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    Time to abandon the gold standard? Peer review for the REF falls far short of internationally accepted standards.

Time to abandon the gold standard? Peer review for the REF falls far short of internationally accepted standards.

The REF2014 results are set to be published next month. Alongside ongoing reviews of research assessment, Derek Sayer points to the many contradictions of the REF. Metrics may have problems, but a process that gives such extraordinary gatekeeping power to individual panel members is far worse. Ultimately, measuring research quality is fraught with difficulty. Perhaps we should instead be asking which […]

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    Economics is becoming an elite subject for elite UK universities

Economics is becoming an elite subject for elite UK universities

UK universities have had to become much more responsive to changes in the pattern of demand and compete with one another for different revenue streams. James Johnston and Alan Reeves ask how this has played out in relation to the undergraduate economics degree, finding that new universities have retreated from offering economics programmes even as student numbers rose substantially. The authors argue that the role of research […]

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    Mobility Really Matters: Dynamism in the Higher Ed workplace will help institutions retain quality staff.

Mobility Really Matters: Dynamism in the Higher Ed workplace will help institutions retain quality staff.

Whilst the career route is well defined and understood for academic staff, the continual development of non-academic staff is less well defined. Dr Paul Greatrix looks at some emerging experiences across UK higher education and notes the positive benefits to those universities embracing managed staff rotation. Mobility and dynamism of staff is in the interest of both professional staff and […]

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November 12th, 2014|Higher Education|0 Comments|
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    Faculty Learning Communities are a positive way for libraries to engage academic staff in scholarly communication.

Faculty Learning Communities are a positive way for libraries to engage academic staff in scholarly communication.

The stakes and politics of research and scholarship are different depending on discipline, department, and institution, and as such, increasing awareness of scholarly communication is fraught with difficulty. Librarians Jennifer Bazeley and Jen Waller share their experience developing a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) in order to address the issues. Cultivating awareness of the entire scholarly communication landscape created stronger faculty advocates for change, […]

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    What is the difference between an impact and an outcome? Impact is the longer term effect of an outcome.

What is the difference between an impact and an outcome? Impact is the longer term effect of an outcome.

Andrew Harding looks closely at the terminology and theoretical differences between an impact and an outcome in welfare research. Outcomes tend to be pre-defined and can be measured objectively, but the personal experiences and nature of impact is intuitively subjective. A mixed methods approach that focuses on delineating outcomes and exploring impact might be appropriate.

In recent years ‘impact’ and […]

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    Five recommendations for using alternative metrics in the future UK Research Excellence Framework

Five recommendations for using alternative metrics in the future UK Research Excellence Framework

Although many are excited by the possibilities for using alternative metrics to supplement research assessment, others are concerned about the ease with which the figures can be gamed. It is clear that there is already gaming within traditional citation impact metrics in peer reviewed journals and without quality control mechanisms, social media metrics would be susceptible to the same. Mike […]

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    Five Minutes with Nicholas A. Christakis: “Discovery is greatly facilitated by methodological innovation.”

Five Minutes with Nicholas A. Christakis: “Discovery is greatly facilitated by methodological innovation.”

Managing Editor Sierra Williams spoke to Professor Nicholas A. Christakis ahead of next week’s LSE event, Do We Need to Shake Up the Social Sciences? Here he discusses his thoughts on the frontiers in interdisciplinary research, the need for social science departmental re-shuffles, and the radical changes shaping social science’s relevance today.

Back in July, your article Let’s Shake Up the Social […]

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    Perceptions and ‘impacts’ of the REF: Key aim for next round should be to explore apprehension and minimise anxieties.

Perceptions and ‘impacts’ of the REF: Key aim for next round should be to explore apprehension and minimise anxieties.

Discussions around the REF have tended to be negative, but academics appear to have experienced the framework in a number of different ways. To understand the variety of themes and important issues, Tony Murphy and Daniel Sage undertook a media analysis that points to the range of concerns academics have around the REF and its processes. They argue there is much […]

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    The progressive ideals behind Open Government Data are being used to further interests of the neoliberal state.

The progressive ideals behind Open Government Data are being used to further interests of the neoliberal state.

A range of social actors are pushing for Open Government Data, from open research advocates to the private sector, resulting in a complex and contested landscape. Jo Bates examines recent developments on how the government have been able to use the rhetoric of transparency for political ends, paving the way for the implementation of long term austerity. She argues we cannot make assumptions about […]

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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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    Book Review: The Unruly PhD: Doubts, Detours, Departures, and Other Success Stories by Rebecca Peabody

Book Review: The Unruly PhD: Doubts, Detours, Departures, and Other Success Stories by Rebecca Peabody

This book is a useful and comforting resource for anyone interested in understanding how individuals get through their PhD journeys and negotiate their career choices. Most importantly, this book reminds us that there is a greater world beyond the academia, and that it is OK to pursue alternative paths, writes Sin Yee Koh.

This review originally appeared on LSE Review of […]

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    Impact Round-Up 6th September: Monsters of EdTech, visualising conferences, and for-profit masters.

Impact Round-Up 6th September: Monsters of EdTech, visualising conferences, and for-profit masters.

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.

Conference season is in full swing and this week there were a range of events taking place on scholarly communications with equally lively discussions taking place on Twitter. The Association for Learning Technology’s annual conference (#altc) discussed online and digital […]

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    Technology in our daily lives: How to implement digital humanities projects in the classroom.

Technology in our daily lives: How to implement digital humanities projects in the classroom.

As students and staff return for the new academic year, the classroom will again occupy centre stage. Instructors may even be thinking about incorporating new digital technology and projects into their curricula. Adeline Koh gives a brief overview of an assortment of digital humanities projects that can be easily implemented in primarily undergraduate-focused institutions. Without knowing it, you’re probably already […]

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    Five Minutes with Trish Greenhalgh: “We need to be clear that research impact isn’t a single dimension.”

Five Minutes with Trish Greenhalgh: “We need to be clear that research impact isn’t a single dimension.”

Trish Greenhalgh is currently Dean for Research Impact at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. In discussion with Managing Editor Sierra Williams she delves into the nature of academic impact and the remit of her appointment. She finds that many academics still have a naïve and overly rationalistic view of how their work might link with policy. Drawing on the […]

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    Performance funding policies in higher education have had little effect on student outcomes.

Performance funding policies in higher education have had little effect on student outcomes.

In a study of over 500 four year post-secondary institutions in all fifty US states from 1993-2010, Amanda Rutherford and Thomas Rabovsky find that current performance funding policies are not associated with higher levels of student performance and that these policies may in fact contribute to lower performance over a longer period of time. However, more recent policies linked to institutional base funding may produce […]

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    ‘Robbins Rebooted’ details Labour’s approach to boosting technical skills and regional growth through higher education

‘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 […]

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