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    Proof over promise: Moving citation metric systems beyond journal impact towards a career impact approach.

Proof over promise: Moving citation metric systems beyond journal impact towards a career impact approach.

Publishing in a high-impact journal carries the implicit promise that the article will also be highly cited. But the proof of this logic remains unsubstantiated. By combining more accurate citation metrics, like the hIa-index and the citation-per-author-per-year metric, Anne-Wil Harzing and Wilfred Mijnhardt provide a more substantial alternative to the narrow journal-based metric. This combined metric provides a more reliable comparison between […]

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    Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms.

Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms.

Path dependence means that a logical decision in the past establishes itself as the norm and leads to a suboptimal system in the present. Benedikt Fecher looks at the case of the QWERTY keyboard and the current system of academic publishing as examples of how outdated processes continue to scale. Many of the historic strengths of print-based publishing are […]

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    Publication bias against negative findings is detrimental to the progression of science.

Publication bias against negative findings is detrimental to the progression of science.

As a large funder of biomedical research, the Wellcome Trust is keen to ensure that the findings of that research are widely and openly shared. There is a body of evidence that indicates a bias against writing up and publishing of negative findings. Jonathon Kram and Adam Dinsmore, from the Wellcome Trust evaluation team, discuss why this could create a barrier to scientific progress.

There is a […]

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    Book Review: Visual Insights: A Practical Guide to Making Sense of Data by Katy Börner and David E. Polley

Book Review: Visual Insights: A Practical Guide to Making Sense of Data by Katy Börner and David E. Polley

This book, developed for use in an information visualisation MOOC, covers data analysis algorithms that enable extraction of patterns and trends in data, with chapters devoted to “when” (temporal data), “where” (geospatial data), “what” (topical data), and “with whom” (networks and trees); and to systems that drive research and development. Jamie Cross finds that the book’s hands-on sections demand time and effort, […]

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    Would paying peer reviewers improve the system? Randomised control trial explores economists’ pro-social behaviour.

Would paying peer reviewers improve the system? Randomised control trial explores economists’ pro-social behaviour.

The What Works Centres are government initiatives to improve the use of evidence in policymaking. Max Nathan, the Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, turns the experimental table on researchers by exploring how cash incentives might work to improve the efficiency of peer review. The results are clear that small changes in journals’ policies […]

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    Open Access definitions vary but authors must be reminded that giving up copyright is just folly.

Open Access definitions vary but authors must be reminded that giving up copyright is just folly.

The heart of the debate on open access to research is over licencing. A sharp schism has emerged between those who think the no restrictions CC-BY licence is indispensable, and those who think other licences such as the non-commercial CC-BY-NC or non-derivative CC-BY-ND, is good enough. In the software world, licensing was a similar sticking point between free software and open source advocates. […]

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    Is Digital Humanities a collaborative discipline? Joint-authorship publication patterns clash with defining narrative

Is Digital Humanities a collaborative discipline? Joint-authorship publication patterns clash with defining narrative

As an emerging discipline still defining itself, Digital Humanities offers an ideal opportunity to reflect on its broader disciplinary narratives. Julianne Nyhan and Oliver Duke-Williams examined its collaborative nature through the lens of publication patterns in some of its core journals. They found predominately single-authored papers were published during the time-frames, suggesting individual scholarship is still playing a large role. But this may be a case where […]

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    What’s so moral about the “moral rights” of copyright for academics?

What’s so moral about the “moral rights” of copyright for academics?

Martin Eve looks at the basis of copyrights and moral rights in relation to academic research. Some critics of open licensing for open access work are concerned about the moral rights of the academic author. But rather than having a strong ethical basis, these moral rights have more of an economic function in that they are designed to allow […]

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    Book Review: How Think Tanks Shape Social Development Policies.

Book Review: How Think Tanks Shape Social Development Policies.

