In this section you can read recent expert commentary from LSE academics on issues related to the impact of academic research. This section also contains reviews of recent books by LSE academics and book reviews from LSE staff and alumni.
There has been much discussion over how useful citation metrics, like Google Scholar’s H-index, really are and to what extent they can be gamed. Specifically there appears to be concern over the practice of self-citation as it varies widely between disciplines. So what should academics make of self-citations? Referring back to our Handbook on Maximising the Impact of Your […]
Five minutes with Ha-Joon Chang: “Members of the general public have a duty to educate themselves in economics”
In an interview with Joel Suss, editor of the British Politics and Policy blog, Ha-Joon Chang discusses his new book, Economics: The User’s Guide, and the need for a pluralist approach to economics. He recently gave a public lecture at the LSE, the video of which can be seen here.
This post originally appeared on British Politics and Policy (BPP).
In a recent article, you wrote: […]
Participatory workshops with non-academics foster positive social impact and work as a research validation mechanism.
Non-academic research users are often powerless in the decision-making processes for how research is communicated. Jacqueline Priego-Hernandez shares lessons from a knowledge exchange toolkit which aims to address this imbalance through participatory workshops. Drawing on a Freirean approach to learning, interactions between participants and researchers are seen as a key objective in itself. She argues that plans for impact need to be devised for the benefits […]
Zambia’s Ministry of Health works with economists to determine how best to recruit and retain community health workers
Oriana Bandiera describes the close collaboration between a team of economists and the Government of Zambia to evaluate strategies to recruit, motivate and retain agents in the rollout of its National Community Health Assistant Programme. Using a randomised experiment the findings illustrate that there is no tradeoff between career incentives, skills and social values. Providing career opportunities attracts more skilled individuals who perform […]
The Impact of Social Sciences blog emerged from a three-year research project devoted to a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the complexity of academic impact. To not let any impact-relevant knowledge dissolve away, Jane Tinkler takes a look back at the outputs, outcomes and connections made throughout the research process. Whilst these figures help to establish a real-time understanding of academic […]
Everyday life in contemporary rural China is characterized by an increased sense of moral challenge and uncertainty, in which ordinary people often find themselves caught between the moral frameworks of capitalism, Maoism, and the Chinese tradition. Hans Steinmüller’s ethnographic study of the village of Zhongba, in Hubei Province, central China, is an attempt to grasp the ethical reflexivity of everyday life […]
Book Review: What Use is Sociology? Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman, Michael-Hviid Jacobsen and Keith Tester
This conversational book with Zygmunt Bauman looks at the usefulness of sociology with an aim to inspire future conversations about the discipline. Olivia Mena found this book to be a sounding board of the timeless but central questions which social theorists and practitioners must revisit regularly in the everyday practice of the ‘scientific sorcery’ that is sociology.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review […]
Academic impact, particularly within the policymaking process, can strike at unexpected moments. Earlier this week, the UK Treasury released a press release that included references to a 2010 LSE Public Policy Group report. Joel Suss, Managing Editor of British Politics and Policy blog, asks Patrick Dunleavy about the way in which the Treasury used his research findings to arrive at a figure […]
Thomas Piketty’s Capital changed the global discussion about inequality because of its great data – now make it open.
The rich data informing Thomas Piketty’s landmark research in Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been instrumental to its success. Ulrich Atz argues it is highly commendable that Piketty has made attempts to share the data files. But none of this data is explicitly open for reuse and fails to be available in machine-readable formats. Without an open licence it is not clear […]
Academic citation practices need to be modernized so that all references are digital and lead to full texts.
Researchers and academics spend a lot of time documenting the sources of the ideas, methods and evidence they have drawn on in their own writings. But Patrick Dunleavy writes that our existing citation and referencing practices are now woefully out of date and no longer fit for purpose. The whole scholarly purpose of citing sources has changed around us, […]
A journal article claiming that moderate amounts of global warming have overall positive benefits has been quietly corrected after Bob Ward pointed out a number of errors. The updated analysis now claims “impacts are always negative”, but the erroneous findings have been used to inform a recent report by the IPCC which still needs to be corrected. This episode underlines the […]
Journalists should follow the lead of media scholars and look to the Internet as a rich source of data.
Journalists rarely use the web as a source of data about the state of issues, debates and information flows in different societies. Liliana Bounegru looks at how media scholars have leveraged digital data and algorithmic accountability. In times of shrinking news budgets and staff cuts journalists can turn to such readily available sources of data as a way to understand public […]
In The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus, Mitchell Thomashow proposes a blueprint for making universities more sustainable. As the former President of Unity College in Maine, USA, he argues that the campus is the perfect crucible for developing ideas and action, engaging diverse communities and teaching the next generation of citizens. Jon Emmett finds a book that may not contain simple, ready-made answers […]
Beyond ‘Butler Impact’: Global debate on drug policy proves research impact is more than just service delivery.
An expert report on the economics of drug policy has been written to help governments around the world limit the damage of drug trade. Nicholas Kitchen reflects on how to determine the impact of such an interdisciplinary and multifaceted academic coordination effort. As universities look for neat ways to codify impact, service delivery to the UK government has taken centre stage […]
The vocabulary of ‘social return’, ‘intellectual productive capacity’, ‘economic generation’ may well grate against the traditional values of the arts and culture community but it is a shadow that cannot be ignored. But suggests the true value of the arts lies more in how it responds to the rise of disaffected democrats. In a time of increasing political disengagement, especially amongst the […]
Book Review: The Passionate Economist: How Brian Abel-Smith Shaped Global Health and Social Welfare by Sally Sheard
In this book Sally Sheard looks at the life and achievements of former LSE professor Brian Abel-Smith, and at the development of health and social welfare systems since the 1950s. The Passionate Economist deserves to find its way on to many people’s shelves and reading lists: not just the historians of health and welfare, but anyone interested in questions of social justice and how academics, […]