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    Challenging the print paradigm: Web-powered scholarship is set to advance the creation and distribution of research.

Challenging the print paradigm: Web-powered scholarship is set to advance the creation and distribution of research.

Our containers for scholarly works – papers, monographs, PDFs – are anachronistic. Marcus A. Banks argues the Web is flexible enough to facilitate far more opportunities for scholarship in a way that print could never do. A print piece is necessarily reductive, while Web-oriented scholarship can be as capacious as required. He highlights three innovations in particular that are set to transform […]

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    Book Review: The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

Book Review: The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

In The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts, Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind give a descriptive, predictive and normative argument for the impending dissolution of our professional institutions in their current state. Although she questions the decision to leave issues of privacy, confidentiality and online security unexamined, Jennifer Miller positions this book as […]

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    Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

A series of studies across countries and disciplines in higher education confirm that student evaluations of teaching (SET) are significantly correlated with instructor gender, with students regularly rating female instructors lower than male peers. Anne Boring, Kellie Ottoboni and Philip B. Stark argue the findings warrant serious attention in light of increasing pressure on universities to measure teaching effectiveness. Given the unreliability […]

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    Putting hypotheses to the test: We must hold ourselves accountable to decisions made before we see the data.

Putting hypotheses to the test: We must hold ourselves accountable to decisions made before we see the data.

In the daily practice of doing research, it is easy to confuse what is being done. There is often confusion over whether a study is exploratory (hypothesis-generating) research or confirmatory (hypothesis-testing) research. By defining how a hypothesis or research question will be tested at the outset of research, preregistration eliminates this ambiguity. David Mellor outlines the value of preregistration for […]

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    Policy impact and online attention: Tracking the path from research to public policy on the social web.

Policy impact and online attention: Tracking the path from research to public policy on the social web.

The process by which research gets put into action is far from clear cut, argues Stacy Konkiel. Extracting references to research from policy documents is a step towards illuminating the murky path. But we should be careful not to disregard other forms of evidence like online and media mentions as they are closely interrelated and may even lead to quicker impacts […]

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    How to think like a neoliberal: Can every decision and choice really be conceived as a market decision?

How to think like a neoliberal: Can every decision and choice really be conceived as a market decision?

Kean Birch reflects on a classroom exercise introducing students to the reach of market-driven actions in everyday life. He finds the exercise is also helpful for his own engagement with an intellectual tradition with which he disagrees. According to Hayek, Friedman and Becker, every decision and choice can be conceived as a market decision. But in the process of negotiating and renegotiating every action in […]

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    Libraries and Open Journal Systems: Hosting and facilitating the creation of Open Access scholarship

Libraries and Open Journal Systems: Hosting and facilitating the creation of Open Access scholarship

There is a growing availability of free tools and software for academic publishing. How might libraries leverage existing platforms? Anna R. Craft describes one experience of an academic library hosting locally-produced open access journals through Open Journals Systems (OJS). But even “free” software is not without costs in relation to time and expertise. Care should be taken in facilitating a […]

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    Are scientific findings exaggerated? Study finds steady increase of superlatives in PubMed abstracts.

Are scientific findings exaggerated? Study finds steady increase of superlatives in PubMed abstracts.

Are scientists using language aimed at convincing editors and reviewers to publish their work? Joeri Tijdink, Christiaan Vinkers and Wim Otte present findings which suggest a rise in potentially exaggerated language. Potentially conflicting with the core values of science, the pressure to publish in high impact publications may be contributing to a paradigm of over-interpretation, overstatement and misreporting of scientific results.

Our perception […]

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    How to write a blogpost from your journal article in eleven easy steps.

How to write a blogpost from your journal article in eleven easy steps.

You’ve just published a research article – why should you bother writing a blog post about it? Patrick Dunleavy argues that if you’ve devoted months to writing the paper, dealing with comments, doing rewrites and hacking through the publishing process, why would you not spend the extra couple of hours crafting an accessible blogpost? Here he breaks down in eleven easy […]

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    Book Review: Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise by Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox

Book Review: Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise by Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox

In Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise, Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox not only show why roads matter, but also attend to the material processes that bring roads into being through two South American case studies. Luke Heslop praises this book for showing how attention to the complexities of infrastructure projects sheds new light on the parameters of […]

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    Write As If You Don’t Have the Data: The benefits of a free-writing phase.

