2017 in review: top posts of the year

As 2017 nears its end and before our focus is drawn to whatever the new year might have in store, now is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the last twelve months on the Impact Blog. Editor Kieran Booluck reports on another year in which our readership has grown, and also shares a selection of the […]

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    2017 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic writing

2017 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic writing

“Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles
Before having your paper accepted for publication you’ll almost certainly be required to revise it at least once. For less experienced authors this may not feel so straightforward. Deborah Lupton has compiled a list of tips for authors who have been asked […]

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    Writing a PhD in your second language: seven reasons you’re doing great and five ways to do even better

Writing a PhD in your second language: seven reasons you’re doing great and five ways to do even better

For those PhD students for whom English is not their first language, writing a thesis can be a daunting task and a source of some anxiety too. Katherine Firth has worked with many of these students and as well as offering reasons why they should feel reassured, also provides a short list of simple pointers to help improve their skills. […]

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    The crumbling façade: my experience working for an essay mill

The crumbling façade: my experience working for an essay mill

According to a recent UK Government-backed review, academics are topping up their earnings by writing for “essay mill” sites which help students to cheat in their assignments. S. A. Mills was one of those academics and recounts the experience here; offering an insight into the allure of such opportunities for those either out of work or in precarious positions, as […]

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    Michael McQuarrie on writing for blogs: “the most utility comes from allowing me to think through a problem that is bugging me and then publish something about the result”

Michael McQuarrie on writing for blogs: “the most utility comes from allowing me to think through a problem that is bugging me and then publish something about the result”

In the wake of Donald Trump’s surprise election victory one year ago, LSE Sociology Associate Professor, Michael McQuarrie wrote on the regional nature of Trump’s win. His blog post, “Trump and the Revolt of the Rust Belt”, has been viewed over 35,000 times and forms the basis of a new article in the British Journal of Sociology. Chris Gilson, Managing Editor of the LSE USA Politics […]

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    Against “reductionism”: envisioning each piece of writing in its own right, not as a version of something else

Against “reductionism”: envisioning each piece of writing in its own right, not as a version of something else

It’s not uncommon for authors to be asked to submit a shortened version of a research article or piece of writing. This, says Thomas Basbøll, is too often looked upon as a problem of “reduction”, of pruning a longer text. Rather, the enormous surplus of knowledge that the longer text demonstrates the author has is a material resource for […]

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Materiality of Research: Without End: Documents of Research

What are the parameters of the academic document? And how can its myriad forms deepen and shape the process of being in research? Ahead of upcoming postgraduate symposium Without End: Documents of Research (University of Northampton, 16 February 2018), Meghann Hillier-Broadley and Francis Blore reflect on the generative potential of the various fragments – from post-it notes to notebooks to highlighted texts – that form the material substances inspiring […]

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    New web services are helping authors make data-driven decisions when choosing which journal to submit to

New web services are helping authors make data-driven decisions when choosing which journal to submit to

With more than 34,000 active scholarly peer-reviewed journals, how do authors choose which one to submit to? Amy Forrester, Bo-Christer Björk and Carol Tenopir liken this process to a long-term investment decision, with access to critical information on a variety of factors being imperative. A new generation of web tools and services can help authors to find data on journals […]

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    Book Review: Crumpled Paper Boat: Experiments in Ethnographic Writing edited by Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean

Book Review: Crumpled Paper Boat: Experiments in Ethnographic Writing edited by Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean

In Crumpled Paper Boat: Experiments in Ethnographic Writing, editors Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean offer a collection that seeks to open up the possibilities for ethnographic research by approaching writing as a “material adventure”. As the volume grapples with longstanding questions regarding the ethical challenges of capturing one’s subjects in language, Fawzia Haeri Mazanderani nonetheless finds this a moving reminder of the power of words to enable entry […]

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    Book Review: The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things by Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener

Book Review: The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things by Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener

In The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things, Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener offer an experimental co-memoir that blurs, unhooks and reweaves the relationship between “academic” and “creative” writing, while also disturbing traditional divisions between professional and personal life. The book succeeds in bringing emotion and empathy to academic writing, writes Vanessa Longden, and prompts reflection on personal practice.
This […]

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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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    Towards more integrative research practices: introducing Open Walked Event-based Experimentations

Towards more integrative research practices: introducing Open Walked Event-based Experimentations

In recent years, many academics have expressed their dissatisfaction or disillusionment with academia. Some have tired of the “publish or perish” game, while others have grown bored of traditional practices of academic writing and conference attendance. To address this problem, François-Xavier de Vaujany and Laetitia Vitaud present a new research method: Open Walked Event-based Experimentations. Key to OWEE is spending […]

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    Collaborative researcher behaviour has not (yet) increased in response to incentive regimes’ performance measures

Collaborative researcher behaviour has not (yet) increased in response to incentive regimes’ performance measures

A somewhat cynical view of researcher motivations suggests that, when faced with new quantitative performance measures as part of their local incentive regimes, researchers will quickly modify their behaviours in an effort to optimise their own performance. Charlotte Wien, Bertil F. Dorch and Asger Væring Larsen set about testing this notion, looking more closely at how their own Danish […]

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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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    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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    “Writing sprints” can facilitate collaboration and encourage new ways of thinking about academic writing

“Writing sprints” can facilitate collaboration and encourage new ways of thinking about academic writing

Claire Taylor and Niamh Thornton describe their experience of hosting a “writing sprint”, a time-limited exercise in which academics from many disciplines and from all over the world were brought together virtually to produce an academic article. Despite certain challenges, the writing sprint proved a great way of facilitating collaborations and providing opportunities for reflections on the process of […]

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    A PhD by publication allows you to write for real and varied audiences, inviting intellectual exchanges that benefit your research

A PhD by publication allows you to write for real and varied audiences, inviting intellectual exchanges that benefit your research

A PhD by publication requires doctoral candidates to submit a set of papers for peer-reviewed journals plus an integrating chapter, rather than the more traditional doctoral dissertation. This remains a less common, sometimes frowned-upon model, but Jørgen Carling outlines eight reasons why a PhD by publication might be a good option. It allows you to write for real, varied […]

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    So you’ve decided to blog? These are the things you should write about

So you’ve decided to blog? These are the things you should write about

The centuries-old tradition of writing for advocacy is continued into the digital era by blogging. But what should you be writing about? As part of a series previewing their new book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams consider the various different types of blog posts and how each might be used by academics.

Blogging has become ubiquitous […]

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    A number of freely available tools can help you improve your literature review routine and stay on top of published research

A number of freely available tools can help you improve your literature review routine and stay on top of published research

The sheer proliferation of newly published research articles can make staying on top of the literature a daunting, time-consuming task. Moreover, not being a deadline-driven activity, it can also fall down lists of priorities and be difficult to integrate into the everyday routine. Erzsébet Czifra-Tóth and Jon Tennant have put together a short sequence of steps and flagged a […]

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