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    Book Review: Insider Research On Migration And Mobility: International Perspectives on Researcher Positioning, edited by Lejla Voloder and Liudmila Kirpitchenko

Book Review: Insider Research On Migration And Mobility: International Perspectives on Researcher Positioning, edited by Lejla Voloder and Liudmila Kirpitchenko

Bringing together the latest international scholarship in the sociology and anthropology of migration, this volume explores the complexities, joys and frustrations of conducting ‘insider’ research. In this book, the authors set out to offer analyses of key methodological, ethical and epistemological challenges faced by migration researchers as they question the ways in which they come to identify with their research topic […]

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    Book Review: Introducing Qualitative Research: A Student’s Guide, 2nd Edition, by Rose Barbour

Book Review: Introducing Qualitative Research: A Student’s Guide, 2nd Edition, by Rose Barbour

In this book, Rose Barbour sets out to provide a clear, user-friendly introduction to the craft of doing qualitative research. The author’s writing style and the inclusion of numerous anecdotes from her own research, simultaneously demystify qualitative research whilst reiterating the expertise and skill which researchers must possess, writes Christina Dobson. Christina recommends this book to anyone undertaking qualitative research, postgraduate students in particular.

This review originally […]

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Cultivating an ethos of openness through research integrity

Regardless of the rhetoric about more openness in academic research, institutions appear to be failing to address some of the deeper issues. In order to stave off the steady rise of regulation and monitoring and to present a coherent alternative to instrumental views about research, it falls to researchers themselves to define the ethos of openness. Andrew C. Rawnsley discusses the moral substance of claims about […]

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The case for greater transparency in experimental and social science research

Proving public value can be an especially difficult task when high-profile cases of fraud in social science disciplines emerge. Rose McDermott makes the case for greater transparency in both the production and review of social science to restore the legitimacy of the scientific endeavour. While no one practice can eliminate fraud, greater transparency can make it both more difficult to […]

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Impact-monitoring research leads to clear EU policy recommendations to improve services for children of prisoners.

In England and Wales there are an estimated 200,000 children with a parent in prison, and on any given day, an estimated 800,000 children have a parent in prison in the European Union. The COPING team argue that this area has been in need of academic research, and explain how their focus on maintaining and monitoring impact has yielded some […]

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There is sufficient evidence to suggest Whitehall is leaning on researchers to produce politically useful research.

The quality of scientific evidence in government heavily depends upon the independent assessment of research. Pressure from those commissioning the research may pose a threat to scientific integrity and rigorous policy-making. Edward Page reports that whilst there is strong evidence of government leaning, this leaning appears to have little systematic impact on the nature of the conclusions that researchers reach due to the presence […]

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Registered Reports: a new publishing initiative aimed at countering publication bias.

A publishing initiative launched earlier this year by the journal Cortex re-establishes the crucial importance of the scientific method. By asking scientists to register their proposed study, it ensures that papers are not judged depending on whether the results support or reject the hypothesis. George Lozano welcomes this initiative and hopes this publishing format will spread to other journals and […]

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Is scientific misconduct increasing? Retraction rates may present more questions than answers.

Drawing on the research from his recent study into rising retraction rates R. Grant Steen argues retractions alone may be a poor surrogate measure of scientific misconduct. Science cultures are shifting to become more aware of certain “crimes” and publishing cultures may also be more willing to take immediate action. Nevertheless, there is reason to suspect that misconduct may really be increasing […]

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The ‘Call for Participants’ platform connects researchers with participants so as to improve the efficiency and accuracy of research trials.

Callforparticipants.com is a free online tool designed to address the many challenges faced by researchers in finding appropriate sample sizes for trials as well as helping participants looking to get more involved. Matthew Terrell and Martin Kruusimägi provide an overview of the platform, identifying how trust, security and transparency are necessary to ensure the tool’s lasting success. About six months into my PhD […]

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Universities are crucial spaces to foster capabilities for the formation of social citizens in times of growing inequality

The value of the university cannot be reduced to a monetised figure. By drawing from human development discourse and the capabilities approach, Melanie Walker argues the university can be re-imagined in terms of its commitment to individual freedoms, social citizenship formation and social change. The university should have an active role, engaged in local and global spaces, to foster and support a just […]

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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 […]

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High-impact journals: where newsworthiness trumps methodology

Criticism continues to mount against high impact factor journals with a new study suggesting a preference for publishing front-page, “sexy” science has been at the expense of methodological rigour. Dorothy Bishop confirms these findings in her assessment of a recent paper published on dyslexia and fears that if the primary goal of some journals is media coverage, science will suffer. More attention should be placed on whether a study […]

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Overly Honest Social Science? The value of acknowledging bias, subjectivity and the messiness of research

The popular Twitter hashtag #overlyhonestmethods reveals the widespread interest in methodological reflexivity. Jen Tarr reflects on the overt critique of scientific objectivity and argues good social scientific practice should be about acknowledging the weaknesses of methods to improve practice and to reassure novice researchers that real world research often is messy. Furthermore, we need more space in mainstream journals for over-honesty and the […]

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Participant confidentiality and open access to research data

While protecting human subjects’ confidentiality is a long-standing practice in the social sciences, new types of digital datasets present new challenges. Tensions between privacy and openness were explored in the recent International Digital Curation Conference. Limor Peer reflects on the session she chaired on participant confidentiality in a time of open research data. While community efforts on establishing best practice are well […]

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How can universities support local disadvantaged communities?

Public engagement remains one of the most tangible ways universities can demonstrate their impact. Fred Robinson finds that in a time of stretched resources, universities can play a much greater role in engaging with local disadvantaged communities, producing a wide-range of mutual benefits.  Universities generally seem much more concerned about their international connections than their local relationships. For many universities, […]

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September 24th, 2012|Impact, Research Ethics|4 Comments|

Transforming knowledge into economic resources is the only way that universities will pursue commitments to research and development

Universities must build on knowledge exchange relationships with the private sector if they are to secure financial resources. This does not mean to convert the university into a business but, writes Antonio Moneo, a fully-fledged economic actor in the most academic sense.     The sovereign debt crisis in Europe raises many questions of current economic model. After several years […]

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Safeguarding research ethics must be key to our work, particularly when we aim to create external impacts on politics and society

The recent court case involving Boston College researchers illustrates the flimsiness of assurances of anonymity given by academic researchers. In its aftermath, Jen Tarr writes that we must consider the possible applications of our research from an early stage and be open with those participating in good faith.   The fragility of the promises social scientists make to participants in their research […]

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