Providing evidence to policymakers through select committees is a great way for researchers to influence current policy debates. But if you haven’t done it before, the formality of the task may appear daunting. Patrick Hanley has compiled thoughts and experiences from several LSE academics with their tips on preparing and giving evidence to policymakers. This is part one of a series on giving […]
Novel breakthroughs in research can have a dramatic impact on scientific discovery but face some distinct disadvantages in getting wider recognition. Jian Wang, Reinhilde Veugelers, Paula Stephan present an overview of their findings which suggest an inherent bias in bibliometric measures against novel research. The bias is of particular concern given the increased reliance funding agencies place on classic bibliometric indicators in making funding […]
Why are interdisciplinary research proposals less likely to be funded? Lack of adequate peer review may be a factor.
Recent findings suggest interdisciplinary research is less likely to be funded than discipline-based research proposals. Gabriele Bammer looks at how interdisciplinary research is currently peer reviewed and argues different review processes may well be required to do justice to these different kinds of interdisciplinarity. Discipline-based researchers may be ill-equipped to evaluate the integrative processes that an interdisciplinary proposal plans to […]
Social science at the crossroads: the history of political science in the USA and the evolution of social impact.
What role should social scientists play in society? Louisa Hotson explores the evolution of the social sciences through four periods in the history of political science, each with different implications for how social science makes a difference. These lessons from history encourage us to think more broadly than we have in recent decades about how we define the ‘impact’ of the social […]
The Materiality of Research: Flows of Thought: On Canals, Materiality and Humanities Research by Jodie Matthews
In this feature essay, Jodie Matthews examines how waterways have not just been the topic of her work, but have also become a dominant material metaphor that has channelled her theoretical approach. Tracing the history of the ‘canal age’ and how it continues to influence our physical and conceptual landscapes, this essay discusses how river navigations offer generative ways of considering the materiality […]
Open science has finally hit the mainstream. Alex Lancaster looks at the emerging criticisms leveled against how we publish and disseminate science and argues it may be time to reframe the open science project. Rather than relying on instrumentalist language of “carrot-and-sticks” and “rewards-and-incentives” we should instead focus on the actual working conditions for scientists and the political economy in […]
Algorithms, Accountability, and Political Emotion: on the cultural assumptions underpinning sentiment analysis.
Sentiment analysis is an increasingly popular metric for news and social media platforms. Alison Powell reflects here on the implications of sentiment analysis and its potential connection with the rise and intensification of emotion-driven politics. The data inputted to ‘train’ algorithms on sentiment analysis has enormous impact and is imbued with assumptions about the world. What mechanisms might make these algorithms […]
Redesigning integration: Access to government records is necessary for researchers to identify policy effects.
Especially for complex social issues like migration and integration, there is a pressing need to understand why certain policies work and others do not. Dominik Hangartner argues that when scholars are able to combine credible research designs with linked registry data and state-of-the-art targeted surveys, they have a greater chance of identifying the causal effects of policy parameters on short- […]
With advances in computational methods and the proliferation of data sources, text and data mining offers exciting new directions for research. Neil Stewart, Jane Secker, Chris Morrison and Laurence Horton look at the role of libraries in providing support to researchers for these projects, particularly to help with rights issues and to digitise material for scholarly re-use. Librarians should be […]
Greater than the sum of its parts: How to develop collaborative networks to solve complex social issues.
Many contemporary societal challenges are complex, and span different domains of knowledge and expertise. This is especially true for environmental issues where the need for more holistic thinking is strongly articulated. But just bringing a set of diverse actors into a room does not by itself solve complex problems, argues Örjan Bodin. Solutions are often generated by networks that […]
Repackaging research findings is not enough: Building partnerships for a practitioner-driven research agenda.
Repackaging findings in an accessible way for practitioners to understand may be a good first step towards research impact, but without practitioner involvement from the outset, the research may still be deemed irrelevant. Julie Kochanek looks at how education researchers have formed partnerships with practitioners to negotiate the research agenda itself. While the action-oriented results of these studies have proven considerably […]
How should academics interact with policy makers? Lessons on building a long-term advocacy strategy.
What can academics learn from how civil society organisations and NGOs approach policy impact? Julia Himmrich argues that academics have a lot to gain from embracing the practices of long-term advocacy. Advocacy is about establishing relationships and creating a community of experts both in and outside of government who can give informed input on policies. Being more aware of the […]
Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp from the University of the West of England, Bristol offer support for researchers looking to track and evidence the unique, creative and often qualitative outcomes of public engagement and communication activities. Rather than an add-on to the research, it may be possible to embed evaluation within the research project itself.
As science communication researchers and practitioners, we’ve been […]
Peer review and bibliometric indicators just don’t match up according to re-analysis of Italian research evaluation.
The Italian research evaluation agency undertook an extensive analysis to compare the results of peer review and bibliometric indicators for research evaluation. Their findings suggested both indicators produced similar results. Researchers Alberto Baccini and Giuseppe De Nicolao re-examine these results and find notable disagreements between the two techniques of evaluation in the sample and outline below the major shortcoming in the Italian Agency’s […]
The role of academic social science in relation to policymaking and practice has seen extensive discussion and disagreement in recent years. An essential starting point for our understanding, argues Martyn Hammersley, is to distinguish among the different types of social research, especially between academic work and more practical forms of inquiry. We need to start presenting a more realistic justification for […]
Book Review: Knowledge and Ethics in Anthropology: Obligations and Requirements edited by Lisette Josephides
Inspired by the work of British anthropologist Marilyn Strathern, Knowledge and Ethics in Anthropology: Obligations and Requirements, edited by Lisette Josephides, presents a collection of essays that examines epistemological and ethical questions relevant to the field of anthropology today, including the ethics of being with others in the world and the relationship between the local and the global. This book […]