Write As If You Don’t Have the Data: The benefits of a free-writing phase.

When researchers reach the point of actually writing up their analyses, the writing can often centre around the data itself. Howard Aldrich argues this kind of “data first” strategy to writing goes against the spirit of disciplined inquiry and also severely limits creativity and imagination. Literature reviews and conceptual planning phases in particular would benefit if researchers explored the range of ideas […]

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    Writing the introduction to a journal article: Say what the reader is going to encounter and why it is important.

Writing the introduction to a journal article: Say what the reader is going to encounter and why it is important.

An introduction has a lot of work to do in few words. Pat Thomson clarifies the core components of a journal article introduction and argues it should be thought of as a kind of mini-thesis statement, with the what, why and how of the argument spelled out in advance of the extended version. Writing a good introduction typically means “straightforward” […]

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    Conversing with ghosts: Prefigurative talk and the shifting contours of intellectual debate.

Conversing with ghosts: Prefigurative talk and the shifting contours of intellectual debate.

Next in our #AcWri2016 series is a reflection on conversational writing and academic thought. Academic discussion typically appears as clustered conversations. Davina Cooper focuses on the dilemma posed by prefigurative contributions, where academics respond to a discussion as if it is taking place, treating it as if it were the one that ought to be taking place, even though speakers know the […]

Five strategies to get your academic writing “unstuck”

To help fight off the January blues and to further inspire a productive year ahead, we have coordinated a series of posts on academic writing. To kick-start the series, here are some general tips from Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega on what to do when the words just aren’t flowing. From conceptual maps to short walks, here are some practical ways to tackle the […]

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    Q+A with Bonnie Stewart: “We are part of a society and an academy where the personal/professional divide is blurring”

Q+A with Bonnie Stewart: “We are part of a society and an academy where the personal/professional divide is blurring”

LSE’s NetworkED seminar series for 2016 kick starts this Wednesday (20 January) with Bonnie Stewart. Here she provides a brief look into her research on scholarly identities and how relatively open social spaces like Twitter can be used by scholars for immersive professional development. But, she notes, this space is not without risks. The session will be streamed live and can […]

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    Book Review: The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us by Nicholas Carr

Book Review: The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us by Nicholas Carr

In The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us, Nicholas Carr expands upon his prior examination of the internet’s impact upon the workings of the human mind by turning his attention to the implications of wider processes of automation. As Carr’s nuanced approach communicates caution without positing either a fully utopian or dystopian view of technological advances, Audrey Borowski […]

January 17th, 2016|Book Reviews|0 Comments|
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    The moral baseline of social media policies: Institutions and scholars need to examine practices with a critical eye

The moral baseline of social media policies: Institutions and scholars need to examine practices with a critical eye

Although scholars are often encouraged to promote their research online, institutional recognition of networked scholarship often appears to be as much about control and surveillance as about integrating public scholarship into academic criteria for success. George Veletsianos argues staff members, faculty, and administrators need to work together to devise forward-thinking policies that take into account the complex realities present in […]

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    Five Minutes with Lambert Heller: “Do we need an open operating system of science?”

Five Minutes with Lambert Heller: “Do we need an open operating system of science?”

Publishing companies such as Elsevier are facing increasing criticism from scientists. And yet they do not only pursue antiquated models such as traditional journals – they are also working towards creating tomorrow’s “operating system of science”. For Lambert Heller the essential question is whether science will be capable of developing open alternatives to such a system.

This is an English version […]

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    The politics of science funding: We need to think about science and knowledge production in a more practical light

The politics of science funding: We need to think about science and knowledge production in a more practical light

Government funding of science has become an increasingly prominent issue in the United States. Examining the current debate and its consequences, Arne L. Kalleberg interviews Gordon Gauchat about his recent article, “The Political Context of Science in the United States: Public Acceptance of Evidence-Based Policy and Science Funding.”

How might your study help us understand the current political debate in […]

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