinarity’ to build solid intellectual foundations

The origins of disciplines: Returning to an era of ‘infradisciplinarity’ to build solid intellectual foundations

Without appealing to hierarchy and tradition, how might we start a root-and-branch conversation to establish academic criteria for what disciplines, units and structures to keep, and what to kill? Thinking in a serious way about how knowledge production should be organised requires setting aside the rankings charts and becoming acquainted with the origins of scholarly research and higher education […]

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    Was the REF a waste of time? Strong relationship between grant income and quality-related funding allocation.

Was the REF a waste of time? Strong relationship between grant income and quality-related funding allocation.

If the funding allocated to universities on the basis of the REF is correlated to the amount of grant income universities already receive, what is the point of the output assessment process? Jon Clayden explores the relationship between grant income generated and REF-related QR funding and finds a strong correlation between the two, suggesting that the double-counting exercise is surely not the best we […]

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    Stop shielding early-career researchers from open access – limiting wider involvement won’t change a broken system.

Stop shielding early-career researchers from open access – limiting wider involvement won’t change a broken system.

The competitive nature of scholarship and the precariousness of academic employment is what currently hinders early-career researchers, not open access publishing. Rather than warning researchers of the dangers of confronting outdated and proprietary forms of scholarship, all should be engaged in questioning the practices that perpetuate the broken system, argues Samuel Moore.

One of the frequently voiced criticisms of open-access […]

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    Permission to tweet? The underlying principles of good science communication are all about sharing.

Permission to tweet? The underlying principles of good science communication are all about sharing.

Terry Wheeler was at the 100th annual conference of the Ecological Society of America last week. Alongside community shifts towards openness, the rise of Twitter has led to a huge shift in the way science is shared. But with little explanation from the organisers, a confusing opt-in policy for live-tweeting was implemented. Social media is one of the most powerful tools scientists […]

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    Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.

Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.

Lucie Rychetnik and Robyn Newson were part of a research group examining the ‘real-world’ impacts of health intervention research. Using an impact assessment scoring system, they found a wide range of possible impacts. They also found local contextual and organisational factors, and unpredictable windows of opportunity were as important as the skills of individual researchers and the quality of their research.

Increasingly, in both […]

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    How to write a peer review to improve scholarship: Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you.

How to write a peer review to improve scholarship: Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you.

In academia, peer review functions as a quality-assurance mechanism which also aims to improve the scientific process as a whole. But few reviewers are provided with any training or mentoring on how to undertake a review. Hugh McLaughlin offers clarification on the process and the objective of peer review feedback and stresses the need for specific critical analysis for authors, […]

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    Amid mounting political and social uncertainty, institutions must evolve to support evidence-based decision-making.

Amid mounting political and social uncertainty, institutions must evolve to support evidence-based decision-making.

Knowledge exchange is a process often discussed in vague detail in relation to research impact. Chris Cvitanovic looks at the available exchange mechanisms for marine scientists and decision-makers. Survey findings suggest that while engaging with decision-makers was important to scientists on a personal level, a range of barriers prevent this from happening. Formal recognition of engagement activities and dedicated funding and resources […]

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    The Historian’s Altmetrics: How can we measure the impact of people in the past?

The Historian’s Altmetrics: How can we measure the impact of people in the past?

How can historians measure the influence of intellectual contribution over time? Scraping from online catalogs and employing a range of digital humanities tools, Michelle Moravec looks at women’s liberation scholarship and explores the relationships between authors and essays. It is important to critically examine why certain contributions appear in our web searches and others do not. In particular, she ponders […]

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    The radical potential of the Digital Humanities: The most challenging computing problem is the interrogation of power

The radical potential of the Digital Humanities: The most challenging computing problem is the interrogation of power

Digital humanities is a discipline that defines itself around the melding of traditional theories and new digital possibilities and offers a rich source of inspiration and reflection for the wider academic community. Miriam Posner recently gave a keynote on the discipline’s contested relationship with the social construction of data and its profoundly ideological nature. The digital humanities, and the wider scholarly community, face a […]

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    Actions speak louder than words: Adaptive non-verbal communication is a key leadership skill for collaborative teams.

