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    The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem

The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem

That Sci-Hub’s activities are illegal is not disputed. However, according to Iván Farías Pelcastre and Flor González Correa the issue at the core of the debate is the current publishing and knowledge dissemination system and how it widens socioeconomic inequalities in academia and constrains its collective progress.

The widespread use of Sci-Hub, the world’s “first pirate website” for research papers, […]

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    Book Review: Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach by Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Rebecca Frels

Book Review: Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach by Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Rebecca Frels

In Seven Steps to a Comprehensive Literature Review: A Multimodal and Cultural Approach, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie and Rebecca Frels offer a new guide on how to produce a comprehensive literature review through seven key steps that incorporate rigour, validity and reliability. Ana Raquel Nunes recommends this helpful, well-informed and well-organised book to those undertaking literature reviews as well as […]

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    How academics and NGOs can work together to influence policy: insights from the InterAction report

How academics and NGOs can work together to influence policy: insights from the InterAction report

Questions over how academics and the third sector can collaborate to influence policy are not new. However, Duncan Green has noted some interesting research and insights from the InterAction report published earlier this summer. Intermediaries play an increasingly crucial role, while embedded gateways can help simplify often confusing university infrastructures.

I’ve recently finished reading InterAction, a thought-provoking report that asks “How can […]

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Conference travel as a barrier to knowledge development

Following his previous post on the impact of academic conferences, Donald Nicolson considers the potential problems posed by conference travel. Are academics from the southern hemisphere and Asia disadvantaged by the disproportionate number of northern hemisphere venues? And might the realities of modern day international travel discourage some academics from attending conferences at all? Such barriers can impact on […]

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    What it means to be Green: exploring publishers’ changing approaches to Green open access

What it means to be Green: exploring publishers’ changing approaches to Green open access

The number of publishers allowing some form of self-archiving has increased noticeably over the last decade or so. However, new research by Elizabeth Gadd and Denise Troll Covey shows that this increase is outstripped by the proliferation of restrictions that accompany self-archiving policies. In an environment where publishers may in fact be discouraging preferred models of open access, it’s […]

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Giving evidence in Parliament: a how-to guide for academics

Providing evidence to policymakers through select committees is a great way for researchers to influence current policy debates. But if you’ve never done it before, the formality of the task may appear daunting. Patrick Hanley has compiled thoughts and experiences from several LSE academics with their tips on preparing and giving evidence to policymakers. This is part one of a series on Giving […]

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