About Sierra Williams

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So far Sierra Williams has created 156 entries.
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    Blogging platforms are not neutral: Challenging the underlying assumptions of our technology.

Blogging platforms are not neutral: Challenging the underlying assumptions of our technology.

As a farewell post on her last day working on the LSE Impact Blog, Sierra Williams reflects on her time as editor and her relationship with the platform. Drawing on Neil Postman’s critique of technology, she looks at some of the assumptions that underpin the blog and argues a bit of ‘technological modesty’ is required to get a better […]

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    Impact Community Insights: Five things we learned from our Reader Survey and Google Analytics.

Impact Community Insights: Five things we learned from our Reader Survey and Google Analytics.

Managing Editor of the LSE Impact Blog Sierra Williams provides a brief round-up of qualitative and quantitative insights gleaned about the blog from a few different sources. From what content readers want more of to how people are accessing and using online information, this feedback provides some exciting directions for the blog to explore and focus on in the next year.

We […]

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    Book Review: Publics and Their Health Systems: Rethinking Participation by Ellen Stewart

Book Review: Publics and Their Health Systems: Rethinking Participation by Ellen Stewart

Drawing on a detailed case study of Scotland’s National Health Service, Publics and Their Health Systems: Rethinking Participation is a novel contribution to the growing academic engagement with the institutionalisation of public participation as a routine feature of governance. Author Ellen Stewart offers a ‘citizen’s-eye view’ of the Scottish health system, challenging dominant policy narratives by exploring diverse forms of […]

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    Why do university-managed blogs matter? On the importance of public, open and networked digital infrastructure.

Why do university-managed blogs matter? On the importance of public, open and networked digital infrastructure.

Academic blogging is increasingly valued by academics and institutions as a worthwhile activity. But universities are still struggling to provide the right balance of infrastructure and services to support their academics’ online presence. As universities look to external providers to extend the reach of scholarly ideas, what might be lost by not investing in in-house efforts? Sierra Williams identifies […]

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    Book Review: An Economist in the Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India by Kaushik Basu

Book Review: An Economist in the Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India by Kaushik Basu

In An Economist In The Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India, Chief Economist of the World Bank Kaushik Basu seeks to explain Indian policymaking in lay terms. Ankita Mukhopadhyay writes that the book deftly delves into the complexities of the Indian economy. However, she warns that while the author is an excellent storyteller, a reader without a background […]

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    Enabling authors to pay for open access – The Gold Open Access market and the role of an institutional central fund.

Enabling authors to pay for open access – The Gold Open Access market and the role of an institutional central fund.

Having tracked and analysed the usage data of one university’s central open access fund over an eight year period, Stephen Pinfield shares findings from a detailed case study of the paid-for Gold Open Access market. Mandates, particularly if accompanied by funding, have played a very important role in encouraging uptake of Gold OA. Communication was a crucial factor in making potential users of […]

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    Book Review: Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is changing the face of humanitarian response

Book Review: Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is changing the face of humanitarian response

The overflow of information generated during disasters can be as paralysing to humanitarian response as the lack of information. This flash flood of information is often referred to as Big Data, or Big Crisis Data. Making sense of Big Crisis Data is proving to be an impossible challenge for traditional humanitarian organisations, which is why they’re turning to Digital […]

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    Editors’ Choice: Round-up of our favourite posts from the last year.

Editors’ Choice: Round-up of our favourite posts from the last year.

Season’s Greetings from the Impact Blog! We wish our readers a restful holiday ahead of next year’s research-filled excitement. In 2014 the blog featured a range of evidence-based analysis and fresh perspectives on academic impact, from low citation rates in the humanities to reports of economists accepting sex in exchange for co-authorship. In case you missed them the first time […]

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    Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a brief round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Paige Brown Jarreau at SciLogs calls out Science’s latest ‘Top Scientists on Twitter’ list for reducing social media science engagement to popularity.  She considers what criteria might lead to more enriching experiences with science communication on Twitter in her […]

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    Impact Round-Up 6th September: Monsters of EdTech, visualising conferences, and for-profit masters.