Actions speak louder than words: Adaptive non-verbal communication is a key leadership skill for collaborative teams.

Non-verbal communication is extremely influential in interpersonal encounters, and knowing how to leverage non-verbal signals effectively can be a key leadership skill. Connson Locke shares her research findings that suggest displaying an overly-confident and authoritative non-verbal communication can have a damaging effect on a team’s sharing of information and collaboration.

This piece originally appeared on British Politics and Policy.

It is widely accepted that […]

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Vacancy: Managing Editor, LSE Review of Books

Our sister blog, LSE Review of Books is currently recruiting for the position of Managing Editor. This is a great opportunity to join our team! The Communications Division at LSE is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual with experience working with academic writing and a keen interest in the social sciences to work as the Managing Editor of […]

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    Book Review: Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development, 3rd Edition

Book Review: Non-Governmental Organizations, Management and Development, 3rd Edition

In the Third Edition of Non-governmental Organizations: Management and Development, author David Lewis argues that while management theory and practice have received attention in businesses and government they remain understudied in NGOs. Chandni Singh finds this edition to fill a significant gap of understanding how NGOs function and are managed in an increasingly complex global environment.

This review originally appeared on LSE […]

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August 9th, 2015|Book Reviews|0 Comments|
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    Hacking the system of social influence: How can we use the mechanics of influence to drive behaviour for public good?

Hacking the system of social influence: How can we use the mechanics of influence to drive behaviour for public good?

Social influence is one of the most cited and yet least understood concepts in strategy and public policy today. While many people understand its critical importance in viral marketing campaigns, technology adoption, protest movements and other collective behaviours, there is little agreement on how it can be measured and harnessed for the greater good. In this post Vyacheslav Polonski explores how […]

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    Five things I learned when my research went viral — A little science communication training goes a long way.

Five things I learned when my research went viral — A little science communication training goes a long way.

With a growing number of mechanisms for research to reach the public, there is always a chance that your study may unexpectedly ‘go viral’. Heidi Appel of the University of Missouri-Columbia discusses the process of how her study was picked up and carried across traditional media news cycles and the unexpected directions in which the research was taken. She offers some practical tips […]

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    Science on Television: Despite tensions, the potential of visual narrative and scientific storytelling is enormous.

Science on Television: Despite tensions, the potential of visual narrative and scientific storytelling is enormous.

Is a television programme the format least suited to the communication of complex scientific ideas? Clara Florensa, Oliver Hochadel and Carlos Tabernero discuss a conference that brought TV producers and theorists together to engage constructively on the topic. Simplification, trivialization and even distortion are the accusations regularly levied against science on screen. But this view misinterprets communication as a top-down process, when in reality, […]

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    Pursuing a multidimensional path to research assessment – Elsevier’s approach to metrics

Pursuing a multidimensional path to research assessment – Elsevier’s approach to metrics

The Metric Tide report calls for the responsible use of metrics. As a supplier of data and metrics to the scholarly community, Elsevier supports this approach and agrees that metrics should support human judgment and not replace it, writes Peter Darroch. To be used effectively, there needs to be a broad range of metrics generated by academia and industry […]

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    Why did REF2014 cost three times as much as the RAE? Hint: It’s not just because of the added impact element.

Why did REF2014 cost three times as much as the RAE? Hint: It’s not just because of the added impact element.

The benefits of any research assessment framework should ideally outweigh the costs and burden incurred by universities and staff. Derek Sayer argues there should be cause for concern now that recent analysis shows the 2014 REF bill was three times as much as the last UK assessment exercise. The costly increase in staff time was driven by the increased importance […]

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