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    Nothing lasts forever: questions to ask yourself when choosing a new tool or technology for research

Nothing lasts forever: questions to ask yourself when choosing a new tool or technology for research

Academia has become increasingly reliant on third-party tools and technologies to carry out many of the processes throughout the research lifecycle. But there are genuine concerns about the sustainability of some of these tools and what the implications would be for users in the event they were discontinued. Andy Tattersall suggests a series of straightforward questions researchers should ask […]

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    r/ip: why science communicators should mourn the loss of reddit’s Ask Me Anything series

r/ip: why science communicators should mourn the loss of reddit’s Ask Me Anything series

Social news website reddit is home to one of the world’s largest online science communities, r/science. The community ran a popular Ask Me Anything Q&A series that saw hundreds of academics quizzed on their area of expertise by an inquisitive online audience. However, following reddit’s decision to rely solely on its algorithm to surface content to its users, the […]

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    Diary of an app! Will using mobile devices in qualitative research become the norm?

Diary of an app! Will using mobile devices in qualitative research become the norm?

Researchers have been asking participants to record their experiences and thoughts in traditional, paper-based diaries for many years. But the advent of digital technologies, especially apps for mobile devices, has encouraged some to ask whether these could become the new norm for capturing diary-based data for qualitative research. Laura Radcliffe and Leighann Spencer have pioneered the use of diary […]

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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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    Book Review: Cultural Heritage Infrastructures in Digital Humanities edited by Agiatis Benardou, Erik Champion, Costis Dallas and Lorna M. Hughes

Book Review: Cultural Heritage Infrastructures in Digital Humanities edited by Agiatis Benardou, Erik Champion, Costis Dallas and Lorna M. Hughes

In Cultural Heritage Infrastructures in Digital Humanities, editors Agiatis Benardou, Erik Champion, Costis Dallas and Lorna M. Hughes offer a volume that examines the impact that emergent digital research infrastructures in the humanities have had on the academy and the wider public. Anyone concerned with the future of digital humanities research will find much to ponder in this timely and important […]

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    Tautology, antithesis, rallying cry, or business model? “Open science” is open to interpretation

Tautology, antithesis, rallying cry, or business model? “Open science” is open to interpretation

The term “open science” is often deployed in the scholarly discourse without much thought about its meaning and use. Benedikt Fecher and Tony Ross-Hellauer unpack the term and find it to be understood in a variety of ways; as a new framework for what has always been expected of science, as a political slogan to motivate change, as a […]

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The scholarly commons must be developed on public standards

Access to scholarship is becoming ever more dependent on one’s (or one’s institution’s) financial means. Björn Brembs and Guy Geltner argue that one solution to these growing problems is for scholarship to have open, public standards; both for its Web 1.0 tasks, like reading, writing, and citing, but also, crucially, for its Web 2.0 functionalities too. Scholarship is a […]

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    Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

The case for open data is increasingly inarguable. Improved data practice can help to address concerns about reproducibility and research integrity, reducing fraud and improving patient outcomes, for example. Research also shows good data practice can lead to improved productivity and increased citations. However, as Grace Baynes reports, recent survey data shows that while the research community recognises the […]

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    The Radical Open Access Collective: building alliances for a progressive, scholar-led commons

The Radical Open Access Collective: building alliances for a progressive, scholar-led commons

The Radical Open Access Collective launched its new website earlier this week. Open access has always been about more than just improving access to research, and Janneke Adema and Samuel A. Moore here highlight what the Radical OA Collective can offer. A focus on experimentation with new forms of publishing and authorship; the promotion of traditionally underrepresented cultures, languages, […]

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    The next stage of SocArXiv’s development: bringing greater transparency and efficiency to the peer review process

The next stage of SocArXiv’s development: bringing greater transparency and efficiency to the peer review process

Almost 1,500 papers have been uploaded to SocArXiv since its launch last year. Up to now the platform has operated alongside the peer-review journal system rather than seriously disrupting it. Looking ahead to the next stage of its development, Philip Cohen considers how SocArXiv might challenge the peer review system to be more efficient and transparent, firstly by confronting […]

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    Open-source, commercial, non-profit, for-profit: what power have you got?

Open-source, commercial, non-profit, for-profit: what power have you got?

A previous Impact Blog post expressed the view that scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open but non-profit too. Mark Hahnel responds to that contention, highlighting the technical and financial considerations that render many of the academic-led, grant-funded initiatives unsustainable. Moreover, the non-profit vs. for-profit dichotomy itself may be too simplistic; non-profit is not synonymous with good, and for-profit is not […]

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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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    New media, familiar dynamics: academic hierarchies influence academics’ following behaviour on Twitter

New media, familiar dynamics: academic hierarchies influence academics’ following behaviour on Twitter

For what reasons do academics follow one another on Twitter? Robert Jäschke, Stephanie B. Linek and Christian P. Hoffmann analysed the Twitter activity of computer scientists and found that while the quality of information provided by a Twitter account is a key motive for following academic colleagues, there is also evidence of a career planning motive. As well as […]

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Starter tips on sharing data and analysis scripts

Researchers are increasingly encouraged to make their data openly accessible and usable for others. To early-career researchers in particular, this can seem daunting, with different considerations when posting data publicly rather than retaining it solely for internal use. Katherine Wood has compiled a short open data starter guide to make the process less overwhelming and help researchers do their bit […]

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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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    New digital methods can be used to analyse linguistic terms and better understand Reddit communities

New digital methods can be used to analyse linguistic terms and better understand Reddit communities

Reddit is now the fourth most visited website in the US. Yet, surprisingly, given its position as an extremely large community, it has been the subject of relatively little research. Tim Squirrell has developed methods of studying the genealogy, spread, and use of particular words on Reddit, as demonstrated by this case study of The_Donald, the largest pro-Trump community […]

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    Book Review: Hackerspaces: Making the Maker Movement by Sarah R. Davies

Book Review: Hackerspaces: Making the Maker Movement by Sarah R. Davies

In Hackerspaces: Making the Maker Movement, Sarah R. Davies examines the increasingly high profile of hacking and making, drawing on visits to hackerspaces and interviews with those involved in them. Attending to the multiple strands of hacking and questions regarding the commodification of the “hacker spirit” as well as the movement’s diversity, this is an engagingly written book that addresses readers beyond a […]

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    Book Review: Communicating Your Research With Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video by Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams

Book Review: Communicating Your Research With Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video by Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams

With Communicating Your Research with Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video, authors Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams offer a definitive guide to communicating research using different social media tools. Reflecting on the utility of social media to all facets of the research landscape and lifecycle, this is a valuable book that will encourage readers to find […]

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