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  • innovation
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    UK Science and Innovation Strategy – Lots of enthusiasm for science but surprisingly little new content.

UK Science and Innovation Strategy – Lots of enthusiasm for science but surprisingly little new content.

The UK government’s Science and Innovation Strategy released earlier this week fails to recognise the challenges facing UK research sustainability. Athene Donald considers the enthusiastic spin in light of wider funding issues. Surprisingly, a new review of the research councils is suggested. More effective cross-council working is certainly needed, but an overhaul or further consolidation could do more harm than good.

There has […]

  • casestudiesthemes featured image
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    In the wake of the REF, LSE launches impact website to demonstrate how research can make a difference.

In the wake of the REF, LSE launches impact website to demonstrate how research can make a difference.

Love it or loathe it, impact is fast becoming the buzz word in UK academia.  To coincide with the release of the REF2014 results on 18 December 2014, which will demonstrate how well (or otherwise) UK academia is creating impact from its research beyond the academy, LSE is joining the growing number of UK higher education institutions to showcase […]

  • healthcare
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    Collaborative ‘science of science’ needed to ensure research and education make a difference to practice.

Collaborative ‘science of science’ needed to ensure research and education make a difference to practice.

Zoë Sheppard, Vanora Hundley, Edwin van Teijlingen and Paul Thompson of Bournemouth University present the challenges of impact in healthcare recently discussed at a symposium held by the Centre of Postgraduate Medical Research and Education at Bournemouth University. Given the imminent results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014, the summarised findings and issues raised on the implementation of impact point to further collaborations needed on […]

December 15th, 2014|Government, Impact, REF 2014|0 Comments|
  • socialmedia
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    Book Review: Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media by David R. Brake

Book Review: Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media by David R. Brake

The growth of social media sees us heading towards a radically open society. David R. Brake aims to provide an overview of the harms that can be posed by unwary social media use for both adults and children. He then draws on in-depth interviews, and a range of related theories of human behaviour to consider why this happens. This […]

  • thinking writing
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    Why Inaccessibility? Despite progressive tone, attacks on academics’ lack of clarity can be profoundly regressive.

Why Inaccessibility? Despite progressive tone, attacks on academics’ lack of clarity can be profoundly regressive.

It has become popular to denounce academic writing as elitist and unhelpful. Eric Detweiler argues that inaccessibility may be a more complex issue. “Inaccessible” writing may be the result of  an author trying to do things with language that conventional, “clear” uses of language cannot. Furthermore, these critiques are often launched at marginalised fields that are writing in non-standard […]

  • citations
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    Poor citation practices are continuing to harm the humanities and social sciences.

Poor citation practices are continuing to harm the humanities and social sciences.

Citation and referencing patterns are not trivial things but solid and important indications of the presence of primary academic virtues. Patrick Dunleavy looks at disciplinary differences and argues the poor citation practices in the humanities and social sciences are therefore not just harmful to academics, but to all who read their works or follow after them. To break past such attitudes requires a […]

  • numbers
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    Taking pleasure in small numbers: How intimately are social media stats governing us?

Taking pleasure in small numbers: How intimately are social media stats governing us?

Critical academics have long been wary of the way formal quantitative data get used to rank, assess and differentially value universities, departments and people. Do similar concerns apply to social networking statistics? Or, is this data on likes, views and followers quite a different matter? At a time when pressures exist to grow one’s numbers, Davina Cooper asks whether there […]

  • pinterest_blood-types
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    The best things in life aren’t always free, but they are freely available.

The best things in life aren’t always free, but they are freely available.

Digital publishing in the humanities is set to be discussed at this year’s American Historical Association Annual Meeting. Ahead of the event, Cecy Marden explores how open access outlets provide more than just wider access, but can provide new avenues for this scholarship to be taken. From long-form journalism to Pinterest boards, freely available research is just the starting point.

There […]

  • 1980s_computer_worker,_Centers_for_Disease_Control
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    Philosophy of Data Science series – Noortje Marres: Technology and culture are becoming more and more entangled.

