Is Habermas’ concept of the public sphere still relevant in an age of globalization, when the transnational flows of people and information have become increasingly intensive and when the nation-state can no longer be taken for granted as the natural frame for social and political debate? Stefania Vicari finds that this collection provide an insightful review of Habermas’ classical theory, but it […]
Wikimedia community are a digital age success and natural allies for academic communication and research engagement.
Wikimedians and the wider open information community are academics’ natural allies in knowledge creation, dissemination, research engagement and ultimately justifying public research funding. Cameron Neylon argues there is much these ‘amateurs’ can teach us about managing information at scale and making it accessible and usable. Scholarly knowledge is special because of the validation and assessment processes it goes though. But […]
Whilst academic involvement in blogging is on the rise, it may not yet be considered standard academic practice. Many universities remain cautious due to perceived risks associated with lack of content control. Achilleas Kostoulas finds the openness and equality of blogs is fundamentally more democratic than other forms of scholarly debate. Here he reflects on some of the basic questions relating to […]
From STEM to STEAM: The potential for arts to facilitate innovation, literacy and participatory democracy.
The value of the arts goes far beyond its monetary returns. Malaika Cunningham outlines how the arts play a huge role in boosting proficiency within STEM subjects. Creative thinking is needed for truly excellent scientists, engineers and mathematicians, and how better to foster this than a rounded education, which includes arts subjects? Arts education fosters a literate and innovative workforce and strengthens the […]
Recruiting talented researchers is easier in recessions and universities benefit from increased productivity.
Between the end of 2007 and the middle of 2009, Britain and the United States experienced the worst recession for more than half a century. Evidence suggests that during that time entry into high-paying and high-risk private sector jobs declined substantially while many talented graduates tried to stay on at university. Using data of economics PhD graduates, Michael Boehm and Martin […]
Book Review: Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide, edited by Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry & Rumona Dickson
Writing a systematic review is one of the most challenging aspects of the academic process. With Doing a Systematic Review: A Student’s Guide, Angela Boland, M. Gemma Cherry and Rumona Dickson aim to offer a detailed and effective guide to writing a successful systematic review. This takes the book beyond the usual “How to…” literature, and makes it a valuable resource for both […]
Academics in children’s picture books tend to be elderly, old men, who work in science, called Professor SomethingDumb. Why does this matter? Melissa Terras presents the findings from her two-year search on the representation of academics and argues these portrayals should be challenged. Such narrow stereotypes of academics presented and promulgated in these books continue to percolate back to those who read the […]
Book Review: C. Wright Mills and the Sociological Imagination: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by John Scott and Ann Nilsen
This book is a collection of essays offering current perspectives on C. Wright Mills’ influence on the field of sociological research, specifically focussing on his most famous work- The Sociological Imagination. The collection seeks to explore the general issues around the nature and significance of the sociological imagination and includes a series of reflections from scholars on the impact of Mills’ writings in […]
Paying twice or paying thrice? Open access publishing in a global system of scholarly knowledge production and consumption
UK open access policy does not exist in a vacuum. Casey Brienza argues that UK researchers represent too small a proportion of global scholarly knowledge production and consumption to rebalance scholarly expenditure. UK open access initiatives as currently formulated will instead lead to a significant de facto increase in costs for the UK. Instead of paying twice, once to fund the research and again to […]
Achieving Impact in Research aims to address the importance of understanding and achieving impact for the purposes of gaining research funding and reporting achieved impact for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).The book includes contributions from researchers and researcher developers who feel that impact is ill-defined and poorly understood despite its prevalence in policy documents, websites and institutional activities. Catherine Easton finds that this a […]
The Impact of the Social Sciences: How Academics and Their Research Make a Difference by Simon Bastow, Patrick Dunleavy, and Jane Tinkler.
The three-year Impact of Social Sciences Project has culminated in a monograph published by SAGE. The book presents thorough analysis of how academic research in the social sciences achieves public policy impacts, contributes to economic prosperity, and informs public […]
From MIT’s famed pranks to Silicon Valley’s approach to design, core values drive the clever, ethical, enjoyable, excellence-seeking behaviour of a civic-oriented hackers mindset. Tanya Snook makes the case for everyday hacking and provides five principles that you can use to rethink situations, re-evaluate problems, and hack everything you do. When I say “hacker” what images come to mind? Some pimply-faced kid in […]
Judging a book by its URLs: accurate and concise digital references are central to academic rigour and credibility.
Central to the quality of academic scholarship is its rigour. Footnote references are integral to this process. If generating accurate and fully comprehensive footnotes is to be maintained in online spaces, coherent and longterm URLs must be part of this process, argues Tim Hitchcock. Drawing from his recent experience of editing over 4000 URLs for his book, he reflects on […]
Continue the momentum of your research and explore wider areas of interest: our top five posts on Academic Blogging
For our final Top Five overview piece highlighting our most-read pieces of the last year, we present the top five blogs on the theme of academic blogging. These posts provide helpful advice for those looking to get more involved in the practice and also delve further into the pros and cons of investing time and energy into academic blogging. […]
The on-going discussion over open access to scholarly research was a regular feature this year on the Impact of Social Sciences blog. The top posts in this category came from a range of voices in higher education, from researchers and journal editors to librarians. While not technically part of the top five, we’ve also included below our eCollection from […]
As the New Year festivities inspire personal reflection, renewed productivity and exploration, the Impact of Social Sciences team has put together our five most popular How-to Guides of 2013. If you are looking to update your academic workflow to embrace more digitally-native practices, we are here to help!
Your essential ‘how-to’ guide to using Prezi in an academic environment
Presentation boredom […]
The Harvard Dataverse Network is an open-source platform that facilitates data sharing. Samuel Moore outlines how this customisable initiative might be adopted by journals, disciplines and individuals. I am a huge fan of grass-roots approaches to scholarly openness. Successful community-led initiatives tend to speak directly to that community’s need and can grow by attracting interest from members on the fringes […]