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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    The Global Challenges Research Fund: £1.5bn commitment is impressive in its ambition but would benefit from a tighter strategic focus

The Global Challenges Research Fund: £1.5bn commitment is impressive in its ambition but would benefit from a tighter strategic focus

The Global Challenges Research Fund aims to ensure UK research plays a leading role in addressing problems faced by developing countries. To Tina Fahm of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, the fund represents a welcome increase in the UK’s ambition in development research, drawing on well-established mechanisms for identifying research excellence and promoting interdisciplinary work on complex development […]

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    LSE’s “request a copy” service: widening access to research both within and beyond academia

LSE’s “request a copy” service: widening access to research both within and beyond academia

The 2016 introduction of HEFCE’s open access research policy and specifically its “deposit on acceptance” message has led to a large volume of restricted-access items being placed in institutional repositories. Dimity Flanagan reports on how LSE Library’s “request a copy service” has offered would-be readers a way to overcome this obstacle to research, and how the data the service […]

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    Want to ensure your research influences policy? Advice from a government insider

Want to ensure your research influences policy? Advice from a government insider

Among the ways social sciences research can have impact is by influencing public policy. Duncan Green recently attended an event at which this subject was much discussed, with a leading government research analyst offering clear advice on what officials are looking for. Comparative work highlighting a range of possible solutions is valued, as are multidisciplinary approaches. Most useful is […]

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    How can blogging help research make an impact beyond academia? Illustrative examples from the LSE blogs

How can blogging help research make an impact beyond academia? Illustrative examples from the LSE blogs

Previous posts in our series on the Impact of LSE Blogs project examined the effects of blogging on the academic sphere, looking more closely at citations to the original research outputs and also to the blog posts themselves. But what about the effects of blogging beyond academia, on the public sphere? In the final post of the series, Kieran […]

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Clickbait and impact: how academia has been hacked

It has become increasingly clear that prevailing academic incentive structures have a potentially damaging and distorting effect on the nature of academic debates. Portia Roelofs and Max Gallien use the example of a controversial recent journal publication to illustrate how deliberately provocative articles have the capacity to hack academia, to privilege clicks and attention over rigour in research. This […]

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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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    If academics are serious about research impact they need to learn from monitoring, evaluation and learning teams

If academics are serious about research impact they need to learn from monitoring, evaluation and learning teams

The impact of academic research, particularly on policy and the private sector, is an increasingly important component of research assessment exercises and funding distribution. However, Duncan Green argues that the way many researchers think about their impact continues to be pretty rudimentary. A lack of understanding of who key decision-makers are, a less-than-agile response to real-world events, and difficulties […]

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    Academic excellence still paramount but students clearly favour greater diversity in admissions and faculty recruitment

Academic excellence still paramount but students clearly favour greater diversity in admissions and faculty recruitment

Mirroring debates in the US, members of universities in the UK are increasingly concerned with the diversity of students and faculty in higher education institutions. Drawing on a methodology developed at Dartmouth College, John Carey, Katie Clayton, Simon Hix and Yusaku Horiuchi present a fascinating analysis of the results of a 2017 survey of the views of LSE undergraduates […]

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    “Words divide, pictures unite” – great historic examples of the use of data visualisation for research communication

“Words divide, pictures unite” – great historic examples of the use of data visualisation for research communication

Students, researchers and academics from across a variety of disciplines use data visualisations and infographics in their blogs and projects to better tell the stories in their data and enhance audience understanding. As part of a series previewing their new book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams explore a short […]

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    How do LSE blogs impact the academic sphere? Blogs as citable items in scholarly publications

How do LSE blogs impact the academic sphere? Blogs as citable items in scholarly publications

In the third of a series of posts on the Impact of LSE Blogs project, Carlos Arrebola takes a closer look at the increasing frequency with which LSE blog posts are being cited in scholarly publications. The Impact Blog has been cited most often, perhaps reflecting its authors’ readiness to draw on non-traditional scholarly outputs. Unsurprisingly, a majority of citations come […]

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    How do LSE Blogs impact the academic sphere? Exploring the effects of blogging on published research

How do LSE Blogs impact the academic sphere? Exploring the effects of blogging on published research

In the second of a series of posts on the Impact of LSE Blogs project, Carlos Arrebola and Amy Mollett share the first findings of an LSE study that sought to examine the effects of blogging on the success of published articles. While the study proved to be more exploratory than explanatory, with the positive effects on citations particularly […]

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Introducing the Impact of LSE Blogs project!

Since launching in 2010, more than 2000 contributors have written for LSE’s public-facing academic blogs, reaching an ever-expanding, international audience. But how do we measure the impact of this particular form of research communication? In the first of a short series of posts, Carlos Arrebola and Amy Mollett introduce the Impact of LSE Blogs project. As well as following the […]

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    Universities under purdah: maintaining impartiality or restricting academic freedom?

Universities under purdah: maintaining impartiality or restricting academic freedom?

Is purdah, intended to maintain the impartiality of the civil service, infringing on university researchers’ independence at a time when their expertise is most needed? Bob Ward explains the rules and argues that the next government should undertake a review of the guidance available, in order to ensure that purdah does not harm the public interest in the future.
University […]

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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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    The impact of social sciences on health behaviour interventions has diminished – more interdisciplinary, culture-focused research is needed

The impact of social sciences on health behaviour interventions has diminished – more interdisciplinary, culture-focused research is needed

Capturing the impact of social sciences on other disciplines is notoriously difficult. Daniel Holman, Rebecca Lynch, and Aaron Reeves have looked at the example of health behaviour interventions (HBIs), a field recently criticised for failing to draw on alternative, social sciences approaches that emphasise the structured and contextual aspects of behaviour and health. A bibliometric analysis of the HBIs […]

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    By producing podcasts you can reach wider audiences, occupy your niche and create new items of research

By producing podcasts you can reach wider audiences, occupy your niche and create new items of research

The success of the Serial podcast, a true crime spin-off from the widely popular This American Life, has introduced new audiences to a modern form of broadcasting and inspired a new generation of producers. As part of a series previewing their new book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams outline why […]

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    The NGO-Academia interface: obstacles to collaboration, lessons from systems thinking and suggested ways forward

The NGO-Academia interface: obstacles to collaboration, lessons from systems thinking and suggested ways forward

Collaboration between non-governmental organisations and academia ought to be easy, yet remains difficult in practice. Duncan Green outlines the present obstacles to collaboration, from competing incentives to differing degrees of urgency, explains what might be learnt from less linear, systems thinking approaches, before setting out a series of recommendations for academics, NGOs and funders.

The case for partnership between international […]

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    Book Review: The Data Librarian’s Handbook by Robin Rice and John Southall

Book Review: The Data Librarian’s Handbook by Robin Rice and John Southall

In The Data Librarian’s Handbook, Robin Rice and John Southall examine the role of the data librarian, an emergent profession increasingly vital for academic libraries to support activities around Research Data Management (RDM). This is an accessible and engaging book full of interesting case studies and insights that will be essential for any information professional looking to broaden their knowledge of data […]

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