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    Rather than narrow our definition of impact, we should use metrics to explore richness and diversity of outcomes.

Rather than narrow our definition of impact, we should use metrics to explore richness and diversity of outcomes.

Impact is multi-dimensional, the routes by which impact occur are different across disciplines and sectors, and impact changes over time. Jane Tinkler argues that if institutions like HEFCE specify a narrow set of impact metrics, more harm than good would come to universities forced to limit their understanding of how research is making a difference. But qualitative and quantitative indicators continue […]

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    Book Review: Conflict in the Academy: A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals

Book Review: Conflict in the Academy: A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals

In Conflict in the Academy: A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals, Marcus Morgan and Patrick Baert yield key insights into the dark underside of academe by exploring the dynamics behind a contentious dispute, known as the ‘MacCabe Affair’, over a faculty appointment of an obscure, young scholar at Cambridge University through the framework of cultural sociology and positioning theory, […]

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    Bad apples or rotten barrels? How sociological thinking can help address financial misconduct.

Bad apples or rotten barrels? How sociological thinking can help address financial misconduct.

A key issue for financial regulators facing the misconduct scandals plaguing the banking industry is deciding whether to use a more agent-centric approach that targets individual behaviour or to implement more structural solutions aimed at wider culture. But without having a clear idea of what the culture is, it is impossible to create adequate prescriptions for improvement. Siân Lewin suggests two ideas […]

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    What will the scholarly profile page of the future look like? Provision of metadata is enabling experimentation.

What will the scholarly profile page of the future look like? Provision of metadata is enabling experimentation.

From multi-stakeholder platforms like ORCID, to commercial services like Google Scholar, academic profiles exist in a complex landscape of information flows. Lambert Heller provides an overview of the available scholarly profile pages and offers insight into their future development, which is set to be shaped by business models, technology, and available data streams. 

We’re used to easily finding researchers’ profile pages on the […]

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    The Management of Metrics: Globally agreed, unique identifiers for academic staff are a step in the right direction.

The Management of Metrics: Globally agreed, unique identifiers for academic staff are a step in the right direction.

The Metric Tide report calls for research managers and administrators to champion the use of responsible metrics within their institutions. Simon Kerridge looks at greater detail at specific institutional actions. Signing up to initiatives such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is a good start. Furthermore, by mandating unique and disambiguated identifiers for academic staff, like ORCID iDs, […]

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    The metrics dilemma: University leadership needs to get smart about their strategic choices over what counts.

The metrics dilemma: University leadership needs to get smart about their strategic choices over what counts.

The review of metrics enjoins universities not to drift with the ‘metric tide’. To do this requires a united front of strategic leadership across the sector, argues HEFCE’s Steven Hill. Rather than the inevitable claims about league table positions on website front pages, universities could offer further explanation of how the rankings relate to the distinct mission of the institution.

This is part […]

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    Book Review: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics

Book Review: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics

Reviewer Adam Oliver finds that Richard Thaler’s new book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics, covers the core concepts of behavioural economics, but finds that this book is more a ‘personal intellectual history, supplemented by stories, anecdotes and occasional reposts to past combatants’ that misses two important issues relating to suggestions for the future development of behavioural economics.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review […]

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    Using Twitter as a data source: An overview of current social media research tools

Using Twitter as a data source: An overview of current social media research tools

The popularity of social media sites and the ease at which its data is available means these platforms are increasingly becoming primary sources for social research. Wasim Ahmed presents a quick look at some of the tools available to social scientists for analysing social media data and also reflects on the limitations of the platforms and the methods used for this […]

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    The metric tide is rising: HEFCEmetrics report argues metrics should support, not supplant, expert judgement.

The metric tide is rising: HEFCEmetrics report argues metrics should support, not supplant, expert judgement.

James Wilsdon introduces the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management. The review found that the production and consumption of metrics remains contested and open to misunderstanding. Wider use of quantitative indicators, and the emergence of alternative metrics for societal impact, could support the transition to a more open, accountable and outward-facing research system. But […]

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    The queerness of political science: challenging and destabilizing the discipline’s boundaries

The queerness of political science: challenging and destabilizing the discipline’s boundaries

Key perspectives and contributions – including those from queer scholars – are, in effect, written out of the discipline of political science, argues Nicola Smith. Far from being the highly multifaceted and inclusive field that it purports itself to be, political science is presenting itself in ways that marginalise the very work that is being treated as central in other social science […]

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    Is withholding your data simply bad science, or should it fall under scientific misconduct?

Is withholding your data simply bad science, or should it fall under scientific misconduct?

A recent study sent data requests to 200 authors of economics articles where it was stated ‘data available upon request’. Most of the authors refused. What does the scientific community think about those withholding their data? Are they guilty of scientific misconduct? Nicole Janz argues that if you don’t share your data, you are breaking professional standards in research, and are […]

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    Expensive, highly-produced videos are not necessary to achieve a quality learning experience for your MOOC.

Expensive, highly-produced videos are not necessary to achieve a quality learning experience for your MOOC.

Drawing on her extensive experience developing and participating in open educational resources and online learning platforms, Lorena Barba shares why the fixation on snazzy and expensive video production might not necessarily produce better learning experiences. Despite their popularity in MOOCs, “lecture videos” have the same pitfalls as regular lectures. Students need to engage with educational concepts in various ways and […]

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    Job security for early career researchers is a significant factor in helping research make an impact.

Job security for early career researchers is a significant factor in helping research make an impact.

Doctorate holders’ careers are increasingly diverse and research funders have a strong interest in exploring how their investment has contributed to the career paths of the researchers supported and how their work benefits society. Funders are also looking to understand the challenges, bottlenecks and opportunities at different career stages in order to tailor policies and activities to researchers’ needs. Siobhan […]

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    Academic blogging in the “accelerated academy”: How to build a personal, professional and public community.

Academic blogging in the “accelerated academy”: How to build a personal, professional and public community.

As a dynamic space, a group blog can be particularly suited to the rapidly changing context of researcher development. Claire Aitchison, Susan Carter and Cally Guerin share their experiences developing a doctoral support blog, a global space for personal and professional development and for building community. Individuals and their institutions stand to benefit from blogging, they argue, but if it were to be mainstreamed, would the […]

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    The economics of attention: Is there an appropriate balance between the interests of information providers and users?

The economics of attention: Is there an appropriate balance between the interests of information providers and users?

Attention has become a critical resource for decision-making in the digital age. But differing approaches in economics present widely different understandings of the role attention plays in modern life, argue Agnès Festré and Pierre Garrouste. There are risks in confining the field to be concerned solely with information provision and noise filtering, without recognising how attention shapes problem-solving and rationality.

The “economics […]

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    ‘Integrated’ workers, committed to professional and caring responsibilities, will help transform gender imbalance.

‘Integrated’ workers, committed to professional and caring responsibilities, will help transform gender imbalance.

Meghan Froehner recently spoke to Cynthia Sanborn, the Director of the Centro de Investigación de la Universidad del Pacífico (CIUP), and Maria Balarín, an Associate Researcher at the Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE) on gender dynamics in think tanks and research positions. The researchers offered their views on issues such as overt and subtle biases, the role of care, and possible strategies for addressing […]

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