An interesting thing about contemporary media is just how much of it is factual. From journalism to social media, YouTube to reality TV we are surrounded by media that claims to be true. Often this content has a definite agenda; it wants to persuade us, make us click, join in and pass it on. How can we understand our […]
“Re-purposing” data in the Digital Humanities: Data beg to be taken from one context and transferred to another.
While scientists may be well-versed in drawing on existing data sources for new research, humanists are not conditioned to chop up another scholar’s argument, isolate a detail and put it into an unrelated argument. Seth Long critically examines the practice of re-purposing data and finds data in the digital humanities beg to be re-purposed, taken from one context and […]
What do policymakers want from researchers? Blogs, elevator pitches and good old fashioned press mentions.
Duncan Green provides short and sweet translations of some of the key findings from a recent survey looking at how US policymakers use and value international studies research. The findings point to the importance of blogging, but also to the sustained influence of traditional print media. The future of evidence-informed networks may require a more engaged look at what policymakers […]
The Impact of the Social Sciences: How Academics and Their Research Make a Difference by Simon Bastow, Patrick Dunleavy, and Jane Tinkler.
The three-year Impact of Social Sciences Project has culminated in a monograph published by SAGE. The book presents thorough analysis of how academic research in the social sciences achieves public policy impacts, contributes to economic prosperity, and informs public […]
There is a lack of durable mechanisms to connect the Professional Service Sector to academic research.
Drawing from interviews with partners in the professional service sector, Gordon Clubb investigates the opportunities and barriers facing the take-up of academic research. There is an interest in this sector to engage with academic research, there are resources to fund it, and it could have a substantial impact on business. However, weak cross-sector relationships and clashing institutional norms mean the benefits […]
Crossing disciplinary boundaries and sharing unrelated datasets led to ‘critical junctures’ in practitioner outreach.
Delivering fresh insights on evidence-based practice, Ben Hannigan charts how a combination of action research and qualitative methods helped identify the role of ‘critical junctures’ in improving mental health services and practitioner support. This analysis helped to connect people, processes and systems and was able to overcome the ‘micro’ and ‘meso’ distinctions holding back longer trajectories of care and change. […]
Research communications may be moving into a new era but the language used to describe these concepts in many cases has not. Caroline Cassidy points out the failings of the word ‘dissemination’ in supporting the far more nuanced process now necessary for effective and influential research uptake. Better language is needed to move beyond basic box-ticking to take advantage of […]
The indication that influential UK Parliamentary committees want more academics to submit evidence is most welcome, says Alex Waddington. But, he argues, there must be a smarter way of marshalling information from the Parliament UK website to provide a one-stop-shop for viewing the latest inquires and calls for submissions. On a lovely sunny day in June, zinging through the chilled […]
In Race: A Philosophical Introduction, Paul C. Taylor blends metaphysics and social philosophy, analytic philosophy and pragmatic philosophy of experience, to discuss relevant and important questions on what race means today: Don’t we know better than to talk about race now? Are there any races? What is it like to have a racial identity? The second edition’s new concluding chapter explores the […]
Record how you search, not just what you find: Thoughtfully constructed search terms greatly enhance the reliability of digital research
The way in which digital search results are determined and displayed are continually changing and a lack of a defined approach can have significant repercussions on research. M. H. Beals recommends employing the Boolean search method because of the flexibility it provides in adjusting and recording search parameters. By creating a permanent record of how you obtained your search results, you can ensure that your methodology is consistent. […]
University-industry partnerships open up opportunities for academics, but a dose of caution is appropriate
Do universities risk legitimising companies’ more questionable activities by working with them? Or do they have a duty to share their knowledge and expertise with industry for the sake of the economy and society? Alasdair Taylor argues cross-fertilisation of ideas between the two spheres helps create exciting innovations that will benefit the company commercially and the university through associated impacts. As important […]
Building the capacity to use research in education requires a sustained strategic and systemic effort
The English education context offers positive elements and challenges for evidence-informed policy and practice. The issues are well understood but Carol Campbell and Ben Levin argue there is a lack of a strategic approach to improving knowledge mobilisation in the sector. Renewed attention is needed to build such capacities if schools are to benefit from the findings of high quality research. Everyone in education, most […]
The making of the Great British Class Survey and its essential capacity to communicate through digital modes
The Great British Class Survey was launched on 3 April 2013 and quickly became one of the most popular stories on the BBC website. Mike Savage gives his account of how the project was organised and reflects on whether this model has wider potential take up for social science research, or whether it is likely to be an idiosyncratic exception […]
George Mason University have decided to discontinue an atypical media literacy course whereby students examined issues surrounding historical accuracy by creating their own historical hoaxes and releasing them on the web. Professor Mills Kelly defends his course here and questions whether disagreement over teaching methodology is appropriate grounds for the course’s rejection. In 2008 I created a course called “Lying […]
Stuart Dunn examines the development of crowd-sourcing activities in academic contexts and identifies the potential for looking beyond the short-term benefits crowd-sourcing offers to a project’s completion. Particularly in the humanities, a more nuanced approach may be better suited, one which fosters reciprocal relationships and engages the shared interests amongst the public and academics. Crowd-sourcing is a somewhat loaded term, particularly when it comes to impact […]
Knowledge creation, flow and promulgation are enmeshed in complex institutional and organisational arrangements. The concern over the under-use of research given this complexity has led to the development of strategies aimed at mobilising knowledge. Huw Davies and Sandra Nutley describe the objectives of a new UK project exploring and linking the theory and practice of knowledge mobilisation. A new project in the UK is […]
Enhancing collaboration and civil benefit through institutional resilience: Five principles to help achieve a longer and more prosperous exchange
Ahead of an event next week on developing collaborative research opportunities, we asked speaker Professor aladin aladin to provide his thoughts on strengthening collaborations and engaging with new partners in the university. He argues that if institutions and individuals deepen their awareness of the civil benefit to society, this will strengthen the resilience of collaborative interactions. With significant experience working across societal […]
When it comes to public engagement, many advocate for ‘shared definitions and frameworks’. Nick Mahony explores what the obstacles are to achieving this in practice and why the debates are unlikely to de-escalate any time soon. Rather than focusing on an unlikely agreement, the real challenge is of generating public-centric approaches to engagement in the current context of an undefined ‘public’. There […]