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    Bias against novelty in science: A cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators

Bias against novelty in science: A cautionary tale for users of bibliometric indicators

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 […]

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    Five Minutes with Professor Gary King: Transformational power of big data lies, pure and simple, in its analytics

Five Minutes with Professor Gary King: Transformational power of big data lies, pure and simple, in its analytics

Michael Todd listened to a recent lecture by Gary King on the big data revolution in the social sciences. Professor King insists data is easy to come by and is in fact a by-product of the many improvements in information technology. The issue isn’t its scale, volume or platform. It’s what we make out of all of that and the analytical tools […]

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The last great unknown? The impact of academic conferences.

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 […]

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    Research collaboration between universities and industry: Five practical principles to make it work.

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 […]

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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 […]

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    Social science at the crossroads: the history of political science in the USA and the evolution of social impact.

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 […]

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    So you want to change policy? Six steps for academics looking to achieve policy change

So you want to change policy? Six steps for academics looking to achieve policy change

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 […]

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    The Materiality of Research: Flows of Thought: On Canals, Materiality and Humanities Research by Jodie Matthews

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 […]

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    Blogging platforms are not neutral: Challenging the underlying assumptions of our technology.

Blogging platforms are not neutral: Challenging the underlying assumptions of our technology.

As a farewell post on her last day working on the LSE Impact Blog, Sierra Williams reflects on her time as editor and her relationship with the platform. Drawing on Neil Postman’s critique of technology, she looks at some of the assumptions that underpin the blog and argues a bit of ‘technological modesty’ is required to get a better […]

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    Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?

Given frustrations with academic structures, how can we build a more human-centered open science?

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 […]

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    The uneven impacts of research impact: Adjustments needed to address the imbalance of the current impact framework.

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 […]

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July 25th, 2016|Impact, REF 2014|2 Comments|

Book Review: Social Media for Academics by Mark Carrigan

While social media is an increasingly important part of academic life that can help to promote research, build networks and demonstrate impact, many remain wary about the potential risks of navigating digital terrain. In Social Media for Academics, Mark Carrigan provides clear, practical advice on the benefits and challenges of using social media for academic purposes.Andy Tattersall welcomes this as a balanced […]

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    Could Blockchain provide the technical fix to solve science’s reproducibility crisis?

Could Blockchain provide the technical fix to solve science’s reproducibility crisis?

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 […]

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    Algorithms, Accountability, and Political Emotion: on the cultural assumptions underpinning sentiment analysis.

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 […]

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Cost-benefit analysis of the Teaching Excellence Framework

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 […]

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    Redesigning integration: Access to government records is necessary for researchers to identify policy effects.

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- […]

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