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    Change ahead: How do smaller publishers perceive open access?

Change ahead: How do smaller publishers perceive open access?

Reporting results from a comprehensive survey of publishers in the German-speaking world, Christian Kaier and Karin Lackner explore the attitudes of smaller publishers towards open access, finding both rising levels of interest, but also ongoing uncertainty and resistance over making a transition to open access publishing.
While libraries and funding bodies in German-speaking countries have been negotiating Open Access […]

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    Who are you writing for? The role of community membership on authors’ decisions to publish in open access mega-journals

Who are you writing for? The role of community membership on authors’ decisions to publish in open access mega-journals

 Open Access mega-journals have in some academic disciplines become a key channel for communicating research. In others, however, they remain unknown. Drawing on evidence from a series of focus groups, Jenny Fry and Simon Wakeling explore how authors’ perceptions of mega-journals differ across disciplines and are shaped by motivations associated with the multiple communities they function within.
Open-access mega-journals are […]

2018 in review: top posts of the year

How to design an award-winning conference poster
A good academic conference poster serves a dual purpose: it is both an effective networking tool and a means by which to articulately communicate your research. But many academics fail to produce a truly visually arresting conference poster and so opportunities to garner interest and make connections are lost. Tullio Rossi offers guidance on how to […]

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    2018 in review: round-up of our top posts featuring advice on academic writing and presentations

2018 in review: round-up of our top posts featuring advice on academic writing and presentations

Six academic writing habits that will boost productivity
What’s the secret to a productive spell of writing? Chris Smith shares insights gleaned from interviews with a diverse group of academics, from which a number of common academic writing habits stood out. These range from the simple acts of scheduling and setting self-imposed deadlines, to both formal and informal accountability partnerships and the […]

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    2018 in review: round-up of our top posts for PhDs, postdocs and early-career researchers

2018 in review: round-up of our top posts for PhDs, postdocs and early-career researchers

Transdisciplinary PhD programmes produce more high-impact publications and foster increased collaborations
Traditional doctoral programmes require students to gain in-depth knowledge in one subject area. Transdisciplinary programmes aim to foster synthesis across disciplines and focus on translating research findings into real-world solutions, helping students to develop a professional disciplinary identity that is enhanced by multidisciplinary methods and theories. Anna-Sigrid Keck, Stephanie Sloane, Janet M. […]

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    2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic publishing

2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic publishing

The future for academic publishers lies in navigating research, not distributing it
The world of scholarly publishing is in upheaval. As the open science and open research movements rapidly gain momentum, the access restrictions and paywalls of many publishers put them at odds with growing parts of the research community. Mattias Björnmalm suggests there is one way for publishers to once again […]

2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on open access

Adoption of open access is rising – but so too are its costs
Options available to authors to make their work open access are on the rise. Adoption of open access itself is also rising, and usage of open-access materials is similarly increasing. However, alongside rising access levels another, less positive rise can also be observed: the costs of open […]

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    2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on the role of gender in academia

2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on the role of gender in academia

Male authors outnumber their female counterparts on international relations course reading lists by more than five to one
Do scholars produce and reproduce a biased representation of the academy when compiling their taught course reading lists? Following a year-long mapping exercise of the university’s entire international relations curriculum by a group of PhD students at the LSE, Gustav Meibauer, Kiran Phull and Gokhan Ciflikli found […]

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    2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on research evaluation and impact

2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on research evaluation and impact

The concept of research impact pervades contemporary academic discourse – but what does it actually mean?
Research impact is often talked about, but how clear is it what this term really means? Kristel Alla, Wayne Hall, Harvey Whiteford, Brian Head and Carla Meurk find that academic literature discusses research impact but often without properly defining it, with academic discourses mostly drawing on bureaucratic definitions originating from the […]

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    2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on connecting research with policy

2018 in review: round-up of our top posts on connecting research with policy

Engaging with Parliament: what is good Select Committee evidence?
One way of trying to make an impact with one’s research is to use it to provide evidence and information to one of Parliament’s Select Committees. Victoria Honour offers some insight into how these committees and their inquiries work, and how academics can engage with them; including practical advice on how to structure […]

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    How games can help us to understand how people make decisions and support policy development that takes better account of field realities

How games can help us to understand how people make decisions and support policy development that takes better account of field realities

Games are increasingly used in research and development projects, often bringing elements of play into real life in order to deliver insights into decision-making processes. Claude Garcia describes how real life can be taken into the world of games, facilitating players to take better decisions by themselves, and how doing so can support policy development, helping to draft policy […]

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    A Tale of Two Agendas – or why we need to think differently about impact of research in international development

A Tale of Two Agendas – or why we need to think differently about impact of research in international development

In addition to the established impact agenda, those doing research for development now also have to contend with the ODA research agenda, primarily aimed at generating impact in developing countries. But as Valeria Izzi observes, while there are clear similarities between the two, so far remarkably little reflection has gone into how they fit together and interplay. There is […]

The A to Z of writing an impact case study

With submission to REF 2021 now less than two years away, university staff and academics are stepping up work to present their best examples of research impact in the form of compelling impact case studies. In thinking about how to approach writing these documents, Sally Brown has compiled this useful A to Z; from understanding your impact aim, all […]

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    Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing

Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing

Academic publishing has been transformed by digitisation over recent decades, with the review process now able to be comprehensively tracked and transparent. But despite such progress, is our publication infrastructure actually more transparent, inclusive, and with less conflict? Or are practices of exclusion and gatekeeping merely now being hidden? Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Santi Furnari, Albane Grandazzi, Marie Hasbi, Maximilian Heimstädt, […]

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    Postdocs trying to transition to non-academic careers should be offered more support by their supervisors and universities

Postdocs trying to transition to non-academic careers should be offered more support by their supervisors and universities

Despite the position being billed as a stepping stone on the way to tenure-track academic employment, many postdocs, discouraged by their poor prospects, are questioning their career choices and instead looking to non-academic jobs as an alternative. However, as Chris Hayter and Marla A. Parker reveal, making this transition is not as easy as it might first appear.

Why are […]

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    Now a symptom of that which it sought to critique? A critical reflection on the Accelerated Academy project

Now a symptom of that which it sought to critique? A critical reflection on the Accelerated Academy project

Following the fourth event in the series, Mark Carrigan and Filip Vostal consider the Accelerated Academy project as a whole and how useful and productive it remains; reflecting on its evolution, diversity of perspectives, and whether the concept’s success in becoming an “academic ear worm” has inadvertently brought about an unwelcome reductionism.

Our recent conference in Prague was the fourth event in […]

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    The evaluative inquiry: a new approach to research evaluation

The evaluative inquiry: a new approach to research evaluation

Contemporary research evaluation systems are often criticised for negative effects they can have on academic environments and even on knowledge production itself. Established in response to many of these criticisms, the evaluative inquiry is a new, less standardised approach to research assessment. Tjitske Holtrop outlines the four principles that give shape to the evaluative inquiry’s method: employing versatile methods; […]

Let’s focus on the research process, not the outputs

The outsized importance of publications has meant too many research students focus on featuring papers in prestigous journals, despite having success in doing so feeling like something of a lottery. To Mattias Björnmalm, a strong focus on the research output instead of the research process is detrimental to research itself. Research is about increasing our understanding of the world […]

Do we need an Open Science coalition?

What exactly is Open Science? Its lack of an appropriate common definition has meant Open Science can be a variety of things; a social justice issue, part of a political capitalist regime, or a form of traditional science. But this lack of consensus leaves room for Open Science to be co-opted and even exploited. In seeking to (re)establish a […]

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