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  • students
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    Is a college degree worth it? Interventions are needed to enhance the practical relevance of higher education.

Is a college degree worth it? Interventions are needed to enhance the practical relevance of higher education.

Many young people around the world struggle to find jobs despite having obtained university degrees. Asit K. Biswas and Julian Kirchherr outline what needs to change in order to boost the practical value of higher education. Recruiting academic staff with work experience outside of academia could provide richer teaching experiences and a more developed understanding of which skills are needed, even […]

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    Evidence and innovation in humanitarian assistance: ‘Conference without Borders’ to address Syrian conflict #MSFSci

Evidence and innovation in humanitarian assistance: ‘Conference without Borders’ to address Syrian conflict #MSFSci

The MSF Scientific Days are a round of conferences looking at how humanitarian action can be improved by scientific research and innovation. On behalf of the organisers, Sarah Venis presents an overview. This year will feature a strong focus on the effects of the Syrian conflict and the resultant refugee and migration crisis. Another theme will also look at how […]

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    Is it really that difficult to find women to talk about the EU Referendum?

Is it really that difficult to find women to talk about the EU Referendum?

The significant absence of expert women’s voices from media debates and academic events related to the EU Referendum has been widely reported. Roberta Guerrina, Toni Haastrup, Katharine Wright share a list of women EU experts and argue there are in fact many women voices on these issues and they are not difficult to find. More work needs to be done by political […]

  • internet access
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    Elsevier purchase SSRN: Social scientists face questions over whether centralised repository is in their interests.

Elsevier purchase SSRN: Social scientists face questions over whether centralised repository is in their interests.

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN), an online repository for uploading preprint articles and working papers, has been recently acquired by publishing giant Elsevier. Thomas Leeper looks at what this purchase, and for-profit academic services more generally, mean for the scholarly community. Many regular users may not be aware that SSRN has been run by a privately held corporation since its founding […]

  • Boycott-featured
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    For activist campaigns, disruption gains attention, but evidence-based education changes minds.

For activist campaigns, disruption gains attention, but evidence-based education changes minds.

In their campaigns to get organizations to adopt socially responsible practices, social activists often choose between disruptive protests and evidence-based persuasion. But which tactics are more effective? Forrest Briscoe, Abhinav Gupta, and Mark Anner find that disruptive tactics actually hurt activists’ goal of capitalizing on their wins to influence non-targeted organizations. In contrast, when activists used evidence-based tactics, their […]

  • brexit campaign literature
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    All is ephemera: will the information produced during the EU referendum last beyond 2016?

All is ephemera: will the information produced during the EU referendum last beyond 2016?

Now that so much campaign literature and political debate is produced and takes place online, libraries face different challenges in capturing and archiving it. Daniel Payne explains how the LSE Library is collecting ephemera relating to the June 23 referendum.

This piece originally appeared on the LSE BrexitVote blog and is reposted with permission.

The key political moments of the past […]

  • Questionnaire
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    Looking to solve the replication crisis in psychology? Limitations of questionnaire methods must be considered.

Looking to solve the replication crisis in psychology? Limitations of questionnaire methods must be considered.

Throughout its history, psychology has been faced with fundamental crises that all revolve around its disciplinary rigour. Current debates – led in Nature, Science and high-ranking psychology journals – are geared towards the frequent lack of replicability of many psychological findings. New research led by Jana Uher highlights methodological limitations of the widely used questionnaire methods. These limitations may […]

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    A Culture of Speed: Anticipation, Acceleration and Individualization in Academic Science.

A Culture of Speed: Anticipation, Acceleration and Individualization in Academic Science.

Ruth Müller draws attention to the social and epistemic effects of a culture of speed in academia. Her research looks at how this wider culture has produced in particular two modes of being and relating for researchers: anticipatory acceleration and latent individualization. These modes could have significant effects on the type of research questions explored and on scientific networks […]

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    Accuracy, Transparency and Improv! Best practices for building trust between scientists and communications staff

Accuracy, Transparency and Improv! Best practices for building trust between scientists and communications staff

Researchers are increasingly considering the communication of their work, but it is equally worth considering the many actors at universities and external organisations that are already engaged in these activities. Often, misunderstandings and unclear objectives of the collaboration lead to a breakdown in trust. Aaron Huertas looks at how scientists and communications staff can build effective relationships.  

A lot of […]

  • science
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    How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences. But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper articles or blogs and require a level of skill and undoubtedly a greater amount of patience. Here Jennifer Raff has prepared a helpful guide for non-scientists on how to read a scientific paper. These steps […]

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    Are the ‘gatekeepers’ becoming censors? On editorial processes and the interests of the scholarly community.

