As the year closes, the Impact of Social Sciences project team took a walk down memory lane and found your top ten most read blog articles of the past year. Beginning with out most popular, Melissa Terras’ verdict on whether blogging your research is worth it, our list includes social media, impact factors, publishing and how to sit down and write.

The verdict: Is blogging or tweeting about your research paper worth it?

Eager to find out what impact blogging and social media could have on the dissemination of her work, Melissa Terras took all of her academic research, including papers that have been available online for years, to the web and found that her audience responded with a huge leap in interest in her work

The demise of the Impact Factor: The strength of the relationship between citation rates and IF is down to levels last seen 40 years ago
Jobs, grants, prestige and career advancement are all partially based on an admittedly flawed concept: the journal Impact Factor. Impact factors have been becoming increasingly meaningless since 1991, writes George Lozano, who finds that the variance of papers’ citation rates around their journals’ IF has been rising steadily

I’m an academic and desperately need an online presence, where do I start?
Salma Patel has been on a whistle-stop tour of academic social media channels. Here she shares her simple, practical tips for academics who want to start engaging with the wider world through social media.

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

The road to academic success is paved with stylish academic writing
Treat academic writing not as a set of inviolable rules but as a series of stylistic choices, writes Helen Sword, who has found that a conversational yet authoritative tone coupled with attention-getting titles, compelling openings, anecdotes and illustrations is the key to accessible, interesting academic work.

High impact factors are meant to represent strong citation rates, but these journal impact factors are more effective at predicting a paper’s retraction rate.
Journal ranking schemes may seem useful, but Björn Brembs discusses how the Thompson Reuters Impact Factor appears to be a reliable predictor of the number of retractions, rather than citations a given paper will receive. Should academics think twice about the benefits of publishing in a ‘high impact’ journal?

How to bury your academic writing
Book chapters can allow freedom to think about your work in line with broader theoretical issues, but if you’re tempted to write a book chapter for an edited collection, it might be best to reconsider. Dorothy Bishop finds that researchers who write book chapters might as well bury the paper in a hole in their garden. 

How to manage a research library with Zotero
Keeping up to date with research and managing an ever-increasing number of journal articles is skill that must be well-honed by academics. Here, Alex Hope sets out how his workflow has developed using Zotero, Dropbox, Goodreader and his iPad.


Scholarly publishing is broken: Is it time to consider guerrilla self-publishing?
Aimee Morrison 
has been congratulated and gained professional credit for ‘publishing’ her article in a high profile journal. Except, her work will not be printed for another two years. She writes that commercial publishers are exploiting academics’ desire for reputation against a true public good.

Social media is inherently a system of peer evaluation and is changing the way scholars disseminate their research, raising questions about the way we evaluate academic authority
Continuing with our focus on the merits of social media for making academic impact,
Alfred Hermida, award-winning online news pioneer, digital media scholar and journalism educator, argues that social media is inherently a system of peer evaluation, where participation and engagement are recognised and rewarded through dynamic social interactions





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