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    Taking back control: the new university and academic presses that are re-envisioning scholarly publishing

Taking back control: the new university and academic presses that are re-envisioning scholarly publishing

A recent report from Jisc showcases the upward trend in universities and academics setting up their own presses in an environment increasingly dominated by large commercial publishing houses. Following up on the recommendations arising from this report, authors Janneke Adema and Graham Stone put forward some ideas on how to best support these new initiatives through community and infrastructure-building.

In […]

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    Amidst criticism of the peer review process, the valuable contributions of reviewers should be defended

Amidst criticism of the peer review process, the valuable contributions of reviewers should be defended

As flaws in the peer review process are highlighted and calls for reform become more frequent, it may be tempting for some to denigrate and dismiss the contributions of the reviewers themselves. Maxine David has been witness to this and here makes an appeal to give space to recognise those who offer their time and expertise voluntarily and generously.

It […]

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    What should ECRs and PhDers consider when choosing a conference? Purpose, cost, and motivation

What should ECRs and PhDers consider when choosing a conference? Purpose, cost, and motivation

For many early-career researchers and those studying for a PhD, settling on which conference(s) to attend can be a tough and fraught decision. So what is the most important thing to consider? Pat Thomson suggests three answers to this question, covering why you believe you should go to an event, whether it represents value for money, and whether or […]

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    The most productive and influential economics researchers continue to gravitate to the US from the rest of the world

The most productive and influential economics researchers continue to gravitate to the US from the rest of the world

In all sciences there is a heavy concentration of the most productive and influential researchers in top US research institutions. Pedro Albarrán, Raquel Carrasco, and Javier Ruiz-Castillo’s study focused on geographic mobility and research productivity in a selection of the world’s leading economics and departments and shows how increasing numbers of scholars gravitate to the US from the rest […]

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    Book Review: Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time by Filip Vostal

Book Review: Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time by Filip Vostal

In Accelerating Academia: The Changing Structure of Academic Time, Filip Vostal examines how speed has become a key pressure within higher education through interviews with twenty academics based in the UK. While the empirical research could be broader, Luke Martell highly recommends the book for offering considered, inquiring reflections on the structures that are contributing to the acceleration of academic life.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review […]

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    There are new frontiers for academic publishing but scholarly associations and faculty must seize the opportunities

There are new frontiers for academic publishing but scholarly associations and faculty must seize the opportunities

Scholarly publishing faces daunting challenges. Rising journal costs have seen many universities have to make strategic cuts to library collections. To Kyle Siler, the digital world has opened new niches and frontiers for academic publishing, offering many innovative and diverse possibilities. But opportunities must be grasped by scientific professional associations that have arguably lost sight of ideals of accessibility […]

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    Brexit threatens UK-Latin America cooperation in higher education, but both sides can help to ensure it continues

Brexit threatens UK-Latin America cooperation in higher education, but both sides can help to ensure it continues

Brexit will inevitably have far-reaching implications for UK universities, making it more challenging to promote higher education exchanges and cooperation between the UK and Latin America, for example. But current and past bilateral initiatives show that the UK’s exit from the EU should be seen not only as a threat, but also as an opportunity, writes Valesca Lima.

European integration has contributed to worldwide […]

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    Collaborative researcher behaviour has not (yet) increased in response to incentive regimes’ performance measures

Collaborative researcher behaviour has not (yet) increased in response to incentive regimes’ performance measures

A somewhat cynical view of researcher motivations suggests that, when faced with new quantitative performance measures as part of their local incentive regimes, researchers will quickly modify their behaviours in an effort to optimise their own performance. Charlotte Wien, Bertil F. Dorch and Asger Væring Larsen set about testing this notion, looking more closely at how their own Danish […]

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    Which subjects bring the best career outcomes for UK university students?

Which subjects bring the best career outcomes for UK university students?

Next Steps is a longitudinal study capturing information about young people’s educational trajectories, personal and family characteristics, and current occupational outcomes. As Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster explains, data reveals that STEM graduates seem to have an advantage in gaining professional graduate employment and in enhanced mental wellbeing, but this isn’t reflected by increased incomes.

