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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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    Poor citation practices are continuing to harm the humanities and social sciences.

Poor citation practices are continuing to harm the humanities and social sciences.

Citation and referencing patterns are not trivial things but solid and important indications of the presence of primary academic virtues. Patrick Dunleavy looks at disciplinary differences and argues the poor citation practices in the humanities and social sciences are therefore not just harmful to academics, but to all who read their works or follow after them. To break past such attitudes requires a […]

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    Philosophy of Data Science series – Noortje Marres: Technology and culture are becoming more and more entangled.

Philosophy of Data Science series – Noortje Marres: Technology and culture are becoming more and more entangled.

Mark Carrigan continues his investigation of data science with this latest interview with Noortje Marres on Digital Sociology. Growing digital awareness means lots of opportunities for collaboration between sociology and related fields and there is also a chance for sociologists to challenge the deeply-rooted narrative of a clash between technology and democracy.

This interview is part of an ongoing series on the Philosophy of […]

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    Striving for gender equity in science: Conference participation behaviour contributes to gender disparity in academia

Striving for gender equity in science: Conference participation behaviour contributes to gender disparity in academia

The issue of gender equity in science (and other areas of academia) is not new; however, it is remarkably persistent. In a recent paper, Kerry Fanson, Therésa Jones, Matthew Symonds, and Megan Higgie found evidence that women may inadvertently contribute to observed gender disparities in conference presentations through their decision to request lower profile roles. In conjunction with efforts to end gender […]

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    Standards for scientific graphic presentation: Interactive figures could significantly improve understanding of data.

Standards for scientific graphic presentation: Interactive figures could significantly improve understanding of data.

Over the previous hundred years, a lot of work has gone into standardizing the way scientific data is presented. All of this knowledge has been largely forgotten. Jure Triglav wants us to bring the past back to life. Drawing on lessons learned from the New York City subway system and the graphic standards of 1914, he argues for the […]

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Buzzfeed: A new home for research?

Jeff Knezovich shares his experience using the online news portal Buzzfeed to share the latest research findings. For topics not usually at the front-and-centre, Buzzfeed provides a quick and easy way to bring people up to speed. Buzzfeed’s ‘splainer (short for ‘explainer’) format was very well received, with the post accessed ten times more than the PDF and research website […]

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    With Twitter’s poor signal-to-noise ratio, should social academia look to less corporate and more localised networks?

With Twitter’s poor signal-to-noise ratio, should social academia look to less corporate and more localised networks?

Social media platforms have become primary means for scholars to reach public audiences, but are scholars becoming overly reliant on sub-optimal corporate networks? With Twitter for example, it’s becoming harder to sift through the stream to find the really good stuff. Kris Shaffer is hoping others will join him in writing in more open, more user-controlled domains, as well as […]

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    Everyday webpages as scholarly source material: Interrogating the archived UK Web.

Everyday webpages as scholarly source material: Interrogating the archived UK Web.

With the advances in web analysis, Adam Crymble hails the opportunity for historians to turn to the Internet as a rich source in itself. But are historians trained to take advantage of this new opportunity? Corpus linguistics, data manipulation, clustering algorithms, and distant reading will be valuable skills for dealing with this new body of historical data.

The second talk […]

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    “I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

“I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

The journal publishing model has long been criticised for being out of touch with modern, online communication trends. In the age of rapid-fire discussion, what hope is there for sustained, productive, peer review? Andy Tattersall looks at the shortcomings and opportunities of post-publication review online and picks apart the differences between reviewing, discussing and commenting in a scholarly context.

This […]

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    What makes a successful research project blog? Forums for generating ideas fare better than sharing final results.

What makes a successful research project blog? Forums for generating ideas fare better than sharing final results.

Coordinating a research project blog has many benefits, but it can lead to some difficulties in practice. Pat Thomson reflects on the types of project blogs in her experience worked better than others. The ones aimed at developing ideas and connecting with external partners were very useful. But the presentation of core findings were a concern to some funders. Furthermore, when […]

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    Faculty Learning Communities are a positive way for libraries to engage academic staff in scholarly communication.

Faculty Learning Communities are a positive way for libraries to engage academic staff in scholarly communication.

The stakes and politics of research and scholarship are different depending on discipline, department, and institution, and as such, increasing awareness of scholarly communication is fraught with difficulty. Librarians Jennifer Bazeley and Jen Waller share their experience developing a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) in order to address the issues. Cultivating awareness of the entire scholarly communication landscape created stronger faculty advocates for change, […]

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    Storyboarding research: How to proactively plan projects, reports and articles from the outset.

Storyboarding research: How to proactively plan projects, reports and articles from the outset.

A storyboard is just a comprehensive set of rough sketches on paper to help keep a project ticking along to completion. Patrick Dunleavy is a firm supporter of this approach for research projects. The storyboard is what you build as soon as you know you have the grant award or the contract is in the bag, and the precise resources […]

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    Open science and the disciplinary culture clash – Why is it so hard to reach a consensus?

Open science and the disciplinary culture clash – Why is it so hard to reach a consensus?

When it comes down to the nitty gritty detail of what open science means for an individual researcher, the disciplinary context is key. As clear and straightforward as making research publicly available is, many questions still remain for specific disciplines. Peter Kraker reports back from a session on openness in the humanities where definitions of data, research work and research materials […]

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    From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

Scholarly and social impacts of scientific publications could be measured by various metrics, including article usage, Mendeley readership and Altmetric scores, etc. But what is the relationship amongst the different metrics? Previous studies show there is low correlation between altmetrics and citation, but how do altmetrics compare to other metrics? Xianwen Wang and his colleagues recently conducted a study to answer […]

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    Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication is not about making or breaking careers: it is about providing an opportunity to move science forward.

Replication and closer scrutiny of published findings are generally welcome in the scientific community, but questions have been raised over how replication attempts are being reported. Whilst there are certainly arguments for more friendly and cooperative tones to scientific debate, Dorothy Bishop welcomes this next chapter in rigorous debate. Reputation and career prospects will, at the end of the day, […]

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    Call to arms for shaking up social sciences relies on false premise that science alone can solve all social problems.

Call to arms for shaking up social sciences relies on false premise that science alone can solve all social problems.

A new form of ‘interdisciplinarity’ may be emerging but has so far failed to devote equal demands on the natural sciences, as well as on the social sciences. Will Davies responds to the calls for a social science shake-up by questioning the status of the social sciences in 2014 as something other than mere understudies to the natural sciences. The shared […]

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