It is difficult to see the political structure of data, because data maintains a veneer of scientistic objectivity. But data is inherently a form of politics, argues Jeffrey Alan Johnson. Data does not just allocate material things of value, it allocates moral values as well. Data producers encode a state of the world at a given time, which is […]
With funders requiring open access and researchers increasingly aware of it, now is the time for universities to make significant headway in providing a coherent plan for encouraging wider open access adoption. Neil Jacobs from Jisc provides an overview of what actions have been taken around the sector and outlines ten specific areas that institutions should consider further in order […]
A ‘contributions’ approach to impact: The influential role of research users in facilitating wider outcomes.
Research users are not passive recipients of knowledge, but engage with research from their own perspectives. Sarah Morton has been working in knowledge exchange since 2001 and has recently published a framework for assessing research impact based on contribution analysis. Here she talks about how her approach not only provides impact analysis, but helps improve knowledge exchange with a […]
Bridget Anderson writes that viewing the crisis as a ‘migration problem’ misses the full picture: namely that those stuck in Calais are a symptom of a wider problem encompassing wars on the edges of Europe, an unequal economic system and the legacy of Europe’s colonial history. One way researchers can respond is by thinking about migration as a lens as well […]
Was the REF a waste of time? Strong relationship between grant income and quality-related funding allocation.
If the funding allocated to universities on the basis of the REF is correlated to the amount of grant income universities already receive, what is the point of the output assessment process? Jon Clayden explores the relationship between grant income generated and REF-related QR funding and finds a strong correlation between the two, suggesting that the double-counting exercise is surely not the best we […]
Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.
Lucie Rychetnik and Robyn Newson were part of a research group examining the ‘real-world’ impacts of health intervention research. Using an impact assessment scoring system, they found a wide range of possible impacts. They also found local contextual and organisational factors, and unpredictable windows of opportunity were as important as the skills of individual researchers and the quality of their research.
Increasingly, in both […]
Amid mounting political and social uncertainty, institutions must evolve to support evidence-based decision-making.
Knowledge exchange is a process often discussed in vague detail in relation to research impact. Chris Cvitanovic looks at the available exchange mechanisms for marine scientists and decision-makers. Survey findings suggest that while engaging with decision-makers was important to scientists on a personal level, a range of barriers prevent this from happening. Formal recognition of engagement activities and dedicated funding and resources […]
What factors influence transparency in US local government? Population density and education levels are significant.
Increased internet access alone may not necessarily lead to higher levels of government transparency. Grichawat Lowatcharin and Charles Menifield assessed the impact of a range of factors and found that total land area, population density, percentage of minority population, educational attainment, and the council-manager form of government are all associated with higher levels of web-enabled government transparency.
This piece originally appeared on USApp.
The Internet has […]
Why did REF2014 cost three times as much as the RAE? Hint: It’s not just because of the added impact element.
The benefits of any research assessment framework should ideally outweigh the costs and burden incurred by universities and staff. Derek Sayer argues there should be cause for concern now that recent analysis shows the 2014 REF bill was three times as much as the last UK assessment exercise. The costly increase in staff time was driven by the increased importance […]
Doing things differently: By embracing the politics of Higher Education, academics can help create a better system.
With higher education in constant flux around the latest assessment exercise, to what extent are academics and administrators ‘hitting the target and missing the point’? John Turnpenny discusses the critical role of the arts and humanities and the grudging acceptance of the linear-rational model for evidence-based decision-making. He argues that by acknowledging that higher education policy is something we help create, rather than […]
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 […]
Can metrics be used responsibly? Structural conditions in Higher Ed push against expert-led, reflexive approach.
Do institutions and academics have a free choice in how they use metrics? Meera Sabaratnam argues that structural conditions in the present UK Higher Education system inhibit the responsible use of metrics. Funding volatility, rankings culture, and time constraints are just some of the issues making it highly improbable that the sector is capable of enacting the approach that the Metric […]
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 […]
Strengthening Communities with Neighborhood Data examines the role that data-based development approaches can have in shaping sound public and social policy. With a variety of case studies and a sound methodology, Susan Marie Martin writes that this is a comprehensive policy guidebook that provides a critically rich exploration of the hows and whys of data-generated policy development.
Strengthening Communities with Neighborhood Data. G. […]
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 […]
How can universities increase Green Open Access? Article deposit rates soar after direct solicitation from library.
Universities have struggled to increase article deposit rates for their institutional repositories. Regardless of citation benefits and top-down mandates, getting faculty to adjust publishing workflows does not happen overnight. At their institution, Michael Boock and Hui Zhang found that direct solicitation of author manuscripts has been the most effective method of reaching a higher deposit rate.
Authors who wish to provide open […]
Unless we change how we think about transparency, open data is unlikely to have a significant political impact at local level.
Open data and transparency have long been heralded as welcome innovations by policymakers and politicians, and the current Government has made it a priority at both a national and local level. But when it comes to the latter, how effective has it been and how much have citizens made use of it? Mark Frank argues that local authorities continued use […]
Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.
The high-profile political science study on same-sex marriage views in the U.S., now determined to be fraudulent, is the latest case exposing the need for incentive structures that make academic research open, transparent, and replicable. The U.S. study has been retracted, largely thanks to the discovery of inconsistencies in the data by an outside group. The academic community must […]