The LSE Impact Blog is a space for the wider scholarly community to discuss trends and developments in academic communication and research impact. We are always looking for new contributors.

What we cover

The LSE Impact Blog looks specifically at the processes of academic communication, the role of evidence in society, and the myriad ways academic research makes an impact in society. Over the years, we have focused on bringing the many different voices and stakeholders that represent the scholarly community together to discuss these issues. Our audience is primarily made up of researchers, librarians, higher education professionals, practitioners, publishers, policymakers (local, national and international) and research funders.

Here are a few suggestions for blog post ideas based on previous work we’ve featured:

  • Response to a current event that affects academic research or higher education
  • Highlighting a specific way for research to have more impact / researchers to demonstrate impact
  • A how-to guide for a digital tool or service that improves scholarly communication
  • A blog post based on a journal article or conference presentation on the topic of science communication, research metrics, social media in research settings, or open access publishing.

Our core commissioning themes for 2016/17 include:

  • REF2020
  • Future of scholarship (humanities and social science innovation, peer review,  web-based scholarly communication)
  • Data and society
  • Tips and tools: resources for digital scholars
  • Research methods in the digital age
  • Learning analytics and metrics (the Teaching Excellence Framework in particular but also HE’s approach to quantitative metrics) – exploring links between teaching and research.

As part of our commitment to a diverse representation of academic voices, we’re particularly interested in hearing from women and under-represented minorities.

How to submit your idea

If you have an idea for a blog post, please get in touch with us at impactofsocialsciences@lse.ac.uk with a brief outline. Our editor will give you feedback and discuss deadlines. It’s always good to get in touch first rather than write the whole thing and then get in touch.

Length and format

  • In order to increase readability and accessibility, we typically aim for our articles to be between 800 and 1,000 words long
  • Please send us your draft article in Word format, with your name at the top.

Audience, writing style and language

  • Your article should be written with a relatively wide audience in mind, including policymakers and other non-academics
  • Our most widely read blog articles are written in a more natural style, so we recommend that you avoid overusing acronyms and academic terms, such as Latin words, or specific terminology that may not be well known outside disciplinary circles. Also avoid saying things like “in this paper I will…”, or “this paper aims to…”, and go straight into your discussion of the topic
  • Use short paragraphs made up of four or five sentences
  • As with journalistic pieces ‘lead with the best’. Don’t save your main argument or analysis for the end of the post
  • Write your article as a standalone piece, even if it summarises material in a longer paper or journal article. Try to present all of your argument and evidence within the text and avoid relying too heavily on information contained in external sources.

Referencing

  • We use links rather than citations for references. Links should direct readers to more detailed reports or other pieces of research, news items or other blog posts. Open access sources are preferable compared to those behind paywalls
  • Please insert a hyperlink at the relevant point of your argument that you’d like to reference (using ctrl-K in Word) or simply place the URL in parentheses where you would like it to be placed and we will link it ourselves.

Images, graphs and charts

  • We encourage the use of images, charts and figures. Graphs and charts are preferable to tables, as they are easier for readers to interpret quickly. In all cases, please send us the raw data of your chart, table, or figure in Excel format
  • Each chart needs a clearly labelled heading, labels for the X and Y axes or histogram bars, including units of measurement and a readable scale or background grid
  • There should be a clear legend distinguishing multiple data series from each other and a brief note on sources. Lines must be thick enough and distinctively coloured. Charts should use a numerical progression to make comparisons more visible
  • For images, the editor will find a suitable image to accompany the blog post if you don’t have anything.

Biography and contributor photo

  • We’re proud of our contributors, so we like to give them full attribution. Please send us a three to four line biographical note, detailing your academic position, affiliation and research interests
  • Contributor photos are optional (but preferable!). Please send us a small colour photo headshot, ideally as a .jpg file.

Our editing process

In most cases submitted articles will be reviewed by the editor within a two-week period. The article will be edited to enhance its readability; always considering the blog’s wider audience. Once these edits are complete, we will send you the final version of the article, and give you an opportunity to make final edits.

These edits may include:

  • Shortening of text if the article is above our stated 1,000 word limit
  • The addition of a title to sum up the post’s main findings
  • The addition of short introductory paragraph outlining the article’s main arguments and findings, and any relevant background information for readers.

Once these edits and revisions are complete, we will send the final version of the blog article to authors with an estimated date of publication, and give the author an opportunity to make any further edits deemed to be necessary. Please note that owing to events and other circumstances beyond our control, we may have to change our posting order at very short notice.

Once articles are published, we are very happy to make further edits afterwards should the author deem them to be necessary.

Creative Commons and article sharing policy

Unless otherwise specified, all of our articles are also published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (CC BY 3.0) and other blogs and publications are free to use them, with attribution.

The LSE Impact Blog also has agreements to share content with other blogs around LSE. If you do not wish for your article to be republished anywhere else please let us know, otherwise we will assume that you are happy for us to do this. Additionally, if you have any concerns about where your work has been republished, please let us know.

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