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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 […]

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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 […]

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    For many academics, the web is just a means to an end: Shifting gears to solve the digital divide.

For many academics, the web is just a means to an end: Shifting gears to solve the digital divide.

The academic community faces a significant problem in staying up-to-date with new technologies. Often the easiest option for researchers is not to engage rather than trying a new way of working. Andy Tattersall looks at the lack of adoption of digital technologies and argues that in academia, the problem has often been a lack of translation: academics are advised […]

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    Our democracy relies on the quality of data in the public domain.

Our democracy relies on the quality of data in the public domain.

The Royal Statistical Society recently released their Data Manifesto focussing on the potential of data to improve policy and business practice. Hetan Shah, Executive Director of the Society, makes the case for doing so, arguing also that improving the country’s data and statistical literacy should be a priority.

This piece originally appeared on Democratic Audit.

As the long election campaign begins, we hear claims […]

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    Obstacles to innovation in digital publishing can be easily overcome by opening up legal channels for experimentation

Obstacles to innovation in digital publishing can be easily overcome by opening up legal channels for experimentation

When researchers are asked what innovation they need/want in publishing, they can be unimaginative in their responses for new technology. Martin Eve argues that by concentrating innovation into the hands of an ever-decreasing number of publishers, innovation and improvement become the responsibility of a market-driven publishing industry, and are therefore limited. Rather, when people are legally free to experiment, good […]

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    Sabina Leonelli: “What constitutes trustworthy data changes across time and space”

Sabina Leonelli: “What constitutes trustworthy data changes across time and space”

The next installment of the Philosophy of Data Science series is with Sabina Leonelli, Principal Investigator of the ERC project, The Epistemology of Data-Intensive Science. Last year she completed a monograph titled “Life in the Digital Age: A Philosophical Study of Data-Centric Biology”, currently under review with University of Chicago Press. Here she discusses with Mark Carrigan the history of data-centric science […]

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    President Obama’s free community-college plan is a necessary plan – and a good one.

President Obama’s free community-college plan is a necessary plan – and a good one.

Last week, President Obama announced that community college will be made free for all students for the first two years of study. Sara Goldrick-Rab welcomes the announcement, which will be especially helpful for less affluent families who spend a large proportion of their family income on college. She writes that the next steps in improving college affordability should include making the first […]

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    What’s the point of open academic data? Redefining valuable research based on re-use and reproducibility.

What’s the point of open academic data? Redefining valuable research based on re-use and reproducibility.

The benefits of open research to both those who fund it and to wider society mean that academia is on a course which cannot be altered, or returned to a previous state. Mark Hahnel discusses the momentum behind making all research outputs openly available online and what changes may be in store for universities in this transition. Funder mandates could shift […]

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    Disciplinary identities are tightly bound by exclusion. What would scholarship based on inclusion look like?

Disciplinary identities are tightly bound by exclusion. What would scholarship based on inclusion look like?

The politics of distinct disciplinary communities have shaped and arranged scholarly communication filters around practices of exclusion. Whilst these negative filters may have once served a useful purpose, Cameron Neylon argues that the digital world offers an opportunity to build better filters, positive filters – filters that enrich, instead of filters that exclude.

There’s an argument I often hear that brings me […]

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    Book Review: The Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography by Paul C. Adams et al.

Book Review: The Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography by Paul C. Adams et al.

With chapters covering photography, sound, video games, graffiti and performance, The Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography represents a substantial and meaningful contribution to this new field, writes Sander Hölsgens.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.
The Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography. Paul C. Adams, Jim Craine, and Jason Dittmer (editors). Ashgate. 2014.
Find this book:  
The Ashgate Research Companion to Media […]

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    Scholarly communities face crucial social challenges in maintaining digital networks that can sustain participation.

Scholarly communities face crucial social challenges in maintaining digital networks that can sustain participation.

If we are going to take full advantage of the affordances that digital networks provide—facilitating forms of scholarly communication from those as seemingly simple as the tweet to those as complex as the journal article, the monograph, and their born-digital descendants— Kathleen Fitzpatrick argues we must focus as much on the social challenges that these networks raise as we […]

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    Time for REFlection: HEFCE look ahead to provide rounded evaluation of the REF.

Time for REFlection: HEFCE look ahead to provide rounded evaluation of the REF.

Head of Research Policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Steven Hill, presents an overview of the work HEFCE are currently commissioning which they are hoping will build a robust evidence base for research assessment. He argues that attention on the costs, benefits, problems and solutions of the REF are an obvious starting point, but it is also important that the […]

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    Predicting the results of the REF using departmental h-index: A look at biology, chemistry, physics, and sociology.

Predicting the results of the REF using departmental h-index: A look at biology, chemistry, physics, and sociology.

Can metrics be used instead of peer review for REF-type assessments? With the stakes so high, any replacement would have to be extremely accurate. Olesya Mryglod, Ralph Kenna, Yurij Holovatch and Bertrand Berche looked at two metric candidates, including the departmental h-index, and four subject areas: biology, chemistry, physics and sociology. The correlations are significant, but comparisons with RAE indicate that […]

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    Qualitative and quantitative research are fundamentally distinct and differences are paramount to the social sciences

Qualitative and quantitative research are fundamentally distinct and differences are paramount to the social sciences

Matt Vidal calls for clear distinctions to be made between qualitative and quantitative research. Using as an example the impartial data generated by surveys, Vidal argues that such quantitative data are fundamentally important, but incomplete. Data based on methods of prolonged engagement with respondents are qualitative, also important, but incomplete. Both are united in their goal of advancing knowledge and […]

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    Changing UK science culture – a publisher perspective on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Changing UK science culture – a publisher perspective on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Rebecca Lawrence shares her response to the Nuffield Council on Biothetics’ report on the culture of scientific research. The report raised important issues that publishers across the industry are actively working towards. But further collaboration is needed amongst research funders, universities and publishers to tackle the many issues in quality assessment, recognition of negative findings, and adequate peer review. Otherwise we […]

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    Book Review: Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research edited by Donatella della Porta

Book Review: Methodological Practices in Social Movement Research edited by Donatella della Porta

This collection aims to offer a practical, how-to approach to researching social movement studies, with each author writing on a method they have used extensively in their own work. Leonardo Custódio is impressed by the book’s invitation to researchers to reflect about different approaches to studying mass demonstrations, protests, and other forms of collective action for socioeconomic and political change.

This piece originally appeared on LSE […]

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    Is Nature’s “free to view” a magnanimous gesture or a cynical ploy?

Is Nature’s “free to view” a magnanimous gesture or a cynical ploy?

The big announcement from academic publisher Macmillan Science and Education this week is that subscribers can now share links to nature.com articles. But is this move as groundbreaking as purported? Michael Eisen argues that it is more likely Nature are promoting free access, while doing nothing to address the real obstacle to wider access – the subscription model. So, really, what they’re doing is not making […]

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