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  • messiness
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    Embracing Messiness: Open access offers the chance to creatively experiment with scholarly publishing.

Embracing Messiness: Open access offers the chance to creatively experiment with scholarly publishing.

In the quest for greater access to scholarly work, the discussion has long been characterised as a search, for better or for worse, for the most sustainable model. In this transcript of her recent talk at the Post-Digital Scholar conference, Janneke Adema warns that framing the debate in terms of business models might actually lead to a watered-down version of open […]

Buzzfeed: A new home for research?

Jeff Knezovich shares his experience using the online news portal Buzzfeed to share the latest research findings. For topics not usually at the front-and-centre, Buzzfeed provides a quick and easy way to bring people up to speed. Buzzfeed’s ‘splainer (short for ‘explainer’) format was very well received, with the post accessed ten times more than the PDF and research website […]

  • 1280px-A_researcher_working_with_delicate_resource_at_The_National_Archives
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    Everyday webpages as scholarly source material: Interrogating the archived UK Web.

Everyday webpages as scholarly source material: Interrogating the archived UK Web.

With the advances in web analysis, Adam Crymble hails the opportunity for historians to turn to the Internet as a rich source in itself. But are historians trained to take advantage of this new opportunity? Corpus linguistics, data manipulation, clustering algorithms, and distant reading will be valuable skills for dealing with this new body of historical data.

The second talk […]

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    What makes a successful research project blog? Forums for generating ideas fare better than sharing final results.

What makes a successful research project blog? Forums for generating ideas fare better than sharing final results.

Coordinating a research project blog has many benefits, but it can lead to some difficulties in practice. Pat Thomson reflects on the types of project blogs in her experience worked better than others. The ones aimed at developing ideas and connecting with external partners were very useful. But the presentation of core findings were a concern to some funders. Furthermore, when […]

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    Evaluation systems need not be perfect: University research assessment and the ongoing quest for simplicity.

Evaluation systems need not be perfect: University research assessment and the ongoing quest for simplicity.

In order to get a perfect assessment method, are we at risk of developing systems that are ever more complex and time-consuming? Dorothy Bishop looks at the differences between readily available measures to award research funding and the highly complicated RAE formula. An evaluation system need not be perfect – it just needs to be ‘good enough’ to provide a […]

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    Open science and the disciplinary culture clash – Why is it so hard to reach a consensus?

Open science and the disciplinary culture clash – Why is it so hard to reach a consensus?

When it comes down to the nitty gritty detail of what open science means for an individual researcher, the disciplinary context is key. As clear and straightforward as making research publicly available is, many questions still remain for specific disciplines. Peter Kraker reports back from a session on openness in the humanities where definitions of data, research work and research materials […]

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    From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

Scholarly and social impacts of scientific publications could be measured by various metrics, including article usage, Mendeley readership and Altmetric scores, etc. But what is the relationship amongst the different metrics? Previous studies show there is low correlation between altmetrics and citation, but how do altmetrics compare to other metrics? Xianwen Wang and his colleagues recently conducted a study to answer […]

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    Wall Street analysts say open access has failed due to lack of focus, but their analysis might help it succeed.

Wall Street analysts say open access has failed due to lack of focus, but their analysis might help it succeed.

There are tensions in the open access movement which are putting its sustained momentum at risk, argues Curt Rice. The enthusiasm for the movement’s ideals are now in conflict with what is needed for success, namely a clear message articulated by visible and visionary leadership. Wall Street analysts are predicting open access to be a fading threat to Elsevier profits due to […]

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    Altmetrics can signal flows of information for paths in scholarly communication not yet mapped.

Altmetrics can signal flows of information for paths in scholarly communication not yet mapped.

Research metrics are currently being debated across the UK. With last week’s 1AM conference discussing alternative metrics and this week’s In metrics we trust? event as part of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment, the uses and misuses of metrics are under close scrutiny. Cameron Neylon reports back from last week’s altmetrics conference and looks at the primary motivations […]

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    Perceptions and ‘impacts’ of the REF: Key aim for next round should be to explore apprehension and minimise anxieties.

Perceptions and ‘impacts’ of the REF: Key aim for next round should be to explore apprehension and minimise anxieties.

Discussions around the REF have tended to be negative, but academics appear to have experienced the framework in a number of different ways. To understand the variety of themes and important issues, Tony Murphy and Daniel Sage undertook a media analysis that points to the range of concerns academics have around the REF and its processes. They argue there is much […]

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    Overhyped and concentrated investments in research funding are leading to unsustainable science bubbles.

Overhyped and concentrated investments in research funding are leading to unsustainable science bubbles.

David Budtz Pedersen examines how the scientific market exhibits bubble behaviour similar to that of financial markets. Taking as an example the overwhelming investments in neuroscience, such high expectations may actually drain the research system from resources and new ideas. In the end the permanent competition for funding and the lack of ‘risk diversification’, might generate a climate in which citizens and […]

Three ways podcasting can make you a more engaged academic

National Podcast Day is 30th September and is a day dedicated to promoting podcasting worldwide through education and public engagement. Here, Amy Mollett, managing editor of LSE Review of Books, and Cheryl Brumley, our multimedia editor, talk us through three ways that academics can use podcasting to enhance their engagement with students and expand the reach of their work beyond academia.

This piece […]

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    Why books matter: There is value in what cannot be evaluated.

Why books matter: There is value in what cannot be evaluated.

Academic publishing is intricately bound to evaluation. The demand to publish as much as possible has led to the chopping up of research into  minimum publishable units across journals that are easily counted, ranked and evaluated. Books, however, are not so easily accounted for. Julien McHardy argues the value of books is in this freedom from evaluation which offers the chance to pursue […]

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    Whose ideas are they anyway? Academic work as a form of public action, rather than possession.

Whose ideas are they anyway? Academic work as a form of public action, rather than possession.

Do our academic creations belong to us? Should we think of them as property? Amidst debates about how to cite properly and circulating fears of ideas being stolen, do we risk losing touch with wider questions about how ideas emerge and develop, and the limits of provenance? Davina Cooper argues public action may provide a better way of thinking […]

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    A systems-thinking approach to public policy eschews linear model for more holistic understanding of decision-making.

A systems-thinking approach to public policy eschews linear model for more holistic understanding of decision-making.

Policy-making and effective municipal intervention are embedded in a complex web of interrelationships. Joseph A. Curtatone and Mark Esposito write on how decisions in one realm have ripple effects in others. Systems-thinking looks to apply a more holistic way of addressing real-world problems. Harvard students and the city of Somerville, Massachusetts are partnering to tackle problems using a systems-focused approach.

For public officials, the law […]

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    How competitive should science be? External reward structure may inhibit creative thinking and innovation.

How competitive should science be? External reward structure may inhibit creative thinking and innovation.

Competition for funding and jobs is often cited as a helpful mechanism for spurning innovation and productivity in science. But Jessica Polka challenges this idea by drawing from the results of an experiment known as Duncker’s candle problem. The experiment revealed external rewards can actually inhibit creative thinking. If science is like the version of the candle problem, are […]

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