Clickbait and impact: how academia has been hacked

It has become increasingly clear that prevailing academic incentive structures have a potentially damaging and distorting effect on the nature of academic debates. Portia Roelofs and Max Gallien use the example of a controversial recent journal publication to illustrate how deliberately provocative articles have the capacity to hack academia, to privilege clicks and attention over rigour in research. This […]

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    Amidst criticism of the peer review process, the valuable contributions of reviewers should be defended

Amidst criticism of the peer review process, the valuable contributions of reviewers should be defended

As flaws in the peer review process are highlighted and calls for reform become more frequent, it may be tempting for some to denigrate and dismiss the contributions of the reviewers themselves. Maxine David has been witness to this and here makes an appeal to give space to recognise those who offer their time and expertise voluntarily and generously.

It […]

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    What are researchers’ expectations and experiences of the peer review process? Findings from recent research

What are researchers’ expectations and experiences of the peer review process? Findings from recent research

What do researchers expect of the peer review process? And do their experiences deliver on these expectations? Elaine Devine reports on the findings of recent research that sought answers to these questions, to be used to inform improved training, support resources, and guidelines. Researchers felt strongly that peer review should, and mostly does, improve the quality of research articles; […]

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    Open peer review: bringing transparency, accountability, and inclusivity to the peer review process

Open peer review: bringing transparency, accountability, and inclusivity to the peer review process

Open peer review is moving into the mainstream, but it is often poorly understood and surveys of researcher attitudes show important barriers to implementation. Tony Ross-Hellauer provides an overview of work conducted as part of an OpenAIRE2020 project to offer clarity on OPR, and issues an open call to publishers and researchers interested in OPR to come together to […]

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    Addressing ethical issues in peer review – new guidelines available from COPE

Addressing ethical issues in peer review – new guidelines available from COPE

Ethical issues related to the peer review process are increasingly complex and can be tricky to navigate and resolve. This Peer Review Week 2017, COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics) released a revised, updated version of its guidelines for editors, reviewers, and would-be reviewers. These expanded resources include more information for early-career researchers, as well as addressing some of […]

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    We have the technology to save peer review – now it is up to our communities to implement it

We have the technology to save peer review – now it is up to our communities to implement it

Today marks the beginning of Peer Review Week 2017. Here on the Impact Blog, we’ll be featuring posts covering a variety of perspectives on and issues relating to peer review, and which also consider this year’s theme of “Transparency”. To kick things off, Jon Tennant, Daniel Graziotin and Sarah Kearns consider what can be done to address the various […]

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    Post-publication blues: how getting published can be the beginning and not the end of your publication woes

Post-publication blues: how getting published can be the beginning and not the end of your publication woes

To many authors, the point of publication can feel like the culmination of a process; the moment one’s troubles are over. But for many others, it can mark the start of a new set of wholly unanticipated problems. Elizabeth Gadd discusses some of the challenges she has faced after having her own papers published; from a lack of certainty about […]

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    Journal policies that encourage data sharing prove extremely effective

Journal policies that encourage data sharing prove extremely effective

There is currently little incentive for researchers to share their data. But what if it was enough for journals to simply ask authors to make their data available? Michèle B. Nuijten reports on a recent study that found journal policies that encourage data sharing to be extremely effective, with a steep increase in the percentage of articles with open […]

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    There are new frontiers for academic publishing but scholarly associations and faculty must seize the opportunities

There are new frontiers for academic publishing but scholarly associations and faculty must seize the opportunities

Scholarly publishing faces daunting challenges. Rising journal costs have seen many universities have to make strategic cuts to library collections. To Kyle Siler, the digital world has opened new niches and frontiers for academic publishing, offering many innovative and diverse possibilities. But opportunities must be grasped by scientific professional associations that have arguably lost sight of ideals of accessibility […]

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    Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the “open” label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not […]

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    Increasingly collaborative researcher behaviour is the real threat to the resilient academic publishing sector

