It is difficult to see the political structure of data, because data maintains a veneer of scientistic objectivity. But data is inherently a form of politics, argues Jeffrey Alan Johnson. Data does not just allocate material things of value, it allocates moral values as well. Data producers encode a state of the world at a given time, which is […]
Filipa Sá uses the variation in the level of university fees between England and Scotland over time to measure the effect of fees on university applications, course choice and attendance. She finds that applications decrease by about 1.6% for a £1,000 increase in fees and courses that lead to lower salaries and lower employment rates after graduation are more sensitive to […]
Jo Johnson’s rhetoric around the Teaching Excellence Framework reveals looming challenges for Higher Education.
Steven Jones takes a closer look at the metaphors of the market and the linguistics of blame, searching for clues about whether the government’s long-awaited Green Paper will offer a Teaching Excellence Framework that divides the sector further or begins to build bridges. Keeping the Higher Education sector on side remains the TEF’s biggest challenge.
This piece originally appeared on […]
Bringing together academics and businesses can be a delicate process — What can we do to encourage collaboration?
Bringing together academics and businesses can be a complex and delicate process. Most partnerships are successful, but more is needed to link businesses with academics, writes Ben McLeod. Here he shares some recent survey findings that suggest there are some very real barriers that need to be overcome. For those who do make it work, however, the process and […]
A common complaint about student writing is that it is often very poor. Students don’t understand grammar, don’t know how to spell, don’t know what paragraphs are for, don’t understand how to reference… and so on. James Hartley writes that all of this is often true – but that it needn’t be. In one experiment, students wrote much more […]
Embracing the values of publics, stakeholders and end-users enriches knowledge generation and exchange, improving the quality of research. For the principles of engaged research to become embedded in university cultures of research, however, fundamental changes are required at strategic and operational levels. Richard Holliman has been leading a programme of organisational change at the Open University to create the […]
Jessica Patterson argues the announcement of proposals for a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is bad news indeed for those concerned about a more rapid pace to the marketisation of higher education. Here she outlines five key concerns against a teaching assessment framework given the wider context of greater casualisation and stratification in the workforce and a ‘value for money’ approach […]
Author survey data reveals changing perceptions of scholarly communication and wider participation in open access.
Dan Penny, Head of Insights at Nature Publishing Group and Palgrave Macmillan, shares findings from the recent Author Insights Survey. The survey data is openly available and offers an extensive look into researcher perceptions and understandings of academic publishing. Few researchers are now unaware of open access. But perceptions of quality still remain a significant barrier to further OA involvement.
From Chinese […]
Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.
Lucie Rychetnik and Robyn Newson were part of a research group examining the ‘real-world’ impacts of health intervention research. Using an impact assessment scoring system, they found a wide range of possible impacts. They also found local contextual and organisational factors, and unpredictable windows of opportunity were as important as the skills of individual researchers and the quality of their research.
Increasingly, in both […]
How to write a peer review to improve scholarship: Do unto others as you would wish them do unto you.
In academia, peer review functions as a quality-assurance mechanism which also aims to improve the scientific process as a whole. But few reviewers are provided with any training or mentoring on how to undertake a review. Hugh McLaughlin offers clarification on the process and the objective of peer review feedback and stresses the need for specific critical analysis for authors, […]
Amid mounting political and social uncertainty, institutions must evolve to support evidence-based decision-making.
Knowledge exchange is a process often discussed in vague detail in relation to research impact. Chris Cvitanovic looks at the available exchange mechanisms for marine scientists and decision-makers. Survey findings suggest that while engaging with decision-makers was important to scientists on a personal level, a range of barriers prevent this from happening. Formal recognition of engagement activities and dedicated funding and resources […]
The radical potential of the Digital Humanities: The most challenging computing problem is the interrogation of power
Digital humanities is a discipline that defines itself around the melding of traditional theories and new digital possibilities and offers a rich source of inspiration and reflection for the wider academic community. Miriam Posner recently gave a keynote on the discipline’s contested relationship with the social construction of data and its profoundly ideological nature. The digital humanities, and the wider scholarly community, face a […]
The Metric Tide report calls for the responsible use of metrics. As a supplier of data and metrics to the scholarly community, Elsevier supports this approach and agrees that metrics should support human judgment and not replace it, writes Peter Darroch. To be used effectively, there needs to be a broad range of metrics generated by academia and industry […]
Real impact is about influence, meaning and value: Mapping contributions for a new impact agenda in the humanities.
The humanities are driven both by epistemological and normative interests in a range of topics resulting in a complex topography of the public value of the humanities. But for the most part, its diffuse knowledge and impact has been defined and restricted to inputs and outputs. David Budtz Pedersen presents an overview of a research project aiming to reveal the pathways of humanities […]
Can metrics be used responsibly? Structural conditions in Higher Ed push against expert-led, reflexive approach.
Do institutions and academics have a free choice in how they use metrics? Meera Sabaratnam argues that structural conditions in the present UK Higher Education system inhibit the responsible use of metrics. Funding volatility, rankings culture, and time constraints are just some of the issues making it highly improbable that the sector is capable of enacting the approach that the Metric […]