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    Against “reductionism”: envisioning each piece of writing in its own right, not as a version of something else

Against “reductionism”: envisioning each piece of writing in its own right, not as a version of something else

It’s not uncommon for authors to be asked to submit a shortened version of a research article or piece of writing. This, says Thomas Basbøll, is too often looked upon as a problem of “reduction”, of pruning a longer text. Rather, the enormous surplus of knowledge that the longer text demonstrates the author has is a material resource for […]

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    Four strategies to increase the likelihood of creating and sustaining successful research teams

Four strategies to increase the likelihood of creating and sustaining successful research teams

Modern scientific expertise rests heavily upon work carried out by teams, rather than scholars working on their own. Proper preparation is key, with some research suggesting that the effectiveness of collaborative work is determined before any of the work is carried out. Howard Aldrich and Akram Al-Turk have identified four structural elements that increase the likelihood of creating and […]

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    Addressing ethical issues in peer review – new guidelines available from COPE

Addressing ethical issues in peer review – new guidelines available from COPE

Ethical issues related to the peer review process are increasingly complex and can be tricky to navigate and resolve. This Peer Review Week 2017, COPE (the Committee on Publication Ethics) released a revised, updated version of its guidelines for editors, reviewers, and would-be reviewers. These expanded resources include more information for early-career researchers, as well as addressing some of […]

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Starter tips on sharing data and analysis scripts

Researchers are increasingly encouraged to make their data openly accessible and usable for others. To early-career researchers in particular, this can seem daunting, with different considerations when posting data publicly rather than retaining it solely for internal use. Katherine Wood has compiled a short open data starter guide to make the process less overwhelming and help researchers do their bit […]

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    Scientist Selfies – Instagramming to change public perceptions of scientists

Scientist Selfies – Instagramming to change public perceptions of scientists

Scientists have an image problem. Women and minorities are often told they don’t “look like scientists” as stubborn stereotypes depict scientists as white, male, and more competent than warm. Instagram, with its huge and growing community of users and obvious capacity to relate human interest stories, represents a great opportunity to address this problem. Paige Jarreau and Samantha Yammine […]

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    How to plan, create and launch a successful multi-author academic blog

How to plan, create and launch a successful multi-author academic blog

A multi-author blog collective is an effective way for a university or other knowledge-based institution to host discussion and debate. As part of a series previewing their book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams look at how to set up an institution-based multi-author blog platform; from planning all the way to launch.

Planning and launching a social […]

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    So you’ve decided to blog? These are the things you should write about

So you’ve decided to blog? These are the things you should write about

The centuries-old tradition of writing for advocacy is continued into the digital era by blogging. But what should you be writing about? As part of a series previewing their new book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams consider the various different types of blog posts and how each might be used by academics.

Blogging has become ubiquitous […]

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    A number of freely available tools can help you improve your literature review routine and stay on top of published research

A number of freely available tools can help you improve your literature review routine and stay on top of published research

The sheer proliferation of newly published research articles can make staying on top of the literature a daunting, time-consuming task. Moreover, not being a deadline-driven activity, it can also fall down lists of priorities and be difficult to integrate into the everyday routine. Erzsébet Czifra-Tóth and Jon Tennant have put together a short sequence of steps and flagged a […]

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    Writing a peer review is a structured process that can be learned and improved – 12 steps to follow

Writing a peer review is a structured process that can be learned and improved – 12 steps to follow

Peer review not only helps to maintain the quality and integrity of scientific literature but is also key to a researcher’s development. As well as offering opportunities to keep abreast of current research and hone critical analysis skills, writing a peer review can teach you how to spot common flaws in research papers and improve your own chances of […]

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    Why has submitting a manuscript to a journal become so difficult? A call to simplify an overly complicated process

Why has submitting a manuscript to a journal become so difficult? A call to simplify an overly complicated process

It is widely acknowledged that submitting a paper to a journal is a fraught activity for authors. But why should this still be the case? James Hartley and Guillaume Cabanac argue that the process has always been complicated but can, with a few improvements, be less so. By adopting standardised templates and no longer insisting on articles being reformatted, […]

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    Using Twitter as a data source: an overview of social media research tools (updated for 2017)

Using Twitter as a data source: an overview of social media research tools (updated for 2017)

Following his initial post on this topic in 2015, Wasim Ahmed has updated and expanded his rundown of the tools available to social scientists looking to analyse social media data. A number of new applications have been released in the intervening period, with the increasing complexity of certain research questions also having prompted some tools to increase their data […]

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    “Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles

“Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles

Before having your paper accepted for publication in a peer reviewed journal you’ll almost certainly be required to revise your manuscript at least once. But for less experienced authors this may not always feel so straightforward. Deborah Lupton has compiled a list of quick tips for authors who have been asked to revise their article. Remember that being exposed […]

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    Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

Submitting to a journal commits you to it for six weeks to six months (or longer) – so choose your journal carefully

There is plenty to consider when making a decision about which journal to submit your paper to; ranging from basic questions over the journal’s scope, through its review process and open access offerings, all the way to the likelihood your work will be widely read and cited. Patrick Dunleavy has compiled a comprehensive list of these considerations, complete with tips on what […]

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    How to increase your likelihood of publishing in peer reviewed journals

How to increase your likelihood of publishing in peer reviewed journals

Writing about your research is one thing but knowing how to write an article for publication in a peer reviewed journal is quite another. From his perspective as a journal editor, Hugh McLaughlin offers some helpful tips and insights, ranging from demonstrating your familiarity with your chosen journal and what it has published to the importance of paying attention to […]

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    So you want to change policy? Six steps for academics looking to achieve policy change

So you want to change policy? Six steps for academics looking to achieve policy change

The inevitable chaos and unpredictability of politics makes trying to achieve policy change a real challenge. But that doesn’t mean academics should just give up. Drawing from policy analysis and public affairs lessons, James Lloyd recommends six steps to get researchers going in the right direction towards achieving policy change.

Last month I wrote a piece for the LSE Impact blog […]

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    How the Digital Humanities are using Slack to support and build a geographically dispersed intellectual community.

How the Digital Humanities are using Slack to support and build a geographically dispersed intellectual community.

Slack is a web platform aimed at improving team communication and offers some promising features for academic communities. Amanda Visconti shares the experiences of the Digital Humanities Slack. With chat rooms organised by theme, users share resources with colleagues, discuss specific theories or projects, and find out more about what people are working on. With a code of conduct in […]

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    PaperHive – a coworking hub for researchers that aims to make reading more collaborative.

PaperHive – a coworking hub for researchers that aims to make reading more collaborative.

Managing research material in the digital age is still a widely inefficient process. Alexander Naydenov, co-founder of PaperHive, looks at how this web platform could transform reading into a more social and active process of collaboration. Close to 1.2 million academic articles and books can currently be read and discussed with PaperHive. The platform enables contextual and structured discussions […]

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    Web analytics 101: How to use statistics to drive online engagement to your institutional page or research project.

Web analytics 101: How to use statistics to drive online engagement to your institutional page or research project.

If you are looking to drive traffic to your institutional or project websites or blogs then it is important to consider how visitors are arriving and any potential trends that this behaviour may reveal. Robin Coleman shares tips from his experiences on maximising visits to the Institute of Development Studies website. He recommends a more sustained look at how your website looks and […]

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