Across the globe, there are more than four thousand policy institutes or think tanks that research or advocate for economic and social development. Yet the relationship between these organizations and the policies they influence is not well understood. How Think Tanks Shape Social Development Policies examines case studies drawn from a range of political and economic systems worldwide to provide a […]

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    Impact Round-Up 6th September: Monsters of EdTech, visualising conferences, and for-profit masters.

Impact Round-Up 6th September: Monsters of EdTech, visualising conferences, and for-profit masters.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.

Conference season is in full swing and this week there were a range of events taking place on scholarly communications with equally lively discussions taking place on Twitter. The Association for Learning Technology’s annual conference (#altc) discussed online and digital […]

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    The citation revolution will not be televised: the end of papers and the rise of data.

The citation revolution will not be televised: the end of papers and the rise of data.

Providing access across subjects and regions, the Data Citation Index is linking up with repositories to provide a single-point recognition mechanism for quality research data. Christopher Lortie welcomes this development as it will profoundly reshape the publication pipeline and further fuel the open science movement. Data can now be recognised and cited as independent products, with or without them being linked to […]

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    Say it once, say it right: Seven strategies to improve your academic writing.

Say it once, say it right: Seven strategies to improve your academic writing.

Whether writing a research article or a grant proposal, it can be difficult to pinpoint the sections and areas that need further improvement. It is useful to have a set of tactics on hand to address the work. Patrick Dunleavy outlines seven upgrade strategies for a problematic article or chapter: Do one thing well. Flatten the structure. Say it […]

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    Technology in our daily lives: How to implement digital humanities projects in the classroom.

Technology in our daily lives: How to implement digital humanities projects in the classroom.

As students and staff return for the new academic year, the classroom will again occupy centre stage. Instructors may even be thinking about incorporating new digital technology and projects into their curricula. Adeline Koh gives a brief overview of an assortment of digital humanities projects that can be easily implemented in primarily undergraduate-focused institutions. Without knowing it, you’re probably already […]

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    Five Minutes with Trish Greenhalgh: “We need to be clear that research impact isn’t a single dimension.”

Five Minutes with Trish Greenhalgh: “We need to be clear that research impact isn’t a single dimension.”

Trish Greenhalgh is currently Dean for Research Impact at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. In discussion with Managing Editor Sierra Williams she delves into the nature of academic impact and the remit of her appointment. She finds that many academics still have a naïve and overly rationalistic view of how their work might link with policy. Drawing on the […]

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    Discovering Open Practices: one-day conference on open research information for PGRs and Early Career Researchers.

Discovering Open Practices: one-day conference on open research information for PGRs and Early Career Researchers.

The FOSTER project is currently looking at sustainable mechanisms to encourage wider adoption of open practices amongst EU researchers. A one day conference this Thursday in London will look to introduce key themes and wider considerations of open access for students and early career researchers. Lucy Ayre writes the aim of the afternoon is to show the practical steps, which complement […]

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    Data carpentry is a skilled, hands-on craft which will form a major part of data science in the future.

Data carpentry is a skilled, hands-on craft which will form a major part of data science in the future.

As data science becomes all the more relevant and indeed, profitable, attention has been placed on the value of cleaning a data set. David Mimno unpicks the term and the process and suggests that data carpentry may be a more suitable description. There is no such thing as pure or clean data buried in a thin layer of non-clean data. In […]

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Book Review: Can Science Fix Climate Change? by Mike Hulme

As political solutions to climate change have so far had little impact, some climate change scientists are now advocating the so-called ‘Plan B’, a more direct way of reducing the rate of future warming by reflecting more sunlight back to space, creating a thermostat in the sky. In this book, Mike Hulme argues against this kind of hubristic techno-fix. Amelia Sharman is impressed […]

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    Performance funding policies in higher education have had little effect on student outcomes.

Performance funding policies in higher education have had little effect on student outcomes.

In a study of over 500 four year post-secondary institutions in all fifty US states from 1993-2010, Amanda Rutherford and Thomas Rabovsky find that current performance funding policies are not associated with higher levels of student performance and that these policies may in fact contribute to lower performance over a longer period of time. However, more recent policies linked to institutional base funding may produce […]

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