Impact Round-Up 6th September: Monsters of EdTech, visualising conferences, and for-profit masters.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.

Conference season is in full swing and this week there were a range of events taking place on scholarly communications with equally lively discussions taking place on Twitter. The Association for Learning Technology’s annual conference (#altc) discussed online and digital […]

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    Impact Round-Up 16th August: Google Science, digital age knowledge creation, and scientific accountability.

Impact Round-Up 16th August: Google Science, digital age knowledge creation, and scientific accountability.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
An exaggerated title given the piece itself confirms these rumours “are almost certainly a hoax”, but still, How ‘Google Science’ could transform academic publishing by Liat Clark at WIRED provides a helpful overview of the previous efforts made my Google to […]

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    Impact Round-Up 9th August: Research recommendations, open data outcomes, and keeping open access simple.

Impact Round-Up 9th August: Research recommendations, open data outcomes, and keeping open access simple.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.

Jennifer Lin at PLOS announced an exciting new recommendations feature to be implemented across the PLOS journals in Diving into the haystack to make more hay? at the PLOS Tech Blog. Linking up with figshare, the Related Content tab on […]

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    Twitter and blogs are not just add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion underpinning it.

Twitter and blogs are not just add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion underpinning it.

The role of the academic humanist has always been a public one – however mediated through teaching and publication, argues Tim Hitchcock. As central means to participate in public conversations, Twitter and blogging just make good academic sense. Hitchcock looks at how these new platforms are facilitating academic collaboration, teaching and public engagement. What starts as a blog, ends as an academic […]

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    Book Review: Intellectual Property Rights: Legal and Economic Challenges for Development

Book Review: Intellectual Property Rights: Legal and Economic Challenges for Development

This volume aims to address the effects of Intellectual Property Rights on the processes of innovation and innovation diffusion with respect to developing countries. Contributions cover ethical incentives for innovation, green innovation, and growth in agriculture. Catherine Easton writes that this collection has the potential to be innovative and influential.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books.
Intellectual Property Rights: Legal and Economic Challenges […]

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    Neglecting to confront conflicts of interest in industry-sponsored research unfairly burdens early career researchers

Neglecting to confront conflicts of interest in industry-sponsored research unfairly burdens early career researchers

As public funding shrinks, industry-sponsored research may be a remedy. But Rebecca Cassidy reports back from a workshop on how the pressure caused by scarcity of funding and conflicts of interest in certain fields falls disproportionately on early career researchers, the most vulnerable members of the higher education precariat. Those who have yet to build up the social capital which comes […]

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    Scientific Misbehavior in Economics: Unacceptable research practice linked to perceived pressure to publish.

Scientific Misbehavior in Economics: Unacceptable research practice linked to perceived pressure to publish.

Upholding research integrity depends on our ability to understand the extent of misconduct. Sarah Necker describes her landmark study on economists’ research norms and practices. Fabrication, falsification and plagiarism are widely considered to be unjustifiable, but misbehaviour is still prevalent. For example, 1-3% of economists surveyed admit that they have accepted or offered gifts, money, or sex in exchange for […]

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    Will David Willetts be remembered for progressive push for Open Access or pernicious effects of neoliberal academy?

Will David Willetts be remembered for progressive push for Open Access or pernicious effects of neoliberal academy?

Now that the cabinet reshuffle news has settled and Greg Clark MP, the new Minister for Universities, Science, and Cities has begun his tenure, we asked for further reflections on the positions taken by previous minister David Willetts. David Prosser covers the dramatic influence Willetts had on open access legislation and momentum in the UK. Lee Jones instead emphasises the escalation […]

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    Book Review: The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University

Book Review: The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University

In The War on Learning, Elizabeth Losh analyses recent trends in post-secondary education and the rhetoric around them. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs, the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures, and educational virtual worlds. Losh’s work is valuable reading for students and parents trying to make sense of when current […]

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