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    Improving the lack of racial diversity amongst academic staff: will the Race Equality Charter make a difference?

Improving the lack of racial diversity amongst academic staff: will the Race Equality Charter make a difference?

The numbers on diversity in academia are discouraging. There are currently only 70 black professors in the UK; of these, only 17 of are female. As part of ongoing efforts to address these disappointing numbers, the Race Equality Charter mark was recently introduced by the Equality Challenge Unit. But will it make academia more diverse? Kalwant Bhopal explains how the process works and writes […]

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    Should you #DeleteAcademiaEdu? On the role of commercial services in scholarly communication.

Should you #DeleteAcademiaEdu? On the role of commercial services in scholarly communication.

Reflecting on the recent surge of criticism about the commercial motives of scholarly social media platform Academia.edu, Paolo Mangiafico argues this is now an ideal opportunity for scholars to make informed choices about their work. If you are comfortable with the trade-offs and risks, and willing to exchange those for the service provided, then don’t #DeleteAcademiaEdu. But consider whether alternatives exist that will meet […]

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    ‘First you see, then you know’: Becoming more creative in academic work

‘First you see, then you know’: Becoming more creative in academic work

Across disciplines and projects, there can be pressure for researchers to provide novel insights. But this can be easier said than done. Patrick Dunleavy offers some helpful strategies for innovative and creative thinking. Look beyond your discipline and through forms of science and scholarly communication that are more accessible. And make sure to keep a record (perhaps as a blog?) so you don’t […]

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    6 things policymakers need to know about children and the internet

6 things policymakers need to know about children and the internet

The digital environment offers many opportunities, but also opens up certain risks, particularly for children. How can government action look to maximise children’s online opportunities – thereby boosting digital skills and literacies – without substantially adding to their risks? Sonia Livingstone presents six points that policymakers should consider to encourage wider support of children’s digital opportunities.

I’ve been researching children’s internet use […]

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    Book Review: Jerusalem: The Spatial Politics of a Divided Metropolis by Anne B. Shlay and Gillad Rosen

Book Review: Jerusalem: The Spatial Politics of a Divided Metropolis by Anne B. Shlay and Gillad Rosen

In Jerusalem: The Spatial Politics of a Divided Metropolis, Anne B. Shlay and Gillad Rosen outline the geographic dynamics of contemporary Jerusalem. While the book is occasionally simplistic in some areas of its analysis, Kenny Schmitt praises the authors for navigating complex terrain with skill and clarity to produce an approachable introduction to the spatial politics of the city.

This […]

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    Being trained by Twitter stats: Social media and the expanding ways we are measured in everyday life.

Being trained by Twitter stats: Social media and the expanding ways we are measured in everyday life.

With the wider availability of real-time analytics on social media, what do all these metrics mean for the way that we interact with each other and for how we understand and judge ourselves? David Beer argues these developments could be seen as part of the broader metricisation of society. As we respond to performance metrics in our workplaces, so too we are […]

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    Standing on the shoulders of the Google giant: Sustainable discovery and Google Scholar’s comprehensive coverage.

Standing on the shoulders of the Google giant: Sustainable discovery and Google Scholar’s comprehensive coverage.

The 11th anniversary of Google Scholar passed yesterday. Max Kemman provides an overview of the growth and impact of the platform and also looks at why Google Scholar is virtually unrivaled. The scholarly community might ask whether it is entirely desirable that Google plays such an important role in the scholarly workflow. Not only does Google Scholar have a known effect on discovery and citation […]

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    Meetings can be a waste of time: Seven strategies to get the most out of your meetings and discussions.

Meetings can be a waste of time: Seven strategies to get the most out of your meetings and discussions.

One of the main sources of frustration and boredom in the workplace is unnecessary meetings. And yet meetings remain a central component of intellectual communication, departmental strategy and academic committee structures. Geoff Mulgan suggests seven ways to improve meetings, based on systematic research and experience.

Many of us spend much of our time in meetings and at conferences. But too often […]

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    Data enriched research, data enhanced impact: the importance of UK data infrastructure.

Data enriched research, data enhanced impact: the importance of UK data infrastructure.

Matthew Woollard discusses the importance of UK data infrastructure and how the systematic management and sharing of research data can lead to many benefits for the research community and the public. Here he introduces #DataImpact2015 where a panel of leading data innovators will explore data re-use in policy and research, sharing their experiences of demonstrating data enhanced impact.