One of the most important dilemmas young […]

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    Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

How much have the open science movement’s practices and principles permeated researcher behaviour and attitudes in India? Arul George Scaria, Satheesh Menon and Shreyashi Ray have conducted a survey among researchers working across five different disciplines in India and reveal that more can be done to promote open science within its research institutions. While a majority of respondents believe open […]

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    Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open, but non-profit too

Much of the rhetoric around the future of scholarly communication hinges on the “open” label. In light of Elsevier’s recent acquisition of bepress and the announcement that, owing to high fees, an established mathematics journal’s editorial team will split from its publisher to start an open access alternative, Jefferson Pooley argues that the scholarly communication ecosystem should aim not […]

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    Rather than promoting economic value, evaluation can be reclaimed by universities to combat its misuse and negative impacts

Rather than promoting economic value, evaluation can be reclaimed by universities to combat its misuse and negative impacts

To critics across higher education, evaluation frameworks such as the REF and TEF represent mechanisms of control, the generation of a “target and terror” culture. Deirdre Duffy explains how the REF and TEF resonate most closely with impact evaluation, a form of evaluation that can prove useful for a simple cost-benefit analysis but can also be problematic as it […]

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    There are clear reasons for the increasing award of first-class degrees. A lowering of standards isn’t one of them.

There are clear reasons for the increasing award of first-class degrees. A lowering of standards isn’t one of them.

Recent HESA figures revealing yet another increase in the award of first-class degrees have provoked predictable consternation among commentators. Liz Morrish provides some clarity and insight into why student achievement has risen sharply in recent years. The higher education system, and its culture of metrics and key performance indicators, has constructed a student who is a consumer with anxieties which […]

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    Credit for research outputs should go to the originating institution but with a transitional arrangement for this REF cycle

Credit for research outputs should go to the originating institution but with a transitional arrangement for this REF cycle

One of the most contentious aspects of the Stern review of the 2014 REF was the recommendation that research outputs should not be portable in future exercises. The subsequent consultation revealed a significant minority to be in support of this, echoing Stern’s concerns that current rules distort investment incentives and encourage rent-seeking. However, a majority opposed this recommendation as […]

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    Women are less likely to study STEM subjects. But disadvantaged women are even less so

Women are less likely to study STEM subjects. But disadvantaged women are even less so

The gender divide in science, technology, engineering and mathematics study is more complicated than most researchers, policymakers, and practitioners previously thought, writes Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster. What has been overlooked, until recently, is how young women’s social circumstances play a key role in whether they choose to study STEM subjects at university.
There is a vast amount of research showing that women are […]

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    The new configuration of metrics, rules, and guidelines creates a disturbing ambiguity in academia

The new configuration of metrics, rules, and guidelines creates a disturbing ambiguity in academia

Much of academia has become increasingly influenced by metrics and a set of metrical practices. However, few have totally understood the massive wave of conflicting rules and guidelines that are necessary in order to stabilise these metrical practices. Peter Dahler-Larsen, using examples from his own experiences in Denmark, explains how these multiple, cross-cutting rules have created a disturbing ambiguity […]

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    Me, myself, and I: self-citation rates are higher in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures

Me, myself, and I: self-citation rates are higher in individualist cultures than in collectivist cultures

Citing your own work when publishing a paper may be seen as a way of promoting yourself in academia, as how frequently a paper is cited is often viewed as a measure of its importance. Previous studies have shown that male authors are more likely than their female counterparts to cite themselves, arguably one of the reasons men continue […]

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    Academic excellence still paramount but students clearly favour greater diversity in admissions and faculty recruitment

Academic excellence still paramount but students clearly favour greater diversity in admissions and faculty recruitment

Mirroring debates in the US, members of universities in the UK are increasingly concerned with the diversity of students and faculty in higher education institutions. Drawing on a methodology developed at Dartmouth College, John Carey, Katie Clayton, Simon Hix and Yusaku Horiuchi present a fascinating analysis of the results of a 2017 survey of the views of LSE undergraduates […]

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    “This device is licensed”: the material and immaterial bureaucracy of academic research

“This device is licensed”: the material and immaterial bureaucracy of academic research

Derek Dunne draws attention to the hidden bureaucratic labour that is increasingly a part of academic life. Rather than see this as the “white noise” to be tuned out of everyday working practices, he calls for us to question the forms that are put in front of us demanding our acquiescence, whilst also locating potential sites of resistance.

 

“This device is licensed.”

I […]

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