• bubble
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    Overhyped and concentrated investments in research funding are leading to unsustainable science bubbles.

Overhyped and concentrated investments in research funding are leading to unsustainable science bubbles.

David Budtz Pedersen examines how the scientific market exhibits bubble behaviour similar to that of financial markets. Taking as an example the overwhelming investments in neuroscience, such high expectations may actually drain the research system from resources and new ideas. In the end the permanent competition for funding and the lack of ‘risk diversification’, might generate a climate in which citizens and […]

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    Proof over promise: Moving citation metric systems beyond journal impact towards a career impact approach.

Proof over promise: Moving citation metric systems beyond journal impact towards a career impact approach.

Publishing in a high-impact journal carries the implicit promise that the article will also be highly cited. But the proof of this logic remains unsubstantiated. By combining more accurate citation metrics, like the hIa-index and the citation-per-author-per-year metric, Anne-Wil Harzing and Wilfred Mijnhardt provide a more substantial alternative to the narrow journal-based metric. This combined metric provides a more reliable comparison between […]

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    Is Digital Humanities a collaborative discipline? Joint-authorship publication patterns clash with defining narrative

Is Digital Humanities a collaborative discipline? Joint-authorship publication patterns clash with defining narrative

As an emerging discipline still defining itself, Digital Humanities offers an ideal opportunity to reflect on its broader disciplinary narratives. Julianne Nyhan and Oliver Duke-Williams examined its collaborative nature through the lens of publication patterns in some of its core journals. They found predominately single-authored papers were published during the time-frames, suggesting individual scholarship is still playing a large role. But this may be a case where […]

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    Book Review: Sisters in the Statehouse: Black Women and Legislative Decision Making by Nadia E. Brown

Book Review: Sisters in the Statehouse: Black Women and Legislative Decision Making by Nadia E. Brown

In 2013, out of 7,776 female state legislators serving across the USA, 364 are women of colour; of these 239 are African American women. Linking personal narratives to political behavior, Nadia E. Brown elicits the feminist life histories of African American women legislators to understand how their experiences with racism and sexism have influenced their legislative decision-making and policy preferences. Muireann O’Dwyer is enthusiastic […]

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    Scientific Misbehavior in Economics: Unacceptable research practice linked to perceived pressure to publish.

Scientific Misbehavior in Economics: Unacceptable research practice linked to perceived pressure to publish.

Upholding research integrity depends on our ability to understand the extent of misconduct. Sarah Necker describes her landmark study on economists’ research norms and practices. Fabrication, falsification and plagiarism are widely considered to be unjustifiable, but misbehaviour is still prevalent. For example, 1-3% of economists surveyed admit that they have accepted or offered gifts, money, or sex in exchange for […]

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    The Philosophy of Data Science (series) – Rob Kitchin: “Big data should complement small data, not replace them.”

The Philosophy of Data Science (series) – Rob Kitchin: “Big data should complement small data, not replace them.”

Over the coming weeks we will be featuring a series of interviews conducted by Mark Carrigan on the nature of ‘big data’ and the opportunities and challenges presented for scholarship with its growing influence. In this first interview, Rob Kitchin elaborates on the specific characteristics of big data, the hype and hubris surrounding its advent, and the distinction between data-driven science and empiricism.

What […]

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    The Impact of Social Sciences Project by the numbers: encouraging real-time impact recording.

The Impact of Social Sciences Project by the numbers: encouraging real-time impact recording.

The Impact of Social Sciences blog emerged from a three-year research project devoted to a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the complexity of academic impact. To not let any impact-relevant knowledge dissolve away, Jane Tinkler takes a look back at the outputs, outcomes and connections made throughout the research process. Whilst these figures help to establish a real-time understanding of academic […]

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    Publicly available data from Twitter is public evidence and does not necessarily constitute an “ethical dilemma”.

Publicly available data from Twitter is public evidence and does not necessarily constitute an “ethical dilemma”.

An article in Scientific American suggests further ethical considerations should be made for research derived from Twitter data. Ernesto Priego questions first the extent to which Twitter will actually release all of its valuable data and also argues archiving and disseminating information from Twitter and other public archives does not have to be cause for an “ethical dilemma” so long […]

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    The gap between academics and practitioners is a reflection of the underlying tensions of academic belonging.

