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    Reimagining the role of the library in the digital age: changing the use of space and navigating the information landscape

Reimagining the role of the library in the digital age: changing the use of space and navigating the information landscape

Yesterday Carnegie Mellon University announced a new partnership with technology company Digital Science. CMU’s Keith Webster describes the mutual commitment to research discovery and smarter workflows that underpins this collaboration, and also outlines some of the ways in which academic libraries have changed; from their more dynamic use of space to the redeveloped tools and services made available to […]

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    Tracking the digital footprints to scholarly articles: the fast accumulation and rapid decay of social media referrals

Tracking the digital footprints to scholarly articles: the fast accumulation and rapid decay of social media referrals

Academics are increasingly encouraged to share their scholarly articles via social media, as part of a wider drive to maximize their dissemination and engagement. But what effect does this have? Xianwen Wang has studied the referral data of academic papers, with particular focus on social media referrals and how these change over time. Referrals from social media do indeed […]

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    Increasing REF’s impact weighting could offer incentive for institutions to address societal, economic and global challenges

Increasing REF’s impact weighting could offer incentive for institutions to address societal, economic and global challenges

Challenges posed by events such as Brexit highlight the importance of excellent research programmes. Moreover, they represent a broader context in which the next Research Excellence Framework must consider ‘impact’. But do current REF proposals go far enough towards doing this? Matthew Guest argues that there is not enough of an incentive for institutions to address heightened societal, economic […]

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    Book Review: Student Lives in Crisis: Deepening Inequality in Times of Austerity by Lorenza Antonucci

Book Review: Student Lives in Crisis: Deepening Inequality in Times of Austerity by Lorenza Antonucci

In Student Lives in Crisis: Deepening Inequality in Times of Austerity, Lorenza Antonucci examines the material inequalities that shape young people’s experiences of higher education by examining welfare provision in three European countries – England, Italy and Sweden. Heather Mew welcomes this book as an eye-opening account that shows how austerity policies are leading universities to reinforce rather than remedy […]

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    The importance of being REF-able: academic writing under pressure from a culture of counting

The importance of being REF-able: academic writing under pressure from a culture of counting

Writing is crucial to an academic’s role of producing, shaping and distributing knowledge. However, academic writing itself is increasingly being shaped by the contemporary university’s managerial practices and evaluation frameworks. Sharon McCulloch describes how her research on academics’ writing practices has revealed tensions around the ways in which managerial practices interact with academics’ individual career goals, disciplinary values and […]

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    Think tanks, evidence and policy: democratic players or clandestine lobbyists?

Think tanks, evidence and policy: democratic players or clandestine lobbyists?

Depending on your perspective, think tanks either enrich the democratic space by conducting policy research and facilitating public dialogue and debate, or undermine democracy by pushing policies favoured by powerful corporate interests. Till Bruckner explains how Transparify are contributing to debate about think tanks’ role in evidence-based policymaking by assessing their levels of financial transparency. The Transparify report, released […]

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    The university challenge: what would an Intelligent Brexit look like?

The university challenge: what would an Intelligent Brexit look like?

The EU brought invaluable networks for research and collaboration to the UK. More than that, it fostered a shared democratic culture of openness and tolerance. But these links will have to change as Britain pursues a hard Brexit. Time is short, write Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon, and universities need to make the case for an ‘Intelligent Brexit’ that will […]

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    Three ways in which digital researchers can shed light on the information politics of the “post-truth” era

Three ways in which digital researchers can shed light on the information politics of the “post-truth” era

Digital media played a prominent role in the recent US presidential election, with social media platforms channelling previously fringe universes of political culture, rooted in populism and post-truth politics, right into the mainstream of US political discourse. Meanwhile, traditional mechanisms, from polling to mainstream media, failed to adequately capture public sentiment around political events. Are new instruments needed to […]

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    Book Review: Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle

Book Review: Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle

In Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy, Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle offer a diagnosis and remedy for the malaise currently gripping the study of philosophy, advocating a ‘field philosophy’ that aims to break free of the strictures of its disciplinary and departmental settings that have led to accusations of insularity and irrelevance. While suggesting that the authors’ claims […]

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    Digital collections offer researchers opportunities to develop new skills and scholarly communications networks

Digital collections offer researchers opportunities to develop new skills and scholarly communications networks

Digital collections, such as those built in libraries and other cultural heritage institutions, are being used less as mere static repositories but rather as live, interactive resources. Harriett Green and Angela Courtney have examined humanities researchers’ needs for digital collections and learned that they are not only essential to scholars’ ability to access materials but also influence multiple aspects […]

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    Disentangling the academic web: what might have been learnt from Discogs and IMDB

Disentangling the academic web: what might have been learnt from Discogs and IMDB

In recent years there has been huge, rapid growth in the number of online platforms and tools made available to academics carrying out their research activities. However, for many, such choice can lead to decision fatigue or uncertainty as to what is most appropriate. Andy Tattersall reflects on the success of Discogs and IMDB and considers what problems a […]

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    No longer welcome: the EU academics in Britain told to “make arrangements to leave”

No longer welcome: the EU academics in Britain told to “make arrangements to leave”

Some EU citizens living in Britain who decided to seek permanent residency after the Brexit vote are being told to make arrangements to leave. A number of these people are among the 31,000 EU academics currently working in UK universities. Colin Talbot says many are alarmed and some have already decided to leave – putting the expertise of Britain’s […]

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Academic Book Week 2017 at LSE Library

23-28 January 2017 is Academic Book Week, celebrating the value, variety and transformations of the academic book. To mark the occasion, Lucy Lambe outlines how LSE Library is celebrating the week and talks to LSE academics about their favourite scholarly works and how they envisage the future of the academic book.
This post originally appeared on LSE Review of Books and […]

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    Why students should not be taught general critical-thinking skills

Why students should not be taught general critical-thinking skills

It’s natural to want children and graduates to develop a set of all-purpose cognitive tools with which to navigate their way through the world. But can such things be taught? Carl Hendrick argues that general critical thinking skills cannot be so easily transferred from one context to another.

Being an air-traffic controller is not easy. At the heart of the […]

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    Embedding open science practices within evaluation systems can promote research that meets societal needs in developing countries

Embedding open science practices within evaluation systems can promote research that meets societal needs in developing countries

Researchers’ choices are inevitably affected by assessment systems. This often means pursuing publication in a high-impact journal and topics that appeal to the international scientific community. For researchers from developing countries, this often also means focusing on other countries or choosing one aspect of their own country that has such international appeal. Consequently, researchers’ activities can become dislocated from […]

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    Five minutes with John Holmwood and Martin Eve – discussing the future of academic publishing

Five minutes with John Holmwood and Martin Eve – discussing the future of academic publishing

Today marks the beginning of Academic Book Week (#AcBookWeek), “the week-long celebration of the diversity, innovation and influence of academic books throughout history”. First established in 2015, #AcBookWeek returns for its second year and will run until 28 January. As part of a varied programme of events, later today John Holmwood and Martin Eve will speak about the future of […]

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    Book Review: Evidence-Based Policy Making in the Social Sciences: Methods that Matter edited by Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans

Book Review: Evidence-Based Policy Making in the Social Sciences: Methods that Matter edited by Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans

In Evidence-Based Policy Making in the Social Sciences: Methods that Matter,editors Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans showcase tools through which to generate evidence-based policy insights. Released amidst discussions of a ‘post-truth’ era, this book is recommended to students looking to broaden their understanding of methods for providing meaningful evidence for policy creation, but leaves open the question of how social scientists […]

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