An administrative blight is destined to spread throughout universities if academics don’t learn how to resist

The structure of universities in the UK, US and Canada have altered dramatically in recent years with numbers of administrative and support personnel rising rapidly by up to 300 per cent in some institutions. Benjamin Ginsberg warns that academic priorities are determined by administrators without goals of scholarship at heart. During my nearly five decades in the academic world, the […]

The data confirms: If you want to stay in science and see your children grow up don’t have children before you have tenure

Women are much more likely than men to move out of the research-professor pipeline in order to have children. Bjoern Brembs wonders if we should make science a 9-5 job in order to accommodate women with children, or should we get used to not having a 50-50 distribution of men and women? Recently there was an interview with Beryl Lieff […]

May 11th, 2012|Impact|6 Comments|

Book review: European Universities and the Challenge of the Market: A Comparative Analysis, by Marino Regini

In a study of higher education institutions in six European countries, Marino Regini considers the increasing marketization of higher education, and presents a useful ‘typology of HE change’. Tony Murphy feels that the study is too heavy and complex in places, but that this should not detract from the value, originality and expected influence of the text. European Universities and the Challenge […]

April 8th, 2012|Book Reviews|0 Comments|

Book Review: A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research, by Christian Fleck

A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences helps us better understand how and in what way the social sciences came to occupy a central place in universities across Europe and North America. Author Christian Fleck shows that the social sciences were born in order to help make sense of a complex and changing world, yet ultimately their very shape was structured […]

April 1st, 2012|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

Book Review: Creating the Market University: How Academic Science Became an Economic Engine by Elizabeth Popp Berman

Contributing to debates about the relationship between universities, government, and industry, Elizabeth Popp Berman sheds light on how knowledge and politics intersect to structure the economy. Arnaud Vaganay finds the book to be extremely topical: UK universities are now catching up with their American rivals to spur on the growth the country so badly needs. Creating the Market University: How Academic Science became […]

LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2012: bringing the arts and social sciences together.

The LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2012 is almost here, and with a wide selection of excellent speakers from across the academic disciplines, it’s not to be missed. Literary Festival Organiser Louise Gaskell introduces the festival and gives her tips for the must-see events. Tickets for all events are free and open to everyone, and are being released on Monday 6th […]

The REF will strangle our vibrant academic community: it will alter morale, academic valuation of our work, and the way in which we do it

As researchers debate ideas of how to create an academic impact in preparation for the REF, Dr Peter Wells looks at the impact that the REF stands to have on academics, their morale and the ways in which they work.   The main avowed purpose of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) is as a mechanism to inform the distribution of […]

January 23rd, 2012|Impact, REF 2014|1 Comment|

Book Review: A Manifesto for the Public University by John Holmwood.

What does the future hold for higher education? Is the university set to become like the panopticon, where academics are constantly surveyed and regulated in the name of efficiency? Tony Murphy finds that A Manifesto for the Public University is a must for all those with vested interests in HE: students, researchers, and VCs, as well as policy makers actively engaged in shaping the future. […]

January 22nd, 2012|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

Book Review: The Publish or Perish Book

Anne-Wil Harzing provides an excellent introduction to the complex world of article level citation data in the Publish or Perish Book. Dave Puplett, E-Services Manager at the Library of The London School of Economics, highly recommends Harzing’s book to any researcher who wishes to understand the growing field of citation analysis, and finds some useful tips on using citation software to evaluate other academics […]

Five minutes with Mary Evans: “Gender equality is often overlooked, and with it women’s part in public debates.”

Mary Evans is a Centennial Professor at the LSE, based at the Gender Institute. Her series of highly popular posts for the British Politics and Policy at LSE blog have made her one of the blog’s most read contributors. Here she discusses her experiences speaking at Occupy LSX, and the qualities of live debate that can’t be reproduced online.

 

Your series […]

Book Review: Working for Policy

Dave O’Brien opens up the black box of policy making in this diverse collection of essays for the academic eye. The essays paint a picture of policy emerging from politicians, bureaucrats, professional experts, advocacy and interest groups, as well as academics, media and citizens, in situations where policy is never a linear process with clear beginnings, middles and ends. Working for […]

December 4th, 2011|Book Reviews|1 Comment|

Knowledge Transfer professionals lead on realising the social and economic benefits of UK research, but their roles are suffering under the creaking economy.

As the economy struggles to recover, many institutions in the UK have faced reductions in funding and a loss of some Knowledge Transfer jobs. Linda Baines, Secretary and Treasurer at AURIL, rounds up last week’s AURIL conference on delivering knowledge transfer for growth in a difficult economic climate, noting that those in the sector are rising to the challenge of […]

Public arguments between academics must not discourage early career researchers from valuing impact.

David Starkey’s comments linking ethnicity, poverty and August’s rioting sparked outrage amongst academics who considered his opinion uninformed and offenseive. Paul Benneworth argues that rather than deny him the oxygen of publicity, a content-based rebuttal from other academics is in order, and would prevent the growth of a culture which welcomes comment from only the absolute specialist. The idea of ‘academic freedom’ is […]

Your favourite academic tweeters: lists available to browse by subject area

In the run up to launching a Guide to Academic Tweeting, we asked you to recommend your favourite academics on Twitter. Over the last week we received over 500 suggestions across all the major subject areas, and discovered  some great new Tweeting gems with your help. Here we present all the suggestions, broken down into five subject area lists. […]

In a fractured funding landscape, the ESRC are looking to invest in excellence with impact. A combination of academic merit and project management skills is essential

Last month the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) announced the first call for proposals for the newly integrated Centres and Large Grant Competition 2011-12. Adam Golberg navigates the stormy waters of funding competitions and here dissects exactly what the ESRC are looking to invest in … just don’t mention the Big Society. The ESRC Centres and Large Grants competition was […]

How to use Harzing’s ‘Publish or Perish’ software to assess citations – a step-by-step guide

In his recent blog post on the need for a digital census of  academic research, Patrick Dunleavy argued that the ‘Publish or Perish’ software, developed by Professor Anne-Wil Harzing of Melbourne University and based on Google Scholar data, could provide an exceptionally easy way for academics to record details of their publications and citation instances. An academic with a reasonably […]

The current impact agenda could consider the impact of inspirational teaching, not just research

Some academics are unhappy with the focus of the research impact agenda and have questioned the new framework and criteria. John Parkinson writes that it could benefit from looking also at the potential of teaching to connect with and inspire students, rather than focusing solely on the impact of research. The idea that the research impact agenda is measuring the […]

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