Kate Wing breaks down the criteria used for Science magazine’s list of Top Scientists on Twitter and finds the approach severely lacking. With a range of tools available for measuring social media impact, simplistic measures like follower number as a proxy of influence is outdated. But for all the flaws in Science’s approach, they have opened up a conversation about what should […]
Social media is a great tool for sharing information, collaborating on research and interacting with a global audience. But Jessica Woolman argues that we need to implement university-wide policies to mitigate risk, strategize where possible, and track the return on investment. By focusing on objectives and strategy, we can be more efficient, effective and engaging on social media.
Social media […]
As Open Access publishing continues its momentum, opportunities are growing for researchers to shift their disciplinary and institution platforms to affordable open access models. Suzanne Pilaar Birch describes her experience of getting Open Quaternary started, shedding light on article processing charges, editorial board creation and publisher ethos.
Open access was by no means a new concept when the “Academic Spring” of April 2012 was […]
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.
Scientists split over Scottish independence vote: Research could founder or flourish if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom. by Elizabeth Gibney at Nature:
One thing is clear: the patchwork of sources from which Scottish institutes currently obtain their funding means that […]
Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Conference season is in full swing and this week there were a range of events taking place on scholarly communications with equally lively discussions taking place on Twitter. The Association for Learning Technology’s annual conference (#altc) discussed online and digital […]
As students and staff return for the new academic year, the classroom will again occupy centre stage. Instructors may even be thinking about incorporating new digital technology and projects into their curricula. Adeline Koh gives a brief overview of an assortment of digital humanities projects that can be easily implemented in primarily undergraduate-focused institutions. Without knowing it, you’re probably already […]
Academia and storytelling are not incompatible – how to reduce the risks and gain control of your research narrative.
Rigorous research and attention-grabbing storytelling are very different trades and it is clear there are professional and personal risks for academics looking to translate complex data into bite-size stories. But Cheryl Brumley argues the narrative arc and rigorous research are not inherently incompatible and steps can be taken to minimise the associated risks. By focusing on new audiences and by maintaining […]
Podcasts can ‘level the playing field’ for researchers looking to break the mould and share accessible findings.
Viva Voce is a website platform that allows social science researchers to set up five minute podcasts about their research. Gemma Sou argues podcasts are an ideal medium for early career researchers as social media tend to mirror the academic environment, with CV-like publication lists and stratified networks. By literally giving researchers a voice, findings can be brought to life […]
Scholarly vs. Activist Identities: What standards should govern academic engagement in the public sphere?
Social media allows scholars to discuss and debate current affairs like never before, but these media can also hinder a productive and thoughtful academic exchange. Brent E. Sasley and Mira Sucharov examine and assess one academic’s tweets on the Israel-Gaza crisis and the questions raised over his style and approach. Scholars should be encouraged to express moral outrage, but given the speed at which Twitter […]
With such diffuse streams of web activity and academic engagement, there is a great need for simple ways to capture and record this valuable data, whether for personal use or reporting purposes. Alistair Brown provides an overview on useful automation tools that streamline the process. Over time, depending on the scope of your search and social media activity, setting up these […]
By equating social media use with narcissism, the Kardashian Index joke ignores wide disparity in research ecosystem.
Last week there was an eruption of discussion, debate and acerbic wit surrounding a published article by biologist Neil Hall proposing the use of a new metric for academics to evaluate their performance. Named after celebrity Kim Kardashian, the K-index analyses the popularity of scientists on Twitter against the citation impact of their publications in peer-reviewed journals, suggesting academics should be wary of […]
The retention and protection of social media data has attracted renewed attention from policy-makers in the UK and across the EU. Having studied the complexity of how social media data operate in contexts of crisis, Ella McPherson provided evidence to a select committee on what lessons can be learned on the ethical and methodological complications of social media analysis. The summary points […]
Twitter and blogs are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.
The role of the academic humanist has always been a public one – however mediated through teaching and publication, argues Tim Hitchcock. As central means to participate in public conversations, Twitter and blogging just make good academic sense. Hitchcock looks at how these new platforms are facilitating academic collaboration, teaching and public engagement. What starts as a blog, ends as an academic […]
In The War on Learning, Elizabeth Losh analyses recent trends in post-secondary education and the rhetoric around them. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs, the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures, and educational virtual worlds. Losh’s work is valuable reading for students and parents trying to make sense of when current […]
Higher Education community responds to cabinet reshuffle, but it is too soon to foretell David Willetts’ legacy.
Following David Willetts’ resignation as part of the UK government’s cabinet reshuffle, Greg Clark MP has today been announced as the new Minister for Universities and Science. Steven Jones looks at the flurry of comment taking place on Twitter about the reshuffle, the government’s higher education initiatives over the past four years, and what might prove to be the lasting legacy of […]
Altmetrics may be able to help in evaluating societal reach, but research significance must be peer reviewed.
Social media indicators of scholarly communication, or commonly referenced as altmetrics, are still far from being adopted as part of everyday research evaluation, but they already have stated value in indicating what is interesting and popular. Kim Holmberg argues these indicators have exciting potential for measuring the impact of public outreach. But further research is necessary to fully understand their value and possible […]
The Philosophy of Data Science (series) – Rob Kitchin: “Big data should complement small data, not replace them.”
Over the coming weeks we will be featuring a series of interviews conducted by Mark Carrigan on the nature of ‘big data’ and the opportunities and challenges presented for scholarship with its growing influence. In this first interview, Rob Kitchin elaborates on the specific characteristics of big data, the hype and hubris surrounding its advent, and the distinction between data-driven science and empiricism.
While the advantages of social media are increasingly recognised by academics and universities, potential negative aspects need to be identified and managed by individuals and their institutions. Deborah Lupton presents the findings from her survey which underscore how social media can facilitate connection and sharing of material, however the speed and rapid churn of ideas, as well as the use of social media for […]
In Going, Viral Karine Nahon and Jeff Hemsley look to uncover the factors that make tweets, videos, and news stories go viral online. They analyze the characteristics of networks that shape virality, including the crucial role of gatekeepers who control the flow of information and connect networks to one another. This concise and insightful book targets a niche topic in the studies of digital […]
Five Minutes with Anne Barron and Mary Evans: “Academics seldom have the opportunity to discuss issues about their profession”
To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the death of social theorist Michel Foucault, Anne Barron and Mary Evans have organised a conference in late June for academics to reflect on his legacy in relation to higher education. Governing Academic Life will create an interdisciplinary space to discuss the public university, neoliberalism, academic publishing, and assessment measurement. Managing Editor Sierra Williams […]