The live interview format requires researchers to be concise and succinct when discussing bodies of complex knowledge. But how should researchers respond when asked questions outside their field of expertise? David Spiegelhalter recommends to spend some time prior to the interviews examining the human context of the numbers and be ready to summarise what social scientists have said about how your research […]
Passing Review: how the R-index aims to improve the peer-review system by quantifying reviewer contributions.
Peer review is flawed. Look no further than the storm of attention over sexist reviewer comments. A new index proposes a simple way to create transparency and quality control mechanisms. Shane Gero and Maurício Cantor believe that giving citable recognition to reviewers can improve the system by encouraging more participation but also higher quality, constructive input, without the need for a […]
Literacy as Numbers: The efficacy, merits and validity of transnational literacy assessment programmes.
Debates about the nature of literacy and how to account for the diversity of learning are far from resolved. A new book, Literacy as Numbers, looks at how literacy itself is being reframed around globalized assessment regimes. Camilla Addey delves into how these comparable numbers, now so heavily relied on in national policy, are produced, and how they are shaping our understanding of the meanings and […]
British voters went to the polls this week for the 2015 UK general election. Lambros Fatsis takes a sociological perspective on the voting process by assessing how citizens choose to exercise their vote. He writes that there are both ‘civic-oriented’ and ‘culture-oriented’ explanations for how citizens make their choice and that understanding this process offers a greater understanding of our political identity.
Data and #GE2015: Public bodies need to prioritise consistent data formats and commit to accessible information.
With more polling data than ever before and a wealth of election information at our fingertips, general election coverage is now centered on maps, stats and graphs. But there is still no official central resource where citizens can access comprehensive information about elections and their representatives. Carl Cullinane writes on the flowering of digital tools that have emerged to help engage […]
MSF Scientific Day 2015: Innovation for a faster, leaner research model to tackle public health threats.
A two-day conference taking place in London, New Delhi, and online will explore what innovation really means in a humanitarian organisation. Sarah Venis provides an overview of the ‘conference without borders’ where a key aim is to bring together medical, operational, and technological audiences to help guide field operations, influence policy, and increase the benefit for the populations in which research is […]
How long does a scientific paper need to be? Length limits can have a detrimental effect on scientific reporting.
In principle, length limits should help with the accessibility and readability of a scientific paper. But in practice these limits often achieve the opposite effect. Now that journals are becoming online-only, Dorothy Bishop argues, lengths limits are far less relevant. Yes, we should encourage authors to be succinct, but not so succinct that scientific communication is compromised.
There was an interesting exchange a […]
Robust empirical research shows that women are less likely to be hired for STEM jobs, as well as promoted, remunerated and professionally recognised in every respect of academic life. Earlier this month, however, a widely reported study suggested gender bias is largely a myth. Zuleyka Zevallos evaluates the study and argues it fails to simulate the conditions in which hiring decisions […]
Metrics already perform a powerful productive role in the social world; they vindicate and limit, they cajole and incentivise, they legitimate and justify. When we reflect on how metrics are frequently used to manage performance, to facilitate competition, to judge us or to compare what we do with others, it is crucial that we see metrics as being central to […]
Fast and made to last: Academic blogs look to ensure long-term accessibility and stability of content.
Academic blogging has distinct advantages over traditional forms of scholarly communication but questions on their lasting preservation still remain to be seen. Who makes sure academic blog content stays online in the long term? Who guarantees that links to the post remains the same? Who ensures that the text will not be modified later on? Christof Schöch argues these are issues that […]
Paying for higher education: What do the UK political party policies mean for universities, graduates and students?
Next week’s UK General Election is set to go down to the wire and university financing has again emerged as a key battleground issue. What do the various party policies mean for universities, graduates and students? Should tuition fees be regulated lower and if so, how will these costs be financed? Gill Wyness explores these questions.
This piece originally appeared on LSE […]
Entering a new field of inquiry through reading often takes time. You don’t get a sense of it all straight away and it is sometimes very hard to discriminate between the writing that is unfamiliar and deals with difficult ideas that really challenge and stretch our thinking, and the crappy stuff. But, Pat Thomson argues, it is important to […]
As in the sciences, the humanities also feel the pressure to demonstrate societal relevance. Applied philosophy is a natural place to look. But how has it fared in terms of having an impact? Adam Briggle, Robert Frodeman, and Kelli Barr are investigating the impact of philosophical work on both the STEM disciplines and society. Historically, philosophers have not been particularly self-conscious about […]
Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements shows why we can’t understand our world at all without grasping the profound impact of protest. Gurpinder Lalli think this book is particularly suited to activists who appreciate the dedication towards social movements and also those who are involved in policymaking.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books
Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social […]
‘Nudges’ may be effective at times, but policymakers can’t rely on them to tackle entrenched social problems.
Since the publication of 2008’s Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, policy ‘nudges’ have been in fashion, with smaller interventions aimed at altering public behaviour in a subtle manner being adopted by many governments, including in the UK. Frank Mols looked at this phenomenon in a recent journal article, and argues here that while nudges undoubtedly can be effective, their limitations must be […]
Academic journals can improve their publishing and review services by understanding the efficiency and effectiveness of their internal processes. Danielle Padula shares insights from a collection on academic journal management and identifies some key performance indicators that journal staff should be tracking. Authors could also consider these metrics when choosing the best outlet for their research.
If you’re like most editors, […]
What exactly is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and how does it help in the management and long-term preservation of research? Laurence Horton explains the basic structure and purpose of a DOI and also points to some limitations. DOIs are not the only way of providing fixed, persisting references to objects, but they have emerged as the leading system.
A DOI is a Digital […]
Mark Carrigan draws attention to the growing popularity of self-funded studentships. This option may appeal to cash-strapped academic departments, but these positions are likely to undermine the assumption that this kind of work should be paid, whilst simultaneously privileging those who can work for free. As research funding continues to be squeezed, it is likely practices like this will proliferate.
I see the ‘self-funded studentship’ as a sign […]