Philosophy of Data Science series – Noortje Marres: Technology and culture are becoming more and more entangled.

Mark Carrigan continues his investigation of data science with this latest interview with Noortje Marres on Digital Sociology. Growing digital awareness means lots of opportunities for collaboration between sociology and related fields and there is also a chance for sociologists to challenge the deeply-rooted narrative of a clash between technology and democracy.

This interview is part of an ongoing series on the Philosophy of […]

  • mozfest
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    Striving for gender equity in science: Conference participation behaviour contributes to gender disparity in academia

Striving for gender equity in science: Conference participation behaviour contributes to gender disparity in academia

The issue of gender equity in science (and other areas of academia) is not new; however, it is remarkably persistent. In a recent paper, Kerry Fanson, Therésa Jones, Matthew Symonds, and Megan Higgie found evidence that women may inadvertently contribute to observed gender disparities in conference presentations through their decision to request lower profile roles. In conjunction with efforts to end gender […]

  • open people
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    Stand Up and Be Counted: Why social science should stop using the qualitative/quantitative dichotomy

Stand Up and Be Counted: Why social science should stop using the qualitative/quantitative dichotomy

Qualitative and quantitative research methods have long been asserted as distinctly separate, but to what end? Howard Aldrich argues the simple dichotomy fails to account for the breadth of collection and analysis techniques currently in use. But institutional norms and practices keep alive the implicit message that non-statistical approaches are somehow less rigorous than statistical ones.

Over the past year, I’ve met with many doctoral […]

  • 800px-Piggy_Bank_(197645347)
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    Let Elsevier Go: The potential savings from cancelling journal subscriptions would cover the Open Access transition.

Let Elsevier Go: The potential savings from cancelling journal subscriptions would cover the Open Access transition.

Dutch universities recently took a stand against publisher Elsevier following failed negotiations over subscription costs. As universities and library budgets worldwide look to transition to open access, these costs must be considered. Cameron Neylon looks at the options for funding the transition to open access and finds that whilst short term access would be an issue, the potential savings from […]

  • Railroad_Junction2004_x
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    Developing social impact requires the research agenda to move beyond conventional academic boundaries.

Developing social impact requires the research agenda to move beyond conventional academic boundaries.

The Dutch Senate recently passed a new Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP). The SEP highlights the importance of social impact for research. The new Protocol was developed by the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), VSNU (Association of Dutch universities) and NWO (Dutch Science Council) and is to be used to evaluate academic research from 2015-2021. Based on recent […]

  • ref
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    Time to abandon the gold standard? Peer review for the REF falls far short of internationally accepted standards.

Time to abandon the gold standard? Peer review for the REF falls far short of internationally accepted standards.

The REF2014 results are set to be published next month. Alongside ongoing reviews of research assessment, Derek Sayer points to the many contradictions of the REF. Metrics may have problems, but a process that gives such extraordinary gatekeeping power to individual panel members is far worse. Ultimately, measuring research quality is fraught with difficulty. Perhaps we should instead be asking which […]

  • 800px-Philo_mediev
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    Economics is becoming an elite subject for elite UK universities

Economics is becoming an elite subject for elite UK universities

UK universities have had to become much more responsive to changes in the pattern of demand and compete with one another for different revenue streams. James Johnston and Alan Reeves ask how this has played out in relation to the undergraduate economics degree, finding that new universities have retreated from offering economics programmes even as student numbers rose substantially. The authors argue that the role of research […]

  • Network_switches
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    With Twitter’s poor signal-to-noise ratio, should social academia look to less corporate and more localised networks?

With Twitter’s poor signal-to-noise ratio, should social academia look to less corporate and more localised networks?

Social media platforms have become primary means for scholars to reach public audiences, but are scholars becoming overly reliant on sub-optimal corporate networks? With Twitter for example, it’s becoming harder to sift through the stream to find the really good stuff. Kris Shaffer is hoping others will join him in writing in more open, more user-controlled domains, as well as […]

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