Increasingly collaborative researcher behaviour is the real threat to the resilient academic publishing sector

Traditional academic publishing has been rumoured to be imperilled for decades now. Despite continued criticism over pricing and a growing open access movement, a number of recent reports point to the sector’s resilience. Francis Dodds suggests this is partly attributable to the adaptability of academic publishers but also highlights attitudes of researchers surprisingly committed to the status quo as […]

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    The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015

The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015

Using open data and open services, a large-scale study of the state of open and free access has found both the number and proportion of articles freely available to the public is growing, having reached 45% of the literature published in 2015. Juan Pablo Alperin reveals more about this study and suggests we are at the beginning of a […]

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Seven functionalities the scholarly literature should have

Some of the most basic functionalities to be expected of a digital object continue to elude scholarly articles, making the literature much less useful than it could be. Björn Brembs has compiled a short list of seven such functionalities that academic publishers looking to modernise their operations might invest in; from unencumbered access and improved social components, to dynamic […]

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    “A thesis is written for examiners, an academic book for scholars in general” – the basics of writing a book from your PhD

“A thesis is written for examiners, an academic book for scholars in general” – the basics of writing a book from your PhD

Researchers who have recently completed a PhD will inevitably be considering what route to take to publication. Terry Clague outlines some of the various options, offering an insight into what questions a publisher might ask when assessing a proposal for a research book. Would-be book authors are encouraged to be mindful of the significant and ongoing changes to the […]

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    Open Abstracts: a new peer review feature that helps scholars develop connections and encourages transdisciplinarity

Open Abstracts: a new peer review feature that helps scholars develop connections and encourages transdisciplinarity

The peer review process has been subjected to a steady stream of criticism in recent years. This has driven certain innovations, from revealing the content of the process post-publication, to crowdsourcing initiatives. Patrick Riechert and Frédéric Dubois introduce a new peer review feature that is currently being piloted on the journal, Internet Policy Review. Authors are invited to submit […]

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    Writing a coherent integrative chapter is crucial for a successful PhD by publication

Writing a coherent integrative chapter is crucial for a successful PhD by publication

In a recent Impact Blog post, Jørgen Carling outlined the reasons why he feels the PhD by publication is a good model for doctoral candidates to choose. Here, prompted by the relative scarcity of supporting resources available, Pirjo Nikander and Nelli Piattoeva offer advice for any prospective PhD-by-publication candidates looking to plan the writing of their integrative chapter. Crucial […]

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    Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

It is increasingly common for researchers to make their data freely available. This is often a requirement of funding agencies but also consistent with the principles of open science, according to which all research data should be shared and made available for reuse. Once data is reused, the researchers who have provided access to it should be acknowledged for […]

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    The new configuration of metrics, rules, and guidelines creates a disturbing ambiguity in academia

The new configuration of metrics, rules, and guidelines creates a disturbing ambiguity in academia

Much of academia has become increasingly influenced by metrics and a set of metrical practices. However, few have totally understood the massive wave of conflicting rules and guidelines that are necessary in order to stabilise these metrical practices. Peter Dahler-Larsen, using examples from his own experiences in Denmark, explains how these multiple, cross-cutting rules have created a disturbing ambiguity […]

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What does the future hold for academic books?

Between August 2014 and September 2016, the Academic Book of the Future Project, initiated by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Library, explored the current and future status of the traditional academic monograph. Marilyn Deegan, one of the co-investigators on the project and author of the project report, reflects on its findings, welcoming them as an opportunity to […]

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    Me, myself, and I: self-citation rates are higher in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures

Me, myself, and I: self-citation rates are higher in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures

Citing your own work when publishing a paper may be seen as a way of promoting yourself in academia, as how frequently a paper is cited is often viewed as a measure of its importance. Previous studies have shown that male authors are more likely than their female counterparts to cite themselves, arguably one of the reasons men continue […]

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