The UK Data Service is trusted to […]

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    Getting smarter about engaging with Parliament: Embrace digital, think interdisciplinary and plan for serendipity.

Getting smarter about engaging with Parliament: Embrace digital, think interdisciplinary and plan for serendipity.

Jennifer Jeffes investigates how higher education institutions can support long-term strategies to boost engagement with Parliament. Strong research relationships spring up often organically, sometimes serendipitously, but almost never overnight. This should serve as a caution to the sector not to take too instrumental a view of research impact, instead focusing on the positive benefits that can yield from developing sustainable research […]

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    Anonymising UCAS forms is only a first step towards fair and discrimination-free university admissions

Anonymising UCAS forms is only a first step towards fair and discrimination-free university admissions

The Prime Minister recently pledged to make university admissions ‘name-blind’, responding to statistics which showed a significant racial imbalance in terms of who is admitted to university, with obvious implications for social mobility, fairness, and access to higher education. Steven Jones argues that while this idea is in many ways sensible, it overlooks other more significant barriers when considering widening […]

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    Book Review: The Question of Peace in Modern Political Thought edited by Toivo Koivukoski and David Edward Tabachnick

Book Review: The Question of Peace in Modern Political Thought edited by Toivo Koivukoski and David Edward Tabachnick

Can the study of peace be separated from the study of war? In The Question of Peace in Modern Political Thought, editors Toivo Koivukoski and David Edward Tabachnickattempt to present an interrogation of peace as an independent strand of philosophical inquiry. While Alexander Blanchard suggests that challenging the conflation of the study of war and of peace may not […]

October 31st, 2015|Book Reviews|0 Comments|
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    What does Academia_edu’s success mean for Open Access? The data-driven world of search engines and social networking

What does Academia_edu’s success mean for Open Access? The data-driven world of search engines and social networking

With over 36 million visitors each month, the massive popularity of Academia.edu is uncontested. But posting on Academia.edu is far from being ethically and politically equivalent to using an institutional open access repository, argues Gary Hall. Academia.edu’s financial rationale rests on exploiting the data flows generated by the academics who use the platform. The open access movement is in danger of being […]

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    Opening Up Open Access: Moving beyond business models and towards cooperative, scholar-organized, open networks.

Opening Up Open Access: Moving beyond business models and towards cooperative, scholar-organized, open networks.

Discussions about open access are currently dominated by considerations of business models. Kathleen Fitzpatrick reflects on the wider OA movement and whether the singular focus on making publications freely available has prematurely foreclosed a set of larger discussions about the broader circulation of scholarship in general. What will be required in order to motivate scholars to take the lead in forming collective, cooperative, scholar-organized […]

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    The impact of academia on Parliament: 45 percent of Parliament-focused impact case studies were from social sciences

The impact of academia on Parliament: 45 percent of Parliament-focused impact case studies were from social sciences

How does academic research feed into the parliamentary process? Analysing the impact case studies of the 2014 REF, Caroline Kenny draws out potential lessons on how Parliament is currently engaging with academics, and how it might in the future. Impact case studies referring to Parliament were found in all four of the main subject panels, but 45 per cent […]

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    Looking Forward: Social data informs us about society, but also about the forces that will come to shape the future.

Looking Forward: Social data informs us about society, but also about the forces that will come to shape the future.

From online engagement software to leveraging search data for prediction, social data analysis is at the forefront of groundbreaking research. Anne Burns explores the topics recently discussed by academics and industry leaders. Academia needs to be aware of these discussions in order to provide a critical response to them and to assist in developing ethical and sustainable forms of practice. […]

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    How data does political things: The processes of encoding and decoding data are never neutral.

How data does political things: The processes of encoding and decoding data are never neutral.

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 […]

Higher university fees reduce applications and attendance

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 […]

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    Rather than a restrictive ‘social media policy’, create a ‘social media playbook’ – Lessons from Social Media Week.

Rather than a restrictive ‘social media policy’, create a ‘social media playbook’ – Lessons from Social Media Week.

The social web is now fully embedded into our lives. It’s the new normal in audience behaviour and university and employer brands ignore it at their peril. But how are organisations tackling the challenge? Amy Mollett, LSE Social Media Manager, and Sarah Guthrie, LSE Head of Internal Communications, share six things they learned at the Social Media Week […]

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    Jo Johnson’s rhetoric around the Teaching Excellence Framework reveals looming challenges for Higher Education.

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 […]

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