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    The Organized Mind: How to better structure our time in the age of social media and constant distraction.

The Organized Mind: How to better structure our time in the age of social media and constant distraction.

The information age is drowning us in a deluge of data, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate facts from pseudo-facts, objective from biased sources, and at the same time, we’re all being asked to do more at home and at work. Daniel Levitin reviews the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory, presents the differences between mind-wandering mode […]

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    Scholarly communities face crucial social challenges in maintaining digital networks that can sustain participation.

Scholarly communities face crucial social challenges in maintaining digital networks that can sustain participation.

If we are going to take full advantage of the affordances that digital networks provide—facilitating forms of scholarly communication from those as seemingly simple as the tweet to those as complex as the journal article, the monograph, and their born-digital descendants— Kathleen Fitzpatrick argues we must focus as much on the social challenges that these networks raise as we […]

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    Collaborative writing tools, useless titles and a long-term strategy for open science: Popular Posts of 2014

Collaborative writing tools, useless titles and a long-term strategy for open science: Popular Posts of 2014

It has become tradition the last few years for us to take a look back at the past year’s most popular posts on the Impact blog. This year’s list features a diverse range of topics from collaborative writing tools to the more theoretical implications of neoliberalism on research openness. Many thanks to all our contributors for creating and allowing […]

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    A political economy of Twitter data? Conducting research with proprietary data is neither easy nor free.

A political economy of Twitter data? Conducting research with proprietary data is neither easy nor free.

Social media research is on the rise but researchers are increasingly at the mercy of the changing limits and access policies of social media platforms. API and third party access to platforms can be unreliable and costly. Sam Kinsley outlines the limitations and stumbling blocks when researchers gather social media data. Should researchers be using data sources (however potentially […]

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    Book Review: Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media by David R. Brake

Book Review: Sharing Our Lives Online: Risks and Exposure in Social Media by David R. Brake

The growth of social media sees us heading towards a radically open society. David R. Brake aims to provide an overview of the harms that can be posed by unwary social media use for both adults and children. He then draws on in-depth interviews, and a range of related theories of human behaviour to consider why this happens. This […]

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    Taking pleasure in small numbers: How intimately are social media stats governing us?

Taking pleasure in small numbers: How intimately are social media stats governing us?

Critical academics have long been wary of the way formal quantitative data get used to rank, assess and differentially value universities, departments and people. Do similar concerns apply to social networking statistics? Or, is this data on likes, views and followers quite a different matter? At a time when pressures exist to grow one’s numbers, Davina Cooper asks whether there […]

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Buzzfeed: A new home for research?

Jeff Knezovich shares his experience using the online news portal Buzzfeed to share the latest research findings. For topics not usually at the front-and-centre, Buzzfeed provides a quick and easy way to bring people up to speed. Buzzfeed’s ‘splainer (short for ‘explainer’) format was very well received, with the post accessed ten times more than the PDF and research website […]

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    With Twitter’s poor signal-to-noise ratio, should social academia look to less corporate and more localised networks?

With Twitter’s poor signal-to-noise ratio, should social academia look to less corporate and more localised networks?

Social media platforms have become primary means for scholars to reach public audiences, but are scholars becoming overly reliant on sub-optimal corporate networks? With Twitter for example, it’s becoming harder to sift through the stream to find the really good stuff. Kris Shaffer is hoping others will join him in writing in more open, more user-controlled domains, as well as […]

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    “I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

“I only come here for the comments” – Exploring the controversy of post-publication peer review.

The journal publishing model has long been criticised for being out of touch with modern, online communication trends. In the age of rapid-fire discussion, what hope is there for sustained, productive, peer review? Andy Tattersall looks at the shortcomings and opportunities of post-publication review online and picks apart the differences between reviewing, discussing and commenting in a scholarly context.

This […]

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    What makes a successful research project blog? Forums for generating ideas fare better than sharing final results.

What makes a successful research project blog? Forums for generating ideas fare better than sharing final results.

Coordinating a research project blog has many benefits, but it can lead to some difficulties in practice. Pat Thomson reflects on the types of project blogs in her experience worked better than others. The ones aimed at developing ideas and connecting with external partners were very useful. But the presentation of core findings were a concern to some funders. Furthermore, when […]

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    From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

From Attention to Citation: What are altmetrics and how do they work?

Scholarly and social impacts of scientific publications could be measured by various metrics, including article usage, Mendeley readership and Altmetric scores, etc. But what is the relationship amongst the different metrics? Previous studies show there is low correlation between altmetrics and citation, but how do altmetrics compare to other metrics? Xianwen Wang and his colleagues recently conducted a study to answer […]

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    Five recommendations for using alternative metrics in the future UK Research Excellence Framework

Five recommendations for using alternative metrics in the future UK Research Excellence Framework

Although many are excited by the possibilities for using alternative metrics to supplement research assessment, others are concerned about the ease with which the figures can be gamed. It is clear that there is already gaming within traditional citation impact metrics in peer reviewed journals and without quality control mechanisms, social media metrics would be susceptible to the same. Mike […]

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    Altmetrics can signal flows of information for paths in scholarly communication not yet mapped.

Altmetrics can signal flows of information for paths in scholarly communication not yet mapped.

Research metrics are currently being debated across the UK. With last week’s 1AM conference discussing alternative metrics and this week’s In metrics we trust? event as part of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment, the uses and misuses of metrics are under close scrutiny. Cameron Neylon reports back from last week’s altmetrics conference and looks at the primary motivations […]

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Book Review: Walter Benjamin and the Media by Jaeho Kang

In Walter Benjamin and the Media, Jaeho Kang strikes a near perfect balance between biographical narrative and theoretical analysis. In doing so, Benjamin’s media critique is fully contextualised, removing any notion of obsolescence which may arise from a contemporary reading, writes Andrew Molloy.

Walter Benjamin and the Media. Jaeho Kang. Polity. 2014.

Find this book: 

For the uninitiated, media theory appears to move as fast as […]

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    Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Impact Round-Up 4th October: Metrics for scientific outreach, Google Books fair use, and privacy in the digital age

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a brief round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Paige Brown Jarreau at SciLogs calls out Science’s latest ‘Top Scientists on Twitter’ list for reducing social media science engagement to popularity.  She considers what criteria might lead to more enriching experiences with science communication on Twitter in her […]

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