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    Book Review: How to be an Academic Superhero: Establishing and Sustaining a Successful Career in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities by Iain Hay

Book Review: How to be an Academic Superhero: Establishing and Sustaining a Successful Career in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities by Iain Hay

In How to be an Academic Superhero: Establishing and Sustaining a Successful Career in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Iain Hay offers a guide to how early-career academics can develop their careers while meeting the ever-growing expectations of universities. While the book does not overtly challenge the institutional demand for scholars to be “academic superheroes” and occasionally offers contradictory advice, Iván […]

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    Does not compute: why I’m proposing a moratorium on academics’ use of the term “outputs”

Does not compute: why I’m proposing a moratorium on academics’ use of the term “outputs”

The word “outputs” is now ubiquitous in UK academia, particularly in a REF context that requires authors to think of their publications in such terms. To Kirsten Bell this is jarring, with a term previously more commonly associated with the language of computing or economics, where outputs are measured and monetised, clearly not suitable to academia. It’s ultimately ideas […]

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    Access then impact: using the media as a shortcut to policymakers

Access then impact: using the media as a shortcut to policymakers

As the value of research with impact increases, so too does the importance of first gaining access to policymakers and other persons of influence. One shortcut to doing this is through increased media coverage. Leigh Marshall explains how academics can give their research the best possible chance of being seen and read by policymakers; including by developing close relationships […]

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    “Cutting through”: overcoming the barriers to academic engagement with policy processes

“Cutting through”: overcoming the barriers to academic engagement with policy processes

A lack of access and poor communication are often cited as reasons why academic research is not widely used by policymakers. But what about the challenges for researchers engaging with decision-makers such as parliaments? Lindsay Walker, Lindsey Pike, Marsha Wood and Hannah Durrant have surveyed more than 400 research professionals and identified some clear barriers, with heavy workloads and […]

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    Book Review: The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education edited by Deborah Lupton, Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson

Book Review: The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education edited by Deborah Lupton, Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson

Eschewing the polarising perspectives that often characterise discussions of digital technologies in academia, The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education, edited by Deborah Lupton, Inger Mewburn and Pat Thomson, offers an insightful and diverse take on the digital landscape in higher education, covering topics such as MOOCs, “flipped classrooms” and academic blogging. Keeping the human impact of these technologies firmly in […]

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    False investigators and coercive citation are widespread in academic research

False investigators and coercive citation are widespread in academic research

A recent study has revealed widespread unethical behaviour in academic research. Allen Wilhite focuses on two activities in particular; the addition to funding proposals of investigators not expected to contribute to the research, and editors who coerce authors to add citations to manuscripts even though those citations were not part of the scholars’ reference material. Research institutions, funders, rankings bodies, and […]

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statcheck – a spellchecker for statistics

A study has revealed a high prevalence of inconsistencies in reported statistical test results. Such inconsistencies make results unreliable, as they become “irreproducible”, and ultimately affect the level of trust in scientific reporting. statcheck is a free, open-source tool that automatically extracts reported statistical results from papers and recalculates p-values. Following an investigation into its accuracy, Michèle B. Nuijten […]

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    Science community blogs: recognising value and measuring reach

Science community blogs: recognising value and measuring reach

Blogs have evolved into an established academic genre and a valuable forum for alternative journalism and public education. Manu Saunders draws a distinction between science communication blogs and science community blogs, with the latter offering academics the opportunity to strengthen writing skills and develop new collaborations, while also being a source of advice and mentorship for students, women, and […]

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    “Publishing is not just about technology, it is foremost about the academic communities it supports.” The evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five

“Publishing is not just about technology, it is foremost about the academic communities it supports.” The evolution of the megajournal as PeerJ turns five

As the “megajournal” has become more familiar as a concept, the term itself has come to feel more nebulous and limiting. Digital technology has enabled a shift both in the scope of published research and also in who can access it. But publishing is not just about the technology, it is foremost about the academic communities it supports. Jason […]

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    All journals should have a policy defining authorship – here’s what to include

All journals should have a policy defining authorship – here’s what to include

Scientific research papers with large numbers of authors have become more commonplace, increasing the likelihood of authorship disputes. Danielle Padula, Theresa Somerville and Ben Mudrak emphasise the importance of journals clearly defining and communicating authorship criteria to researchers. As well as having a policy for inclusion, journals should also indicate unethical authorship practices, clarify the order of authors at […]

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    New research must be better reported, the future of society depends on it

New research must be better reported, the future of society depends on it

Academics looking to communicate the findings and value of their research to wider audiences are increasingly going through the media to do so. But, argues Andy Tattersall, poor or incomplete reporting can undermine respect for experts by misrepresenting research, especially by trivialising or sensationalising it, or publishing under inappropriate headlines and with cherry-picked statistics. Proper and accurate communication of […]

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    “Context matters”: a framework to help connect knowledge with policy in government institutions

“Context matters”: a framework to help connect knowledge with policy in government institutions

Researchers trying to use the knowledge they’ve produced to inform public policy are often warned of the importance of context to policy decisions. But what exactly does “context” mean? Leandro Echt introduces a new framework that can help researchers develop a better understanding of the various different contexts operating within institutions, and critically identify those points where policy change […]

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    Recognising interdisciplinary expertise: is it time we established the integration and implementation sciences?

Recognising interdisciplinary expertise: is it time we established the integration and implementation sciences?

Embedding interdisciplinarity into the academic mainstream has proved a constant challenge. Gabriele Bammer asks whether it might help to define the relevant expertise as a new discipline, one that recognises important skills such as the ability to combine knowledge from different disciplines, determine which disciplines and stakeholders have valuable perspectives, examine how elements of problems are interconnected, assess the […]

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Why we should not ignore interdisciplinarity’s critics

Amidst the push from universities and funding agencies for increased interdisciplinary research, interdisciplinarity has also been the subject of a number of critiques in recent years. Rick Szostak believes many such critiques to be misguided and focused on research that is at best multidisciplinary and at worst produces no useful results; work that should not be taken as representative […]

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    What 10 years of producing podcasts with social scientists has taught me

What 10 years of producing podcasts with social scientists has taught me

Last year, The Economist proclaimed the podcast had come of age. It’s never been easier to create, edit, and upload a podcast and an increasing number of academics are using it to showcase and share their research. Christine Garrington explains why podcasting is such a powerful and impactful tool for researchers, and also offers some pointers to those looking to start […]

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    Policy Fellowships Programme: developing enduring relationships between academia and policymakers

Policy Fellowships Programme: developing enduring relationships between academia and policymakers

Having an impact on policy is an important part of demonstrating the wider contribution of academic work and expertise. The Policy Fellowships Programme was set up as part of a wider commitment to find increased and better ways for scientific expertise and evidence to be considered in public policy. Nicola Buckley and Charlotte Sausman explain the background to the programme, […]

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    The business of impact: academic reward and incentive cultures continue to stifle relationships between business and management researchers and society

The business of impact: academic reward and incentive cultures continue to stifle relationships between business and management researchers and society

With the Autumn Budget due on 22 November, together with an industrial strategy white paper, uncertainties remain over what path the UK economy will take post-Brexit. The government has made clear its plan to leverage the nation’s research strengths to meet the needs of business and society. But new research from Mattia Fosci and Rob Johnson suggests that academic […]

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