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    Book Review: The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

Book Review: The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

In The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts, Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind give a descriptive, predictive and normative argument for the impending dissolution of our professional institutions in their current state. Although she questions the decision to leave issues of privacy, confidentiality and online security unexamined, Jennifer Miller positions this book as […]

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    Policy impact and online attention: Tracking the path from research to public policy on the social web.

Policy impact and online attention: Tracking the path from research to public policy on the social web.

The process by which research gets put into action is far from clear cut, argues Stacy Konkiel. Extracting references to research from policy documents is a step towards illuminating the murky path. But we should be careful not to disregard other forms of evidence like online and media mentions as they are closely interrelated and may even lead to quicker impacts […]

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    Book Review: Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise by Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox

Book Review: Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise by Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox

In Roads: An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise, Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox not only show why roads matter, but also attend to the material processes that bring roads into being through two South American case studies. Luke Heslop praises this book for showing how attention to the complexities of infrastructure projects sheds new light on the parameters of […]

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    Sound evidence on Human Rights – podcast exploring new perspectives on advocacy and cutting-edge research.

Sound evidence on Human Rights – podcast exploring new perspectives on advocacy and cutting-edge research.

On International Human Rights Day, Todd Landman describes the launch of a new podcast series. The podcast has a simple aim: to provide sound evidence on human rights in an accessible format. Human rights scholarship has advanced tremendously in the late 20th and early 21st century. The podcast format allows the listener to engage with human rights research differently. You will […]

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    Can social science still be used as a foundation for public policy? On improving the reliability of evidence.

Can social science still be used as a foundation for public policy? On improving the reliability of evidence.

John Jerrim and Robert de Vries argue a radical overhaul is needed of how social science is published and produced for it to provide a helpful basis for public policy. More progress is needed in particular over the lack of transparency of the research process, publication bias for positive findings and improved quality assurance mechanisms for peer review.

Governments have started to wake […]

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    6 things policymakers need to know about children and the internet

6 things policymakers need to know about children and the internet

The digital environment offers many opportunities, but also opens up certain risks, particularly for children. How can government action look to maximise children’s online opportunities – thereby boosting digital skills and literacies – without substantially adding to their risks? Sonia Livingstone presents six points that policymakers should consider to encourage wider support of children’s digital opportunities.

I’ve been researching children’s internet use […]

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    An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously

An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously

Blogs are now an established part of the chattersphere/public conversation, especially in international development circles, but Duncan Green finds academic take-up lacking. Here he outlines the major arguments for taking blogging and social media seriously. It doesn’t need to become another onerous time-commitment. Reading a blog should be like listening to the person talk, but with links.

Before I started […]

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    Looking Forward: Social data informs us about society, but also about the forces that will come to shape the future.

Looking Forward: Social data informs us about society, but also about the forces that will come to shape the future.

From online engagement software to leveraging search data for prediction, social data analysis is at the forefront of groundbreaking research. Anne Burns explores the topics recently discussed by academics and industry leaders. Academia needs to be aware of these discussions in order to provide a critical response to them and to assist in developing ethical and sustainable forms of practice. […]

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    Bringing together academics and businesses can be a delicate process — What can we do to encourage collaboration?

Bringing together academics and businesses can be a delicate process — What can we do to encourage collaboration?

Bringing together academics and businesses can be a complex and delicate process. Most partnerships are successful, but more is needed to link businesses with academics, writes Ben McLeod. Here he shares some recent survey findings that suggest there are some very real barriers that need to be overcome. For those who do make it work, however, the process and […]

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    Students can write: Making writing tasks relevant and personal can bring out hidden skills.

Students can write: Making writing tasks relevant and personal can bring out hidden skills.

A common complaint about student writing is that it is often very poor. Students don’t understand grammar, don’t know how to spell, don’t know what paragraphs are for, don’t understand how to reference… and so on. James Hartley writes that all of this is often true – but that it needn’t be. In one experiment, students wrote much more […]

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    Using Vine to disseminate library information: a practical guide.

Using Vine to disseminate library information: a practical guide.

Vine is a Twitter app which allows short, looping videos to be created quickly and easily. There are a number of reasons for making videos and sharing. Antony Groves describes how the University of Sussex Library use Vine for teaching basic skills, promoting events, and advertising opening hours. Here he also provides a helpful five-step guide to creating and sharing […]

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    Wikipedia is significantly amplifying the impact of Open Access publications.

Wikipedia is significantly amplifying the impact of Open Access publications.

When you edit Wikipedia to include a claim, you are required to substantiate that edit by referencing a reliable source. According to a recent study, the single biggest predictor of a journal’s appearance in Wikipedia is its impact factor. One of the exciting findings, writes Eamon Duede, is that it appears Wikipedia editors are putting a premium on open access […]

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    Banning ‘suicide’ from the syllabus: We need a more sensitive pedagogic style without having recourse to bans.

Banning ‘suicide’ from the syllabus: We need a more sensitive pedagogic style without having recourse to bans.

AQA’s decision to ban references of suicide from textbooks has been met with criticism from the sociology community. Anaïs Duong-Pedica argues it is naïve to assume that young people will never have encountered the idea of suicide prior to their A-levels. Refusing to engage with suicide in the classroom also marginalises students’ own experiences of suicide. Rather, measures should be […]

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    A ‘contributions’ approach to impact: The influential role of research users in facilitating wider outcomes.

A ‘contributions’ approach to impact: The influential role of research users in facilitating wider outcomes.

Research users are not passive recipients of knowledge, but engage with research from their own perspectives. Sarah Morton has been working in knowledge exchange since 2001 and has recently published a framework for assessing research impact based on contribution analysis. Here she talks about how her approach not only provides impact analysis, but helps improve knowledge exchange with a […]

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    The origins of disciplines: Returning to an era of ‘infradisciplinarity’ to build solid intellectual foundations

The origins of disciplines: Returning to an era of ‘infradisciplinarity’ to build solid intellectual foundations

Without appealing to hierarchy and tradition, how might we start a root-and-branch conversation to establish academic criteria for what disciplines, units and structures to keep, and what to kill? Thinking in a serious way about how knowledge production should be organised requires setting aside the rankings charts and becoming acquainted with the origins of scholarly research and higher education […]

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    Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.

Tracking the impact of intervention research reveals complex interplay of researchers’ actions and external factors.

Lucie Rychetnik and Robyn Newson were part of a research group examining the ‘real-world’ impacts of health intervention research. Using an impact assessment scoring system, they found a wide range of possible impacts. They also found local contextual and organisational factors, and unpredictable windows of opportunity were as important as the skills of individual researchers and the quality of their research.

Increasingly, in both […]

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