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.

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    How should academics interact with policy makers? Lessons on building a long-term advocacy strategy.

How should academics interact with policy makers? Lessons on building a long-term advocacy strategy.

What can academics learn from how civil society organisations and NGOs approach policy impact? Julia Himmrich argues that academics have a lot to gain from embracing the practices of long-term advocacy. Advocacy is about establishing relationships and creating a community of experts both in and outside of government who can give informed input on policies. Being more aware of the […]

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    Dialogue over dissemination: Unlocking the potential of knowledge exchange through creative collaboration.

Dialogue over dissemination: Unlocking the potential of knowledge exchange through creative collaboration.

Knowledge exchange and impact activities often have to negotiate, incorporate and synthesise different kinds of expertise. Mona Sloane looks at how the Configuring Light Roundtables have sought to bring together perspectives on inequalities in social housing lighting by encouraging productive dialogue between those with abstract and practical expertise. This kind of collaboration offers real potential for re-defining universities as […]

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    Conference rage: How did something as truly awful as panel discussions become the default format?

Conference rage: How did something as truly awful as panel discussions become the default format?

The relatively low impact of many academic conferences suggests it may be time for a rethink, argues Duncan Green. ‘Manels’ (male only panels) are an outrage, but why not go for complete abolition, rather than mere gender balance? With people reading out papers, terrible powerpoints crammed with too many words, or illegible graphics, it is time for innovation in format. We […]

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    Are we seeing a new ‘inequality paradigm’ in social science?

Are we seeing a new ‘inequality paradigm’ in social science?

Social scientists have long been concerned with inequality, yet the focus has often been on its theoretical and political aspects. This is now starting to change, writes Mike Savage. Thanks to research interventions by scholars, together with attempts to institutionalise  cross-disciplinary work, the focus is shifting from normative debates and towards the more technical, empirical and historical problems of inequality.

The […]

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    Elsevier purchase SSRN: Social scientists face questions over whether centralised repository is in their interests.

Elsevier purchase SSRN: Social scientists face questions over whether centralised repository is in their interests.

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN), an online repository for uploading preprint articles and working papers, has been recently acquired by publishing giant Elsevier. Thomas Leeper looks at what this purchase, and for-profit academic services more generally, mean for the scholarly community. Many regular users may not be aware that SSRN has been run by a privately held corporation since its founding […]

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    All is ephemera: will the information produced during the EU referendum last beyond 2016?

All is ephemera: will the information produced during the EU referendum last beyond 2016?

Now that so much campaign literature and political debate is produced and takes place online, libraries face different challenges in capturing and archiving it. Daniel Payne explains how the LSE Library is collecting ephemera relating to the June 23 referendum.

This piece originally appeared on the LSE BrexitVote blog and is reposted with permission.

The key political moments of the past […]

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    Looking to solve the replication crisis in psychology? Limitations of questionnaire methods must be considered.

Looking to solve the replication crisis in psychology? Limitations of questionnaire methods must be considered.

Throughout its history, psychology has been faced with fundamental crises that all revolve around its disciplinary rigour. Current debates – led in Nature, Science and high-ranking psychology journals – are geared towards the frequent lack of replicability of many psychological findings. New research led by Jana Uher highlights methodological limitations of the widely used questionnaire methods. These limitations may […]

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    What are the most-cited publications in the social sciences (according to Google Scholar)?

What are the most-cited publications in the social sciences (according to Google Scholar)?

Drawing on citation data that spans disciplines and time periods, Elliott Green has identified the most cited publications in the social sciences. Here he shares his findings on the 25 most cited books as well as the top ten journal articles. The sheer number of citations for these top cited publications is worth noting as is the fact that […]

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    Book Review: Be Creative: Making A Living in the New Culture Industries by Angela McRobbie

Book Review: Be Creative: Making A Living in the New Culture Industries by Angela McRobbie

In Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries, Angela McRobbieaddresses how the encouragement to foster one’s ‘creativity’ as a set of capacities or skills necessary for professional success is entwined with the rise in freelance, temporary and low-paid labour. Drawing upon McRobbie’s extensive contributions to the field of cultural and creative industries, this book underscores the contemporary link […]

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    With language studies in decline, we need a relevant and integrated approach to foreign languages in the classroom.

