• calculator
    Permalink Gallery

    Why did REF2014 cost three times as much as the RAE? Hint: It’s not just because of the added impact element.

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 […]

Print Friendly
  • politics
    Permalink Gallery

    Doing things differently: By embracing the politics of Higher Education, academics can help create a better system.

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 […]

Print Friendly
  • Conflict-in-the-Academy1
    Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: Conflict in the Academy: A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals

Book Review: Conflict in the Academy: A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals

In Conflict in the Academy: A Study in the Sociology of Intellectuals, Marcus Morgan and Patrick Baert yield key insights into the dark underside of academe by exploring the dynamics behind a contentious dispute, known as the ‘MacCabe Affair’, over a faculty appointment of an obscure, young scholar at Cambridge University through the framework of cultural sociology and positioning theory, […]

Print Friendly
  • drowning by numbers
    Permalink Gallery

    Can metrics be used responsibly? Structural conditions in Higher Ed push against expert-led, reflexive approach.

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 […]

Print Friendly
  • refmetrics
    Permalink Gallery

    Using REF results to make simple comparisons is not necessarily responsible. Careful interpretation needed.

Using REF results to make simple comparisons is not necessarily responsible. Careful interpretation needed.

What are the implications of the HEFCEmetrics review for the next REF? Is is easy to forget that the REF is already all about metrics of research performance. Steven Hill, Head of Research Policy at HEFCE, reiterates that like any use of metrics, we need to take great care in how we use and interpret the results of the REF.

This is […]

Print Friendly
  • orcid id featured
    Permalink Gallery

    The Management of Metrics: Globally agreed, unique identifiers for academic staff are a step in the right direction.

The Management of Metrics: Globally agreed, unique identifiers for academic staff are a step in the right direction.

The Metric Tide report calls for research managers and administrators to champion the use of responsible metrics within their institutions. Simon Kerridge looks at greater detail at specific institutional actions. Signing up to initiatives such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is a good start. Furthermore, by mandating unique and disambiguated identifiers for academic staff, like ORCID iDs, […]

Print Friendly
  • Bullseye_dart
    Permalink Gallery

    The metrics dilemma: University leadership needs to get smart about their strategic choices over what counts.

The metrics dilemma: University leadership needs to get smart about their strategic choices over what counts.

The review of metrics enjoins universities not to drift with the ‘metric tide’. To do this requires a united front of strategic leadership across the sector, argues HEFCE’s Steven Hill. Rather than the inevitable claims about league table positions on website front pages, universities could offer further explanation of how the rankings relate to the distinct mission of the institution.

This is part […]

Print Friendly
  • metric-tide
    Permalink Gallery

    The metric tide is rising: HEFCEmetrics report argues metrics should support, not supplant, expert judgement.

The metric tide is rising: HEFCEmetrics report argues metrics should support, not supplant, expert judgement.

James Wilsdon introduces the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management. The review found that the production and consumption of metrics remains contested and open to misunderstanding. Wider use of quantitative indicators, and the emergence of alternative metrics for societal impact, could support the transition to a more open, accountable and outward-facing research system. But […]

Print Friendly
  • MOOC
    Permalink Gallery

    Expensive, highly-produced videos are not necessary to achieve a quality learning experience for your MOOC.

Expensive, highly-produced videos are not necessary to achieve a quality learning experience for your MOOC.

Drawing on her extensive experience developing and participating in open educational resources and online learning platforms, Lorena Barba shares why the fixation on snazzy and expensive video production might not necessarily produce better learning experiences. Despite their popularity in MOOCs, “lecture videos” have the same pitfalls as regular lectures. Students need to engage with educational concepts in various ways and […]

Print Friendly
  • Umass_Amherst_Chapel_&_Library_in_the_evening
    Permalink Gallery

    Job security for early career researchers is a significant factor in helping research make an impact.

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 […]

Print Friendly
  • social-media-419944_1280
    Permalink Gallery

    Reading List: Using Social Media for Research Collaboration and Public Engagement

Reading List: Using Social Media for Research Collaboration and Public Engagement

The bulk of discussion around why academics use social media primarily focuses on social media as a dissemination strategy to get more citations and views of scholarly articles. But social media has also opened up new and exciting ways for researchers to collaborate online. Following an exchange on Twitter, we volunteered to pull together a reading list of posts on how researchers […]

Print Friendly
  • wordpress-265132_1280
    Permalink Gallery

    Academic blogging in the “accelerated academy”: How to build a personal, professional and public community.

Academic blogging in the “accelerated academy”: How to build a personal, professional and public community.

As a dynamic space, a group blog can be particularly suited to the rapidly changing context of researcher development. Claire Aitchison, Susan Carter and Cally Guerin share their experiences developing a doctoral support blog, a global space for personal and professional development and for building community. Individuals and their institutions stand to benefit from blogging, they argue, but if it were to be mainstreamed, would the […]

Print Friendly
  • nightlightseurope
    Permalink Gallery

    The EU is the world’s largest scientific engine and rising – and the UK is currently in the driving seat.

The EU is the world’s largest scientific engine and rising – and the UK is currently in the driving seat.

Modern science is about teams and the EU is a great team needed to take on our 21st century challenges. Here Mike Galsworthy considers the potential consequences that the UK leaving the EU would have on scientific funding and innovation. The EU science funding structure currently enables UK labs to build on the work of diverse and talented multinational science teams.
In the […]

Print Friendly
  • three rs
    Permalink Gallery

    Positioning educational technology around the three Rs universities care about: Recruitment, Retention and Reputation

Positioning educational technology around the three Rs universities care about: Recruitment, Retention and Reputation

Technological development in higher education has been a slow-moving process. Martin Weller makes the case for a more pragmatic approach that looks to align current innovations with the areas vice chancellors, provosts and presidents are already concerned about: recruitment, retention and reputation. It may be less exciting, but ultimately a more useful approach to embedding valuable, learning-centred technologies across universities.

Whenever a new […]

Print Friendly
  • people-sitting-690317_1280
    Permalink Gallery

    Your grant application is about to die: Research teams that recognise gender dimension offer a competitive advantage.

Your grant application is about to die: Research teams that recognise gender dimension offer a competitive advantage.

Funding requirements confirm there is a competitive advantage for research engaged in the active promotion of gender perspectives. Strategic decision-making in universities should also recognise the value a sex and gender dimension adds, both for funding and the quality of research. Curt Rice stresses how social sciences and humanities can help deliver these perspectives more deliberately and explicitly into research.

Last year, the world lost […]

Print Friendly
  • office-381228_640
    Permalink Gallery

    The digital scholar and the academic job market: Including hyperlinks in your CV can make a big difference.

The digital scholar and the academic job market: Including hyperlinks in your CV can make a big difference.

How can academics ensure their job application stands out from the rest? Patrick Dunleavy advocates going fully digital , where clearly clickable and open-access hyperlinks are provided for all your publications, writings and alternative outputs. Alongside the ease this provides the selection committee, adding digital links to all your recent top research articles will reassure UK selectors that your research falls under the […]

Print Friendly
  • Arthur-Pyle_Sir_Gawain
    Permalink Gallery

    Falling in love and crying in the academic workplace: “Professionalism”, gender and emotion.

Falling in love and crying in the academic workplace: “Professionalism”, gender and emotion.

Tim Hunt’s remarks on women in science provide a sobering reminder on the everyday reality of systemic bias in the academic workplace. Rachel Moss writes that alongside sexism there is a deeper issue at play, which is about how professionalism itself is socially codified in academia. The “ideal” worker is intellectually engaged and rigorous, but emotionally restrained. But individuals do not necessarily […]

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