The gap between academics and practitioners is a reflection of the underlying tensions of academic belonging.

Jean M. Bartunek and Sara L. Rynes note the recent spike in journal articles across management scholarship seeking to address the divide between academics and practitioners. Whilst there remains relatively little empirical research focused on the issue of a gap, significant attention has been placed on understanding the variety of reasons for the divide. But what is being written […]

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    What can be done to prevent the proliferation of errors in academic publications?

What can be done to prevent the proliferation of errors in academic publications?

Every now and again a paper is published on the number of errors made in academic articles.  These papers document the frequency of conceptual errors, factual errors, errors in abstracts, errors in quotations, and errors in reference lists. James Hartley reports that the data are alarming, but suggests a possible way of reducing them. Perhaps in future there might be […]

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    Beyond ‘Butler Impact’: Global debate on drug policy proves research impact is more than just service delivery.

Beyond ‘Butler Impact’: Global debate on drug policy proves research impact is more than just service delivery.

An expert report on the economics of drug policy has been written to help governments around the world limit the damage of drug trade. Nicholas Kitchen reflects on how to determine the impact of such an interdisciplinary and multifaceted academic coordination effort. As universities look for neat ways to codify impact, service delivery to the UK government has taken centre stage […]

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    The internationalisation of academic publishing points to distinctly different audiences for scholarly books.

The internationalisation of academic publishing points to distinctly different audiences for scholarly books.

The importance of book publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities may be widely accepted, but what is the evidence of their impact? Frederik Verleysen and Tim Engels discuss the ways in which specific publications can have broad societal impact by catering to different audiences. Their recent study on the internationalisation of scholarly book publishing points to the broad spectrum of […]

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    ‘Big data’ from online market interactions offer a rich opportunity to study human nature and economic behaviour.

‘Big data’ from online market interactions offer a rich opportunity to study human nature and economic behaviour.

Data on the interactions between individuals on the Internet are often viewed as a potential threat to privacy or freedom of expression. As Wojtek Przepiorka writes, however, the ‘big data’ produced by online transactions and feedback processes on websites such as eBay can also be an invaluable resource for academics and policy-makers. He argues that subjecting this data to formal study […]

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    Book Review: Introducing Qualitative Research: A Student’s Guide, 2nd Edition, by Rose Barbour

Book Review: Introducing Qualitative Research: A Student’s Guide, 2nd Edition, by Rose Barbour

In this book, Rose Barbour sets out to provide a clear, user-friendly introduction to the craft of doing qualitative research. The author’s writing style and the inclusion of numerous anecdotes from her own research, simultaneously demystify qualitative research whilst reiterating the expertise and skill which researchers must possess, writes Christina Dobson. Christina recommends this book to anyone undertaking qualitative research, postgraduate students in particular.

This review originally […]

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    What do policymakers want from researchers? Blogs, elevator pitches and good old fashioned press mentions.

What do policymakers want from researchers? Blogs, elevator pitches and good old fashioned press mentions.

Duncan Green provides short and sweet translations of some of the key findings from a recent survey looking at how US policymakers use and value international studies research. The findings point to the importance of blogging, but also to the sustained influence of traditional print media. The future of evidence-informed networks may require a more engaged look at what policymakers […]

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The death of the theorist and the emergence of data and algorithms in digital social research.

Computer software and data-processing algorithms are becoming an everyday part of Higher Education. How might this be affecting research in the social sciences and the formation of the professional identities of academics? Ben Williamson argues that these are important challenges for social science researchers in HE, asking us to consider how digital devices and infrastructures might be shaping our professional […]

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The case for greater transparency in experimental and social science research

Proving public value can be an especially difficult task when high-profile cases of fraud in social science disciplines emerge. Rose McDermott makes the case for greater transparency in both the production and review of social science to restore the legitimacy of the scientific endeavour. While no one practice can eliminate fraud, greater transparency can make it both more difficult to […]

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The sociology of (anti)science: How the social sciences can improve public trust in scientific evidence

More public discussion on science alone is unlikely to convince people to productively engage in scientific discussions. Zuleyka Zevallos explores the sociology of beliefs, values and attitudes and calls for wider reflexive critical thinking on how scientists understand science and the public. The social sciences in particular are well-poised to improve the public’s trust in science as they are focused on the influence […]

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