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    How to write a killer conference abstract: The first step towards an engaging presentation.

How to write a killer conference abstract: The first step towards an engaging presentation.

Helen Kara responds to our previously published guide to writing abstracts and elaborates specifically on the differences for conference abstracts. She offers tips for writing an enticing abstract for conference organisers and an engaging conference presentation. Written grammar is different from spoken grammar. Remember that conference organisers are trying to create as interesting and stimulating an event as they can, […]

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    The importance of meta-analysis and systematic review: How research legacy can be maximized through adequate reporting

The importance of meta-analysis and systematic review: How research legacy can be maximized through adequate reporting

Systematic reviews are widely accepted as a ‘gold standard’ in evidence synthesis and the meta-analysis within provides a powerful means of looking across datasets. Neal Haddaway argues that while certain fields have embraced these reviews, there is a great opportunity for their growth in other fields. One way to encourage secondary synthesis is for researchers to ensure their data is reported in […]

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    Book Review: The Sustainable Economics of Elinor Ostrom: Commons, Contestation and Craft.

Book Review: The Sustainable Economics of Elinor Ostrom: Commons, Contestation and Craft.

The threat posed by global warming and environmental degradation are the most pressing examples of what has become known over the past several decades as the ‘tragedy of the commons’. In this book, Derek Wall explores the work of the late Nobel Laureate, Elinor Ostrom, on how humans can overcome this problem, and sustain the commons over the long […]

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    The Organized Mind: How to better structure our time in the age of social media and constant distraction.

The Organized Mind: How to better structure our time in the age of social media and constant distraction.

The information age is drowning us in a deluge of data, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate facts from pseudo-facts, objective from biased sources, and at the same time, we’re all being asked to do more at home and at work. Daniel Levitin reviews the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory, presents the differences between mind-wandering mode […]

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    Misunderstanding data: Can researchers simplify longitudinal data for policymakers without it leading to errors?

Misunderstanding data: Can researchers simplify longitudinal data for policymakers without it leading to errors?

Following the comments made on evidence-based policymaking by the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Leon Feinstein provides further background on the longitudinal data discussed and defends the findings against some key misunderstandings of the data. For those trying to enhance the use of evidence, an important question is always how to simplify without introducing error and understating uncertainty.

As head of evidence in the Early Intervention Foundation, a […]

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    Impact doesn’t have to be a dirty word – staying positive about the promotion of scientific excellence.

Impact doesn’t have to be a dirty word – staying positive about the promotion of scientific excellence.

The research funding landscape looks bleak in many areas at present, but that’s all the more reason to focus on success stories, argues Ben McCluskey. Universities are doing great work to bring jobs and money into the regions they serve, but they should be supported by a framework based on national cooperation, not competition.

In light of the incredible research […]

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    The messiness inherent to policymaking is a real challenge – can evidence alone outshine tribal instincts?

The messiness inherent to policymaking is a real challenge – can evidence alone outshine tribal instincts?

The Policy Institute at King’s advocates for the use of evidence as a key element in effective policymaking. However, translating research into policy is far from easy. Jonathan Grant, Benedict Wilkinson and David Willetts MP weigh in on how to explore new ways of engaging with evidence and engaging with policymakers. From developing better networks and communities of evidence-based practice to […]

Unravelling the true cost of publishing in open access

Universities must continue to monitor and track the variety of associated spending related to journal publishing and access, argues Lorraine Estelle. Many universities are forecasting that their APCs will more than double in number by 2018. Much of the difficulty in assessing the costs arises from the fact that the market is not transparent. Furthermore, the price of the APC is just one part of the […]

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    The Future of Science Advice in Europe: Termination of the Chief Scientific Advisor role forces needed conversation.

The Future of Science Advice in Europe: Termination of the Chief Scientific Advisor role forces needed conversation.

Following the disappointment of the removal of the European Commission’s office of Chief Scientific Advisor, Roger Pielke, Jr. looks at the past three years and finds the office was largely powerless and disconnected. The establishment of the office was a symbolic gesture, rather than representing any substantive commitment to improving science advice in Europe. But the termination of the office may act as a […]

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    The science of society: From credible social science to better social policies.

The science of society: From credible social science to better social policies.

Though many are convinced that better social science evidence will make for better policies, we do not know how to turn that conviction into a reality. Nancy Cartwright and Julian Reiss argue that current efforts in evidence-based policy tend to focus on improving the credibility of results. But that is not enough. It is now time to invest heavily in developing methods […]

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    Expectations for All: Universities and supervisors have a responsibility to manage PhD career prospects.

Expectations for All: Universities and supervisors have a responsibility to manage PhD career prospects.

Athene Donald highlights an important document published by the Royal Society which addresses the plight of PhD students and their job prospects. The overall shape of the pipeline feeding through from research student to professor is not in doubt. Few make it. Supervisors and institutions can do more to manage expectations and improve job prospects. It is vital that students […]

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    Governing through unhappiness: Audit culture and the lasting effects of the REF.

Governing through unhappiness: Audit culture and the lasting effects of the REF.

After the REF dust settled on 2014, what will come next for the higher education sector? Will Davies breaks down audit culture and describes neoliberalism as the ‘disenchantment of politics by economics’ where processes traditionally left in the realm of politics must now be reconfigured in calculative, economically rational terms. When audit becomes married to rapidly shrinking budgets, and […]

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    Collaborative writing tools, useless titles and a long-term strategy for open science: Popular Posts of 2014

Collaborative writing tools, useless titles and a long-term strategy for open science: Popular Posts of 2014

It has become tradition the last few years for us to take a look back at the past year’s most popular posts on the Impact blog. This year’s list features a diverse range of topics from collaborative writing tools to the more theoretical implications of neoliberalism on research openness. Many thanks to all our contributors for creating and allowing […]

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    A political economy of Twitter data? Conducting research with proprietary data is neither easy nor free.

A political economy of Twitter data? Conducting research with proprietary data is neither easy nor free.

Social media research is on the rise but researchers are increasingly at the mercy of the changing limits and access policies of social media platforms. API and third party access to platforms can be unreliable and costly. Sam Kinsley outlines the limitations and stumbling blocks when researchers gather social media data. Should researchers be using data sources (however potentially […]

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    Shorter, better, faster, free: Blogging changes the nature of academic research, not just how it is communicated

Shorter, better, faster, free: Blogging changes the nature of academic research, not just how it is communicated

Academic blogging gets your work and research out to a potentially massive audience at very, very low cost and relative amount of effort. Patrick Dunleavy argues blogging and tweeting from multi-author blogs especially is a great way to build knowledge of your work, to grow readership of useful articles and research reports, to build up citations, and to foster […]

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    Against REFonomics: Quantification cannot satisfy the demands of rationality, equity and tolerability.

Against REFonomics: Quantification cannot satisfy the demands of rationality, equity and tolerability.

Academics are assured by government ministers and institutional heads that research assessment is designed on their behalf. Liz Morrish looks at whether the assessment tools created have extended their reach and left academics exposed. At its best, the REF distorts research agendas and priorities. However, a graver hazard is that a new selective and competitive academic will be formed, whose […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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