One of nine country case studies due to be published as part of the UCL Press ‘Why We Post’ series, Social Media in an English Village offers the findings of an 18-month ethnographic study of the use of social media platforms by residents of an English village. Renowned anthropologist Daniel Miller argues that his subjects utilise a ‘Goldilocks Strategy’ to […]
Social media offers great opportunities for teaching. Wasim Ahmed and Sergej Lugovic have reviewed the literature on the use of Twitter in the classroom and have noted its benefits to both students and teachers. Not only can it increase participation and engagement, particularly among more introverted students, but it can also be used to bring new, popular resources into […]
Five Minutes with Professor Gary King: Transformational power of big data lies, pure and simple, in its analytics
Michael Todd listened to a recent lecture by Gary King on the big data revolution in the social sciences. Professor King insists data is easy to come by and is in fact a by-product of the many improvements in information technology. The issue isn’t its scale, volume or platform. It’s what we make out of all of that and the analytical tools […]
Academic opinion in 60 seconds? #LSEBrexitVote videos prove to be a powerful tool in a visual, time-poor world.
Is it possible to air serious academic opinion in less than 60 seconds and find a captive audience? Given the results of the #LSEBrexitVote video series project, Candy Gibson finds the answer is an unqualified ‘yes’. The widespread engagement with the videos reflects what many social media practitioners are saying: that videos are a powerful tool in a visual, time-poor world. On average, […]
As a farewell post on her last day working on the LSE Impact Blog, Sierra Williams reflects on her time as editor and her relationship with the platform. Drawing on Neil Postman’s critique of technology, she looks at some of the assumptions that underpin the blog and argues a bit of ‘technological modesty’ is required to get a better […]
While social media is an increasingly important part of academic life that can help to promote research, build networks and demonstrate impact, many remain wary about the potential risks of navigating digital terrain. In Social Media for Academics, Mark Carrigan provides clear, practical advice on the benefits and challenges of using social media for academic purposes.Andy Tattersall welcomes this as a balanced […]
How the Digital Humanities are using Slack to support and build a geographically dispersed intellectual community.
Slack is a web platform aimed at improving team communication and offers some promising features for academic communities. Amanda Visconti shares the experiences of the Digital Humanities Slack. With chat rooms organised by theme, users share resources with colleagues, discuss specific theories or projects, and find out more about what people are working on. With a code of conduct in […]
Book Review: The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age by Sonia Livingstone and Julian Sefton-Green
Based upon fieldwork at a London school, The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age is a new study of how adolescent learning and identities are being shaped by the digital world, both within and beyond the classroom. This instructive book from Sonia Livingstone (LSE, Media and Communications) and Julian Sefton-Green (LSE, Media and Communications) offers valuable insights that will be of use to those […]
Hootsuite for academia? How to increase the visibility, downloads and impact of publications using Kudos
Kudos is a web-based service that aims to increase the visibility of academic publications and their eventual impact. Charlie Rapple provides background on why Kudos was created and what the team have learned since its launch in 2014. The service looks to provide a clear picture to researchers, publishers and institutions of how to optimise their communications activity. Recent investigations […]
Stephen Thompson, Head of Digital at the University of Sheffield looks at why organisations are adapting their processes to incorporate social media for crisis communications. Wasim Ahmed, PhD candidate, provides a practical overview of the social media tools that can be used to monitor and track crisis communication issues that may arise.
Crisis communication issues can take many forms. Organisational issues such as […]
Managing research material in the digital age is still a widely inefficient process. Alexander Naydenov, co-founder of PaperHive, looks at how this web platform could transform reading into a more social and active process of collaboration. Close to 1.2 million academic articles and books can currently be read and discussed with PaperHive. The platform enables contextual and structured discussions […]
‘Truth is our role’ – why cultivating relationships matters when it comes to academic engagement with the media.
Reporting back from a one-day event on the role of news and media in communicating research findings, Judy Stephenson shares tips from the panel and workshops on what journalists are looking for and how academics can get involved. While it is academics’ responsibility to engage, and to engage well, academics require moral and practical support. The role of public […]
0 is the magic number: Why small numbers matter just as much as large ones when we talk about altmetrics.
The problem many detractors have with altmetrics as a concept is that it seems heavily focused on numbers that may or may not be meaningful. Andy Tattersall sees this as a legitimate concern but argues researchers should consider further what can be gained from these scores, or indeed, the lack of one. In a world increasingly governed by impact and […]
Web analytics 101: How to use statistics to drive online engagement to your institutional page or research project.
If you are looking to drive traffic to your institutional or project websites or blogs then it is important to consider how visitors are arriving and any potential trends that this behaviour may reveal. Robin Coleman shares tips from his experiences on maximising visits to the Institute of Development Studies website. He recommends a more sustained look at how your website looks and […]
Today I Learned (TIL): Using Reddit as a tool for public engagement, profile raising and scholarly dissemination.
Reddit is a social news website that has become a major driver of traffic to blog posts, videos, images and news articles. Alastair McCloskey from the University of Sheffield shares his experience using Reddit to engage wider audiences with research. Reddit offers a significant platform for social scientists to disseminate work and engage. Despite only occasionally submitting content to the site, the Faculty […]
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 […]
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 […]
Many a true word is spoken in jest: Twitter accounts that mock, self-ridicule and bring a smile to academia.
Academic Twitter is more than just sharing research articles and live-tweeting at conferences. Andy Tattersall gives an overview of the humorous accounts that aim to pull back the curtain on the Ivory Tower and share its oddities, culture and inconsistencies. Despite the silliness, the following accounts often discuss issues rarely touched on in the academic community. These accounts offer a lighthearted take […]
“Tenure can withstand Twitter”: We need policies that promote science communication and protect those who engage.
In the age of social media, the professor’s podium has expanded. Cassidy R. Sugimoto argues so too must our policies on science communication and academic freedom. Academic freedom is a right for unfettered freedom to research, but also with an obligation to disseminate that research. Twitter and other social media can be used to fulfill this obligation. What we need […]
Political History in the Digital Age: The challenges of archiving and analysing born digital sources.
The vast bulk of source material for historical research is still paper-based. But this is bound to change. Dr Helen McCarthy considers the lessons from the Mile End Institute’s conference on Contemporary Political History in the Digital Age. The specific challenges of using a ‘born digital source’ is an area that requires considerable attention. For political historians, the advent of […]