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    Altmetrics could enable scholarship from developing countries to receive due recognition.

Altmetrics could enable scholarship from developing countries to receive due recognition.

The Web of Science and its corresponding Journal Impact Factor are inadequate for an understanding of the impact of scholarly work from developing regions, argues Juan Pablo Alperin. Alternative metrics offer the opportunity to redirect incentive structures towards problems that contribute to development, or at least to local priorities. But the altmetrics community needs to actively engage with scholars from developing regions to […]

Book Review: Doing Research in the Real World by David E. Gray

In this book David E. Gray introduces readers to the essential aspects of the research process, covering topics ranging from best approaches to the design of appropriate research tools, to issues of data collection, analysis, and writing up. The author skilfully explains complex and daunting concepts in an unpretentious manner that simultaneously demystifies the research process and illuminates the complexity and messiness of actual research, […]

Circulation patterns show books in STEM and social sciences are accessed just as much as humanities books.

Drawing from comprehensive circulation data showing how monographs are accessed across disciplines at the University of Notre Dame library, Parker Ladwig and Thurston Miller challenge the assumption that STEM and social science books are accessed less frequently over time than monographs in the humanities. This data and similar studies can help to improve library services by providing a more informed understanding […]

Improving on “Access to Research”: Restrictive access and licensing fail to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Major academic publishers have supported an initiative equipping public libraries with free access to a number of subscription journal articles. Cameron Neylon argues this Access to Research scheme is an empty political gesture that fails to meet the needs of the UK public. By web scraping the information provided by the initiative’s site, Neylon shows that the scope of the service […]

How-to guide for building a university-administered impact management tool for academics.

Coventry University have devoted time, talent and resources to come up with an embedded management tool to help academics plan and capture the impact of their research. Julie Bayley discusses the lessons learnt through the process of creating a functional, self-service solution that appeals to administrators and academics.   As we head away from REF 2014, the HE community is […]

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    Why do academics choose useless titles for articles and chapters? Four steps to getting a better title.

Why do academics choose useless titles for articles and chapters? Four steps to getting a better title.

An informative title for an article or chapter maximizes the likelihood that your audience correctly remembers enough about your arguments to re-discover what they are looking for. Without embedded cues, your work will sit undisturbed on other scholars’ PDF libraries, or languish unread among hundreds of millions of other documents on the Web. Patrick Dunleavy presents examples of frequently used […]

Investigating tenure controversies: Basing faculty promotion on flawed variables doesn’t help the selection of competent academics.

Controversies regarding whether tenure encourages a culture of incompetence have led many US institutions to tighten up their decision making procedures. But many of these attempts to repair the system reflect little empirical research. In response, John Rothgeb conducted two large scale surveys across political science departments to investigate the variables that most affect the probability of denial of tenure and probability of incompetence at various […]

Book Review: Oral History off the Record: Toward an Ethnography of Practice by Anna Sheftel and Stacey Zembrzycki

Most discussions of oral history method are rooted in abstract ideas about what interviewing should be and should achieve. However, interviews are ultimately personal interactions between human beings, and rarely conform to a methodological ideal. The struggles interviewers face while conducting interviews mostly go unacknowledged, and this collection aims to show that a full account of oral history methodology must […]

February 2nd, 2014|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

The case for greater transparency in experimental and social science research

Proving public value can be an especially difficult task when high-profile cases of fraud in social science disciplines emerge. Rose McDermott makes the case for greater transparency in both the production and review of social science to restore the legitimacy of the scientific endeavour. While no one practice can eliminate fraud, greater transparency can make it both more difficult to […]

Social scientists provide valuable insight for the private sector into how people live and interact with technology.

Ahead of tonight’s panel discussion on Engaged Social Science: Impacts and Use of Research in the UK, panellist Jeff Patmore takes a look back at how social sciences have influenced his work in telecommunications over his years in the private sector. The insights from social scientists on how people live their lives and interact with the continually changing landscape of technology allowed him to […]

‘Value for money’ rhetoric in higher education undermines the value of knowledge in society.

Over the past 15 years, reiterated across successive governments, the concept of value for money has been internalised throughout the higher education sector. Joanna Williams outlines the reasons why it is problematic to use student choice and value for money as a means of holding universities to account. Universities should be concerned with knowledge not skills; and intellectual capital not economic capital. Seeing the […]

Practice Safe Science: Five reasons to protect your scientific data

Research data management is quickly becoming one of the most pressing issues facing the scientific community, not just for university management teams, but for every individual researcher. The tech company Digital Science produced an infographic that captures five reasons why more attention is needed to attain a more secure system. Nathan Westgarth elaborates on the points presented and on how the […]

The evidence fails to justify publishers’ demand for longer embargo periods on publicly-funded research.

Due to disciplinary differences in the “half-life” or relative demand of a scholarly article, some publishers are looking to enact longer embargo periods before an article can be made openly available on archives and repositories, in order to protect against profit losses. Peter Suber finds there is insubstantial evidence to suggest embargo length affects profit margin. Furthermore, the premise that public […]

Book Review: Political Science Research Methods: Exploring America at a Crossroads by Cal Clark

With this textbook, Cal Clark aims to provide clear descriptions of the major statistical techniques used in political and social science research for undergraduate students. This is a rewarding read that flows coherently from concepts recognizable to most schoolchildren up to complex statistical techniques without losing its focus, finds Nicholas Thomason. This originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. Political Science Research Methods: Exploring America at […]

Academic publishers must sort out their outdated electronic submission and review processes.

With the advent of electronic and online publishing workflows, why is the submission process still so exasperating? Dorothy Bishop finds that with each publisher re-inventing senseless bureaucratic online forms, things appear to be getting worse for academic authors, rather than better. But with the disruption of the academic publishing market, increased competition may finally mean there is an incentive for […]

Book Review: An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies

This updated and extended Second Edition of An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies aims to provide a broad and integrative introduction to the conduct and interpretation of scientific research in geography. This new edition includes new material on GPS and map projections, as well as an expanded chapter on scientific communication. Reviewed by Yves Laberge. An Introduction to […]

January 5th, 2014|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

A gift to readers for the festive season! Academic Inspiration Winter eBook

This originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.

Is there a special novel that you return to every Christmas Eve? Did a book given as a gift start you thinking about a new angle on your research?

Inside this Academic Inspiration Winter eBook, contributors share stories of the inspirational fiction and academic books that have a special winter meaning for them. Click the […]

Academic blogging is part of a complex online academic attention economy, leading to unprecedented readership.

Given the far-reaching attention of their paper on the nature of academic blogging, Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson find blogging is now part of a complex online ‘attention economy’ where social media can help your work travel further. But in this new world awash with academic papers, the signal to noise ratio is low. Will the highest quality papers be read […]

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