Across the globe, there are more than four thousand policy institutes or think tanks that research or advocate for economic and social development. Yet the relationship between these organizations and the policies they influence is not well understood. How Think Tanks Shape Social Development Policies examines case studies drawn from a range of political and economic systems worldwide to provide a […]
‘Robbins Rebooted’ details Labour’s approach to boosting technical skills and regional growth through higher education
Shadow Higher Education Minister Liam Byrne MP has released Robbins Rebooted, a pamphlet on the importance of higher education to the UK’s national life and economic future. Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) welcomes the pamphlet as a clear articulation of Labour’s vision for maintaining a world-class higher education sector, even if ambiguity remains over hard figures and clear […]
Lord Heseltine has called to question the UK government’s approach to counting non-EU students in its net immigration figures and has argued instead that foreign students should be excluded from government plans to cut net immigration to the UK. Higher Education is a thriving sector largely due to the diverse student body to which it seek to cater. Increasingly restricted immigration […]
Impact Round-Up 9th August: Research recommendations, open data outcomes, and keeping open access simple.
Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Jennifer Lin at PLOS announced an exciting new recommendations feature to be implemented across the PLOS journals in Diving into the haystack to make more hay? at the PLOS Tech Blog. Linking up with figshare, the Related Content tab on […]
Capturing the value of university-business collaboration in education requires flexible approach to measurement tools
Co-operation between businesses and universities is now firmly on the agenda. However, co-operation in the field of education plays something of a runner-up to co-operation in the field of research, particularly when it comes to valuing and measuring the outcomes of this. Adrian Healy recently led an exploratory study for the European Commission’s Directorate General of Education and Culture, examining […]
Patenting of life-saving drugs has created a global health crisis where human life has become a commercial commodity.
Millions of people—mostly in developing countries—lack access to life-saving drugs. Righting this imbalance is among the most important challenges of global public health of this century, argues Akansha Mehta. There is scant evidence to prove that frameworks for intellectual property rights and patent protection have benefited research, development and innovation in developing countries. When the laws of trade and commerce override the human […]
Future-looking research on public sector reform will help address challenges brought on by the financial crisis.
What challenges do austerity policies pose for effective public administration across Europe? Dion Curry writes on the views of citizens and public sector executives on trends within public administration over the last five years. He notes that while perceptions of recent developments are complex and at times contradictory, it is important that academics and practitioners work together to generate evidence-based public […]
Replication of government research uncovers shaky evidence on relationship between school and degree performance.
Interested in the statistical analysis used to justify the Department of Education’s reforms, Ron Johnston, Kelvyn Jones, David Manley, Tony Hoare and Richard Harris requested the data related to school performance and degree results via a Freedom of Information request. One year later the dataset was finally made available and they were able to identify some substantial flaws in the government research including sample […]
The untapped potential of digital citizen engagement in Morocco: a data-driven approach to online participation.
Aligning closely with trends in research impact, open government approaches are looking to incorporate public engagement and establish wider transparency as central operations. Samuel Lee, Fabian Seiderer and Lida Bteddini share findings from a World Bank project on digital participation and open data in Morocco. They find that greater access and use of public sector data can result in increased civic participation and socio-economic […]
Will David Willetts be remembered for progressive push for Open Access or pernicious effects of neoliberal academy?
Now that the cabinet reshuffle news has settled and Greg Clark MP, the new Minister for Universities, Science, and Cities has begun his tenure, we asked for further reflections on the positions taken by previous minister David Willetts. David Prosser covers the dramatic influence Willetts had on open access legislation and momentum in the UK. Lee Jones instead emphasises the escalation […]
Research impact on policy-making is often understood in instrumentalist terms, but more often plays symbolic role.
The idea that research should have an impact on policy is premised on an instrumentalist, or problem-solving theory of research utilisation: namely, that research is valued by policy-makers as a means of adjusting their outputs. Yet Christina Boswell’s research has shown that expert knowledge is just as likely to be valued for its symbolic function: as a means of […]
On Taxis and Rainbow Tables: Lessons for researchers and governments from NYC’s improperly anonymized taxi logs.
When New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission made publicly available 20GB worth of trip and fare logs, many welcomed the vast trove of open data. Unfortunately, prior to being widely shared, the personally identifiable information had not been anonymized properly. Vijay Pandurangan describes the structure of the data, what went wrong with its release, how easy it is to de-anonymize […]
Five minutes with Ha-Joon Chang: “Members of the general public have a duty to educate themselves in economics”
In an interview with Joel Suss, editor of the British Politics and Policy blog, Ha-Joon Chang discusses his new book, Economics: The User’s Guide, and the need for a pluralist approach to economics. He recently gave a public lecture at the LSE, the video of which can be seen here.
This post originally appeared on British Politics and Policy (BPP).
In a recent article, you wrote: […]
The rejection of metrics for the REF does not take account of existing problems of determining research quality.
Amidst heavy scepticism over the role of metrics in research assessments, Martin Smith wonders whether the flaws of the current system have been fully recognised. There is no system of research assessment that is perfect and peer review may well be a better, although problematic, measure of quality than metrics. But the REF has become disproportionate. The question that arises […]
The UK has an established and influential think tank sector, with research organisations across the political spectrum providing a constant stream of political and policy ideas, setting the agenda, and influencing the media’s reporting of events. Here, Hartwig Pautz looks at exactly who these organisations communicate with most frequently, and shows that the sector is surprisingly reticent in communicating with elected […]
Performance-based research assessment is narrowing and impoverishing the university in New Zealand, UK and Denmark.
Susan Wright, Bruce Curtis, Lisa Lucas and Susan Robertson provide a basic outline of their working paper on how performance-based research assessment frameworks in different countries operate and govern academic life. They find that assessment methods steer academic effort away from wider purposes of the university, enhance the powers of leaders, propagate unsubstantiated myths of meritocracy, and demand conformity. But the latest […]
Is the fear of metrics symptomatic of a deeper malaise? On fiefdoms and scapegoats of the academic community.
This Monday marks the end of the open consultation for HEFCE’s Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment. Steve Fuller expands on his submission and also responds to other prominent critiques offered. He argues that academics, especially interdisciplinary scholars, should welcome the opportunity to approach the task of citation differently. Whilst many complain of the high citation rates […]