With language studies in decline, we need a relevant and integrated approach to foreign languages in the classroom.

There has been a rapid decline in the number of university language departments since the early 2000s. Michael Tavares provides wider context on the state of language teaching and learning in Britain and looks in particular at how universities might boost the relevance of language studies in other degree programmes. By incorporating language exercises and materials for specific purposes, the teaching of foreign […]

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    Algorithmic accountability in scholarship: what we can learn from #DeleteAcademiaEdu

Algorithmic accountability in scholarship: what we can learn from #DeleteAcademiaEdu

The controversy surrounding Academia.edu highlights the flaws and limitations of existing scholarly infrastructures. Jean-Christophe Plantin explores the intersection of algorithms, academic research and platforms for scholarly publications. He argues that there is a need to develop a values-centred approach in the development of article-sharing platforms, with suitably designed algorithms.

The networking and article-sharing platform academia.edu has been at the centre of a controversy in […]

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    Why do university-managed blogs matter? On the importance of public, open and networked digital infrastructure.

Why do university-managed blogs matter? On the importance of public, open and networked digital infrastructure.

Academic blogging is increasingly valued by academics and institutions as a worthwhile activity. But universities are still struggling to provide the right balance of infrastructure and services to support their academics’ online presence. As universities look to external providers to extend the reach of scholarly ideas, what might be lost by not investing in in-house efforts? Sierra Williams identifies […]

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    ‘We need to speak about race’: Examining the barriers to full and equal participation in university life

‘We need to speak about race’: Examining the barriers to full and equal participation in university life

Looking to examine and address the barriers facing black and minority ethnic academic staff, the LSE is funding a project entitled ‘Race in the Academy’ investigating why so few black and ethnic minority academics are attracted to the LSE and why it struggles to retain black and ethnic minority academic staff. The project is led by Caroline Howarth and Akile Ahmet. […]

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    Nine things you need to know about copyright: A good practice guide for administrators, librarians and academics.

Nine things you need to know about copyright: A good practice guide for administrators, librarians and academics.

It is impossible to work in a university and avoid coming into contact with copyright at some point, especially given the ease with which online content can be copied, pasted, streamed, downloaded and shared. Chris Morrison and Jane Secker provide a helpful explainer of copyright in universities and break down the complexity of how copyright works in practice.

The Association […]

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    What constitutes valuable scholarship? The use of altmetrics in promotion and tenure.

What constitutes valuable scholarship? The use of altmetrics in promotion and tenure.

The traditional ways in which promotion and tenure committees assess scholarship — whether quantitatively or qualitatively — are either inappropriate or insufficient for capturing its true value, argue Stacy Konkiel, Cassidy R. Sugimoto and Sierra Williams. Altmetrics can help fill in the knowledge gaps, but ultimately will only provide a limited view. Richer narratives can always be found by digging deeper into […]

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    Ten years on, how are universities using Twitter to engage with their communities? #LoveTwitter LSE Round-Up

Ten years on, how are universities using Twitter to engage with their communities? #LoveTwitter LSE Round-Up

Amy Mollett, Social Media Manager at the London School of Economics, rounds up how LSE currently uses Twitter for sharing research, interacting with students and alumni, and promoting events. She also looks at what the future of academic social media might look like. For #LoveTwitter day she digs into the altmetrics and shares the most tweeted about pieces of […]

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    Book Review: An Economist in the Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India by Kaushik Basu

Book Review: An Economist in the Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India by Kaushik Basu

In An Economist In The Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India, Chief Economist of the World Bank Kaushik Basu seeks to explain Indian policymaking in lay terms. Ankita Mukhopadhyay writes that the book deftly delves into the complexities of the Indian economy. However, she warns that while the author is an excellent storyteller, a reader without a background […]

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    In a world in which ‘everyday sexism’ remains rife, progress on gender discrimination will require quotas

In a world in which ‘everyday sexism’ remains rife, progress on gender discrimination will require quotas

The UK continues to exhibit large disparities in power and representation between men and women. Gender inequality exists within the context of overlapping areas of social, political, professional and economic life. Only a systemic approach offers any hope of tackling the issue. Nicola Lacey of the LSE’s Commission on Gender, Inequality and Power shares findings from the final report, and recommends […]

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