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 […]

REF nightmares before Christmas

In a moment of frivolity Athene Donald sketched out how a REF committee in a dysfunctional department might pan out. As chair of her own local REF committee she is delighted to say my own  experiences bear no relationship to this sad state of affairs, however complex our discussions may get. It’s been a long time since I’ve visited  the […]

December 20th, 2012|Impact, REF 2014|0 Comments|

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 […]

Efforts to strengthen UK universities will suffer if campaigns ignore their European counterparts

Moves to prove impact have led to a rise in campaign groups in support of public universities and the social sciences across the UK and Europe. Anne Corbett finds a worrying level of insularity in the UK’s organisations and argues that that there is space for a Campaign for European Universities to strengthen the impact of these groups. This post […]

December 13th, 2012|Government, Impact|0 Comments|

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|

Calling open access academic book publishers: How authors and publishers could make a modest profit

Reputation, professional copyediting and promotion; academics gain a lot from working with a professional publisher but there’s no need to go it alone to go open access. Martin Weller writes that there are lots of ways to go open access while also making a profit. Now is the time for you to seize the moment and make a small-to-modest profit […]

Five minutes with Andrew Herbert: “The social scientists we could do business with were those who grounded their ideas through field studies, cultural probes and social data”.

Part of PPG’s Impact of Social Sciences project focuses on how academic research in the social sciences influences decision-makers in business, government and civil society. Rebecca Mann talked to Andrew Herbert OBE, former Chairman of Microsoft Research. He explains the value that social scientists can bring to industrial research organisations. You were responsible for bringing social scientists into Microsoft Research […]

December 7th, 2012|Impact|2 Comments|

Universities should sink their resources into publishing partnerships with scholarly societies

Christopher Land writes that a hybrid partnership between the university press and scholarly society would put publishing back under academic control and would produce a more open, and impactful, form of publishing. In UK universities this year, conversations are dominated by the REF. Whether a colleague is ‘REFable’, who has the gold-standard ‘4×4’, or whether x journal is a 2 […]

Leading or following: Data and rankings must inform strategic decision making, not drive them

At yesterday’s Future of Impact conference, Cameron Neylon argued that universities must ask how their research is being re-used, and choose to become the most skilled in using available data to inform strategic decision making. It’s time to put down the Impact voodoo doll and stop using rankings blindly. “Impact” is a word that has gained great power in research policy […]

December 5th, 2012|Impact, Rankings|2 Comments|

Research-based policymaking is complicated… or is it?

Having an impact on policymaking with your research may seem like an impenetrable dream when academics start of think of the tangled web of policy interactions that they must navigate. Kirsty Newman explains that the policymaking process is easy… once you know how. If you’ve ever seen a talk by a member of the Research and Policy in Development team […]

Five Minutes with Neil Carberry,CBI: “To the extent that there is accessible academic work there, it will be used”

Part of PPG’s Impact of Social Sciences project focuses on how academic research in the social sciences influences decision-makers in business, government and civil society. Rebecca Mann talked to Neil Carberry of the CBI about the use of social science research in the business community. From your personal experience, do you think that social science research is widely used in […]

30 tips for successful academic research and writing

Choosing something that you are passionately interested in to research is a great first step on the road to successful academic writing but it can be difficult to keep the momentum going. Deborah Lupton explains how old-fashioned whiteboards and online networking go hand-in-hand, and advices when it is time to just ‘make a start’ or go for a bike ride. […]

Numerical indigestion: how much data is really good for us?

We are swimming in ‘big data’ and despite their performances as advocates of data freedom, policymakers don’t seem to bear any responsibility for educating the public on how to read it. Harvey Goldstein believes that academics must make it their mission to explain that evaluating statistical information is far from trivial. Modern cultures are deeply imbued with notions of measurement, […]

November 27th, 2012|Government, Impact|4 Comments|

What’s in a name? Academic identity in the metadata age

Professional identity is everything in academia, so Melissa Terras was shocked to discover the Internet had suddenly made her a specialist in Tarot Symbolism. Google Scholar and other online resources are easy to use to illustrate your online portfolio but what effects can it have when the Internet gets things wrong? At the end of last week I was pulling […]

Found yourself in a referencing rut? Here are your best options…

Are you getting the best out of your referencing software? Ellie Harries tackles Mendeley, Zotero and EndNote in a browse at the choices available for those who find themselves stuck in a referencing rut. Referencing is an essential feature of all academic research and rapid technological advances have contributed to the proliferation of programmes which can help researchers systematically manage their […]

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 […]

More papers, better papers? The curious correlation of quality and quantity in academic publishing

Paul J. Silvia is creeped out by the correlation between quality and quantity in academic publishing, but why do the people who publish the most also publish the work that has greatest influence? Gregory Feist—a distinguished creativity researcher at San Jose State University—is not a haunting man, but his research on scientific eminence creeps me out. One of his early […]

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