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  • Duncker_Candle_Problem,_DLW
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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 […]

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    Essential Guide: How to start an Open Access journal in five steps

Essential Guide: How to start an Open Access journal in five steps

As Open Access publishing continues its momentum, opportunities are growing for researchers to shift their disciplinary and institution platforms to affordable open access models. Suzanne Pilaar Birch describes her experience of getting Open Quaternary started, shedding light on article processing charges, editorial board creation and publisher ethos.

Open access was by no means a new concept when the “Academic Spring” of April 2012 was […]

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    Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms.

Academic publishing can free itself from its outdated path dependence by looking to alternative review mechanisms.

Path dependence means that a logical decision in the past establishes itself as the norm and leads to a suboptimal system in the present. Benedikt Fecher looks at the case of the QWERTY keyboard and the current system of academic publishing as examples of how outdated processes continue to scale. Many of the historic strengths of print-based publishing are […]

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    Publication bias against negative findings is detrimental to the progression of science.

Publication bias against negative findings is detrimental to the progression of science.

As a large funder of biomedical research, the Wellcome Trust is keen to ensure that the findings of that research are widely and openly shared. There is a body of evidence that indicates a bias against writing up and publishing of negative findings. Jonathon Kram and Adam Dinsmore, from the Wellcome Trust evaluation team, discuss why this could create a barrier to scientific progress.

There is a […]

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    Data carpentry is a skilled, hands-on craft which will form a major part of data science in the future.

Data carpentry is a skilled, hands-on craft which will form a major part of data science in the future.

As data science becomes all the more relevant and indeed, profitable, attention has been placed on the value of cleaning a data set. David Mimno unpicks the term and the process and suggests that data carpentry may be a more suitable description. There is no such thing as pure or clean data buried in a thin layer of non-clean data. In […]

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    Academia and storytelling are not incompatible – how to reduce the risks and gain control of your research narrative.

Academia and storytelling are not incompatible – how to reduce the risks and gain control of your research narrative.

Rigorous research and attention-grabbing storytelling are very different trades and it is clear there are professional and personal risks for academics looking to translate complex data into bite-size stories. But Cheryl Brumley argues the narrative arc and rigorous research are not inherently incompatible and steps can be taken to minimise the associated risks. By focusing on new audiences and by maintaining […]

Why do bloggers blog so much about blogging?

More than just the enthusiastic pronouncements of reaching wider audiences, Pat Thomson suspects that blogging has in many ways legitimated, promoted and extended an interest in the practice of academic writing itself. Blogs about blogging suggest that bloggers also find – and frequently point to – new forms of peer support and other academic opportunities generated through their blogging. This […]

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    Book Review: Society and the Internet: How Networks of Information and Communication are Changing our Lives

Book Review: Society and the Internet: How Networks of Information and Communication are Changing our Lives

This book brings together research that addresses some of the most significant cultural, economic, and political roles of the Internet. Peter Webster finds that individually, the essays in this volume are uniformly strong: lucid, cogent and concise, and accompanied with useful lists of further reading. As a whole, the volume prompts fertile reflections on the method and purpose of the new discipline […]

  • auidbleimpactfeatured
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    Audible Impact Episode 3: Big Data and the Future of the Social Sciences

Audible Impact Episode 3: Big Data and the Future of the Social Sciences

 

In this podcast, Professor Patrick Dunleavy talks about how big data will affect the future of the social sciences. Say goodbye to academic siloes as we enter into a new age of cross/multi/and inter-disciplinary research. In this changing landscape, the old boundaries between physical, social and data science disintegrate. Here Professor Dunleavy talks about the Social Science of Human-Dominated […]

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    Patenting of life-saving drugs has created a global health crisis where human life has become a commercial commodity.

Patenting of life-saving drugs has created a global health crisis where human life has become a commercial commodity.

Millions of people—mostly in developing countries—lack access to life-saving drugs. Righting this imbalance is among the most important challenges of global public health of this century, argues Akansha Mehta. There is scant evidence to prove that frameworks for intellectual property rights and patent protection have benefited research, development and innovation in developing countries. When the laws of trade and commerce override the human […]

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    The Open Educational Resources Impact Map: researching impact through openness and collaboration.

The Open Educational Resources Impact Map: researching impact through openness and collaboration.

Much sharing and use of open educational resources (OER) is relatively informal, difficult to observe, and part of a wider pattern of open activity. What the open education movement needs is a way to draw together disparate fragments of evidence into a coherent analytic framework. Rob Farrow provides background on a project devoted to consolidating efforts of OER practitioners […]

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    Book Review: Heidegger and the Media by David Gunkel and Paul A. Taylor

Book Review: Heidegger and the Media by David Gunkel and Paul A. Taylor

Martin Heidegger has been largely ignored within communications studies, but this book aims to show the relevance of his work for the field. David Gunkel and Paul A. Taylor analyse Heidegger’s theory of language and its relevance to communications studies, and assess Heidegger’s legacy for future developments in media theory. Niall Flynn finds this a clear and thought-provoking read, though a touch more […]

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    Future-looking research on public sector reform will help address challenges brought on by the financial crisis.

Future-looking research on public sector reform will help address challenges brought on by the financial crisis.

What challenges do austerity policies pose for effective public administration across Europe? Dion Curry writes on the views of citizens and public sector executives on trends within public administration over the last five years. He notes that while perceptions of recent developments are complex and at times contradictory, it is important that academics and practitioners work together to generate evidence-based public […]

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    Four things policy-makers need to know about social media data and real time analytics.

Four things policy-makers need to know about social media data and real time analytics.

The retention and protection of social media data has attracted renewed attention from policy-makers in the UK and across the EU. Having studied the complexity of how social media data operate in contexts of crisis, Ella McPherson provided evidence to a select committee on what lessons can be learned on the ethical and methodological complications of social media analysis. The summary points […]

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    Should self-citations be included or excluded from measures of academic performance?

Should self-citations be included or excluded from measures of academic performance?

There has been much discussion over how useful citation metrics, like Google Scholar’s H-index, really are and to what extent they can be gamed. Specifically there appears to be concern over the practice of self-citation as it varies widely between disciplines. So what should academics make of self-citations? Referring back to our Handbook on Maximising the Impact of Your […]

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    Institutional repositories provide an ideal medium for scholars to move beyond the journal article.

Institutional repositories provide an ideal medium for scholars to move beyond the journal article.

Reflecting on their experiences supporting the growth of Columbia University’s Academic Commons digital repository, Leyla Williams, Kathryn Pope, and Brian Luna Lucero make a clear case for why other institutional repositories should look to broaden the scope of the materials they house. Institutional repositories (IRs) should actively collect the full range of work produced by scholars and researchers — not just “green” […]

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