Are the ‘gatekeepers’ becoming censors? On editorial processes and the interests of the scholarly community.

Questions about the proper role of learned journals and of publishers are brought to the fore in a recent exchange over suggested edits to a book review. William St Clair shares his experience and the review in question and wonders whether some learned journals are becoming afraid to facilitate discussion of academic issues.

In 2015, I was invited by the […]

  • lightbulb featured
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    Ideas boom or innovation bust? Could Australia’s ‘ideas agenda’ stifle real innovation?

Ideas boom or innovation bust? Could Australia’s ‘ideas agenda’ stifle real innovation?

Australia’s so-called ‘ideas boom’ comes at a cost to research funding and sustainable infrastructure, Kanishka Jayasuriya and Carol Johnson write. An emphasis on entrepreneurial culture at the expense of wider public research investment risks socialising the risks of research and privatising the benefits, which ultimately may do lasting harm to both sectors.

Innovation is a central part of Australian Prime Minister […]

  • Be-Creative-Image
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    Book Review: Be Creative: Making A Living in the New Culture Industries by Angela McRobbie

Book Review: Be Creative: Making A Living in the New Culture Industries by Angela McRobbie

In Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries, Angela McRobbieaddresses how the encouragement to foster one’s ‘creativity’ as a set of capacities or skills necessary for professional success is entwined with the rise in freelance, temporary and low-paid labour. Drawing upon McRobbie’s extensive contributions to the field of cultural and creative industries, this book underscores the contemporary link […]

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    Elephant paths: Wider methodological transparency is needed for legal scholarship to thrive.

Elephant paths: Wider methodological transparency is needed for legal scholarship to thrive.

Mariana Gkliati calls for a reconsideration of traditional research methods in legal studies and how these methods are communicated. Most legal scholars seek to fit their conceptual analysis into narrow and strictly legal boxes, often relying on tacit knowledge from the field. Drawing on the metaphor of elephant paths, or an overlaying system for going from place to place, and behavioural […]

  • network
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    Algorithmic accountability in scholarship: what we can learn from #DeleteAcademiaEdu

Algorithmic accountability in scholarship: what we can learn from #DeleteAcademiaEdu

The controversy surrounding Academia.edu highlights the flaws and limitations of existing scholarly infrastructures. Jean-Christophe Plantin explores the intersection of algorithms, academic research and platforms for scholarly publications. He argues that there is a need to develop a values-centred approach in the development of article-sharing platforms, with suitably designed algorithms.

The networking and article-sharing platform academia.edu has been at the centre of a controversy in […]

  • scoop
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    How to deal with being “scooped”: The vast majority of science is a process of derivative, incremental advance.

How to deal with being “scooped”: The vast majority of science is a process of derivative, incremental advance.

Researchers are under increasing pressure to deliver novel research findings and as such, it can be incredibly disheartening when another team publishes ahead of you on a similar topic. But is this competitive mentality true to the scientific process? Chris Chambers argues there are several positive sides to being “scooped” and by focusing on these positives, researchers can overcome […]

  • Place_des_Abbesse_(the_plaque_with_the_je_t'aime=te_iubesc_in_311_laguages)
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    Writing for Impact: How can we write about our research in a way that leads to meaningful change?

Writing for Impact: How can we write about our research in a way that leads to meaningful change?

Academic work may have impact in a variety of ways, depending on purpose, audience and field, but this is most likely to happen when your work resonates in meaningful ways with people. Ninna Meier encourages a more systematic investigation of the role of writing in achieving impact. Impact through writing means getting your readers to understand and remember your message […]

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    How to win at academic presentations: top tips on what to say and how to say it.

How to win at academic presentations: top tips on what to say and how to say it.

Presenting is an essential skill for communicating research, but unfortunately it is not a skill researchers get much guidance on. Sarah Knowles pulls together some general advice on giving an engaging and informative talk. There should be some kind of added value for your audience coming to hear you speak, and careful consideration of the content and the format will ensure they leave […]

  • peer review
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    The nuts and bolts of peer review: what are the benefits for an early career researcher?

The nuts and bolts of peer review: what are the benefits for an early career researcher?

For many early career researchers, the trepidation in submitting a first review is hard to overcome. Jillian Hart shares her thoughts following a workshop run by Sense About Science aimed at uncovering the peer review process and tackling those anxieties. She reflects on the benefits for researchers, collectively and individually, in being part of a community of peer reviewers. In this age of consumerism […]

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