When we think about the value of journal publishing, we have a tendency to think in terms of costs per article and the potential for new technologies to reduce these costs. In this post, Lucy Montgomery and Cameron Neylon argue that we should instead focus on the social life of journals and the knowledge communities they sustain. Taking this […]
There is a wealth of advice and ‘how to’ guides available to academics on the subject of how research can have an impact on policy and practice. In this post Kathryn Oliver and Paul Cairney assess the value of this literature, arguing that unless researchers seek to situate research impact within processes of policymaking and academic knowledge production, this […]
Third mission accomplished? Why are universities bad at engaging with local and regional government and what we can do about it.
Universities are increasingly called upon to engage with local and regional government, namely as part of a ‘third academic mission’, but how effectively do they incentivize academics to do so? Using evidence from her study of the University of Aveiro, Liliana Fonseca explores the barriers that hinder engagement with these institutions and makes recommendations for how universities could expand […]
Alex Rushforth and Adam Kamenetzky report on the international symposium, ‘In the Trenches: Research Translation for Health Impact’, outlining how the concept of research impact has developed in health research, they highlight three key areas of interest; complexity, community and continuity and suggest that to advance, health impact research needs to adopt a more reflexive critical approach to value.
Drawing on case study evidence from the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme, Louise Shaxson suggests that developing a culture of engagement and collaboration is just as important to achieving research impact as following best practice, and presents five principles that underpin an effective research impact culture.
There’s no better way to occupy yourself over lunch at your desk on a rainy day […]
Given the well-known difficulties of measuring the full impact of universities, it may be better to focus instead on knowledge exchange, the process by which the societal impact of scientific knowledge is realised. For Frank Zwetsloot and Anika Duut van Goor, “contract income” – the financial investments made by external parties in contract research, contract education, patents or start-ups […]
One-way, mutually constitutive, or two autonomous spheres: what is the relationship between research and policy?
Academics are increasingly exhorted to ensure their research has policy “impact”. But is this ambition predicated on an overly simplistic understanding of the policy process? Christina Boswell and Katherine Smith set out four different approaches to theorising the relationship between knowledge and policy and consider what each of these suggests about approaches to incentivising and measuring research impact.
Political scientists […]
Crowdsourcing for social sciences researchers: data gathering, teaching, learning and research dissemination from a single project
What if your next research dissemination exercise could also help you gather unique data for your next research project, while at the same time providing your students with unique learning opportunities? Darren Moon reflects on the success of the award-winning ConstitutionUK project and suggests how its crowdsourcing techniques might represent a unique opportunity and alternative to both traditional research dissemination methods […]
The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem
That Sci-Hub’s activities are illegal is not disputed. However, according to Iván Farías Pelcastre and Flor González Correa the issue at the core of the debate is the current publishing and knowledge dissemination system and how it widens socioeconomic inequalities in academia and constrains its collective progress.
The widespread use of Sci-Hub, the world’s “first pirate website” for research papers, […]
Following his previous post on the impact of academic conferences, Donald Nicolson considers the potential problems posed by conference travel. Are academics from the southern hemisphere and Asia disadvantaged by the disproportionate number of northern hemisphere venues? And might the realities of modern day international travel discourage some academics from attending conferences at all? Such barriers can impact on […]
What do academic conferences contribute? How do academic conferences make a difference both in the lives of academics and wider society? Donald Nicolson looks at a few examples of conferences that have been able to make a demonstrable impact and argues it is to the benefit of the academy to learn more about how to get the most out […]
Research collaboration between universities and industry: Five practical principles to make it work.
Increasingly, academics and practitioners in the UK are urged to work together in collaborative research. Ana Isabel Canhoto and Sarah Quinton discuss how social features, material characteristics, and the attributes of the individuals engaged in research collaboration can support the success of a collaborative research project.
Research collaboration is deemed to accelerate the transfer of knowledge between experts and the translation […]
The inevitable chaos and unpredictability of politics makes trying to achieve policy change a real challenge. But that doesn’t mean academics should just give up. Drawing from policy analysis and public affairs lessons, James Lloyd recommends six steps to get researchers going in the right direction towards achieving policy change.
Last month I wrote a piece for the LSE Impact blog […]
UCL Student Engager project provides platform for PhD students to develop skills in public engagement.
Kevin Guyan provides background on the Student Engager project, a UCL programme for PhD students to engage with the public over museum collections and ongoing research. Projects like this could play a vital role in training the next generation of academics in a way that highlights the benefits of sharing research with non-university audiences.
If you visit one of UCL’s […]
In the States, ‘clinical’ sociologists are frequently hired to address problems within all various organisations and corporations. The UK is still catching up to this, argues Nick Fox. There are some great examples of the use of sociological approaches in public and private sectors, but sociologists interested in applying knowledge to fields of work outside academia need to identify the tools, knowledge […]
Data visualisation can be hugely effective in showing where we are in the world today and in context. Jonathan Minton has been exploring the application and potential of 3D printing for engaging with research. But with these new emerging opportunities for the presentation of data we must not do away with the complexity. Rather, visual, visceral and tactile experiences […]
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 […]
Internet freedom for all: Public libraries have to get serious about tackling the digital privacy divide.
Democratic engagement depends on critique and dialogue. Ian Clark looks at emerging issues related to digital literacy, online privacy and surveillance. Not only is a security divide emerging between those with digital knowledge and skills to protect themselves and those without, but also an intellectual privacy divide. There is scope for public libraries in the UK to teach the […]