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    Economists, unlike scientists, do a poor job of communicating via Twitter

Economists, unlike scientists, do a poor job of communicating via Twitter

Twitter is well established as a platform through which academics can communicate with wider audiences. However, research indicates there are clear differences between certain subject communities in how effectively this happens. Marina Della Giusta describes how economists tweet less, mention fewer people and have fewer conversations with strangers, and use less accessible language with more abbreviations and a more […]

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    Disentangling the academic web: what might have been learnt from Discogs and IMDB

Disentangling the academic web: what might have been learnt from Discogs and IMDB

In recent years there has been huge, rapid growth in the number of online platforms and tools made available to academics carrying out their research activities. However, for many, such choice can lead to decision fatigue or uncertainty as to what is most appropriate. Andy Tattersall reflects on the success of Discogs and IMDB and considers what problems a […]

Faculty appointments and the record of scholarship

Amy Brand, Assistant Provost for Faculty Appointments and Information at Harvard University, discusses the opaque academic hire environment and concludes that review committees making important decisions on academic careers would benefit from greater detail on contributions of individual researchers as well as the development of standards for the identification and citation of non-traditional scholarly works. Have you noticed that conversations […]

Researching research: New skills of targeting audiences and networking are now necessary to create impact

Correctly targeting your audience and specifically tailoring outputs to policymakers is key to improving the impact of your research. Sarah Lester explains how building contacts and targeted dissemination of research requires skills outside those traditionally used in academia. Since 2009 the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London has been conducting a case study to provide knowledge about […]

Finding the time to blog

Pat Thomson doesn’t have too much time on her hands, and she isn’t trying to be trendy, yet she is finding time to write a blog. Here, she explains how she has altered her schedule to rely on a much more digital world to find time to write her academic blog.   How do you get time to blog and […]

Altmetrics are the central way of measuring communication in the digital age but what do they miss?

Inspired by the push towards altmetrics, Nick Scott sees great potential to better communicate indicators of academic success. But this does constitute impact? Here, he puts forward questions on media mentions, website page hits and the ‘dark stuff’. The LSE Future of Impacts conference in London saw a lively debate on numerous issues. However it was the discussion on altmetrics […]

A new paradigm of scholarly communications is emerging: A report from the Future of Impact conference

Policymakers and academics agree that the economic or public impact of research can’t be demonstrated through just citations and bibliometrics yet open access publishing, altmetrics and online methods must be further developed before we can rely on them to prove impact. Ernesto Priego reports from last week’s Future of Impact conference. How can alternative digital methods of scholarly assessment maximise […]

December 12th, 2012|Events, Impact|7 Comments|

To blog or not to blog: Why female academics should take the risk

Can social media help to bring women out of the shadows of academia? Women shouldn’t be afraid of blogging or self-promotion, writes Athene Donald, who finds that the mentoring support offered in the academic blogosphere can help researchers at any level stamp out their fears. The challenge of using social media as a way to overcome the frequent invisibility of […]

What do words want? Academics have a responsibility to send words well equipped into the world

Struggling with the familiar sensation of fear when preparing to send a paper to publishers? Pat Thomson writes that writers have an obligation to let words go; finish off that paper and let your words be taken up and savoured by readers. It’s the only way to do justice to valuable academic ideas. In writing workshops I often come across […]

Sociology under threat: How the green light for attacks on Russian social scientists has been given

In July, the Russian government passed a law forcing foreign funded NGOs to register as “foreign agents”. Elena Omelchenko and Anna Zhelnina write that this law is part of a trend for Russian authorities to attack social scientists that collaborate outside of the country and are funded by ‘western money’. This attitude threatens to seriously undermine the development of the […]

November 15th, 2012|Research funding|0 Comments|

Reflections on purpose

New media ‘big up’ academics, create noise around them and make research seem to matter; all beneficial when counting the days to the REF. However, Conor Gearty writes that the old fashioned work that created the ‘expert’ in the first place is at risk from the dangerous attitude of the Twitter world where the moment counts for so much. Twenty years ago […]

5 Minutes with Richard Lambert: “It’s a real shortcoming that academics are not good at communicating their research to the outside world”

As part of the Impact of Social Sciences’ project interview series, Richard Lambert tells Rebecca Mann of the opportunities for social scientists in the world of business, and the need for intermediaries to translate academic research into arguments that readers can understand. Ten years on from the Lambert Review of Business-University Collaboration, are the lessons in that report relevant to […]

Why your knowledge-sharing portal will probably not save the world

The Internet is littered with abandoned knowledge-sharing portals, so what questions do you need to ask before jumping in and setting up a new one? Kirsty Newman lists four questions to ask before setting up your knowledge sharing one-stop shop. One of the most common interventions that people attempt in order to support evidence-informed policy making is setting up an online portal/one-stop […]

November 1st, 2012|Impact|2 Comments|

Tweeting out loud: ethics, knowledge and social media in academe

Traditional and digital methods of dissemination clashed recently when a storm over live-tweeting academic conferences blew up in the US. Melonie Fullick looks at the accusation that academics can ‘use’ other people’s work to build up their online brand to benefit their academic career, at the expense of others. Many of those of us kicking around the academic Twitterverse over the […]

Universities and social media: Academics need to be bold in our use of social media and not outsource digital dissemination to widget gurus

Universities are unique institutions that need social media policies that fit their goals of knowledge creation and dissemination. Mark Smithers writes that this isn’t a task that should be outsourced to ‘social media gurus’ with no knowledge of academia. My friend Inger Mewburn (@thesiswhisperer) recently wrote a thoughtful piece for The Conversation web site entitled Academics behaving badly? Universities and […]

Why read about writing?

Academics tend to focus on how best to get their outputs read, rather than on the writing process itself. Pat Thomson argues writing itself deserves attention. If academics embrace their writer identity, there  is much to be learned about the art from wider creative resources.  Academics are very concerned with getting the writing done and getting the stuff out there. After all, it’s […]

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