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    Book Review: Think Tanks: The New Knowledge and Policy Brokers in Asia by James G. McGann

Book Review: Think Tanks: The New Knowledge and Policy Brokers in Asia by James G. McGann

In Think Tanks: The New Knowledge and Policy Brokers in Asia, James G. McGann examines the role of think tanks in Asia, exploring their current limitations as well as how they can expand and improve the quality of their analysis to provide the region’s political actors with the policy advice they require. While the book contains the seeds of a compelling and […]

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    Do social media companies undervalue the expertise of online communities?

Do social media companies undervalue the expertise of online communities?

Type vaccines into twitter and under a new initiative you will be prompted towards information supplied by expert institutions such as the NHS or US Department of Health and Human Services. However, by directing audiences to these sources, do social media companies overlook the important role played by online communities of lay experts? In this post Stefania Vicari explores […]

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    Do no harm? – What development practice can teach us about negative impact

Do no harm? – What development practice can teach us about negative impact

As previous posts on the Impact Blog have highlighted, one aspect of the impact agenda that has until recently been relatively neglected has been that of negative impact, or ‘grimpact’. In this post Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray draw on examples from development practice and research to advance a more complex understanding of grimpact and argue that as development […]

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    Why social science can help us to better understand organisational change in healthcare

Why social science can help us to better understand organisational change in healthcare

Lorelei Jones, Alec Fraser, and Ellen Stewart write that while the literature of large‐scale healthcare reform is dominated by competing forms of knowledge, social science in particular can offer new insights.
Major changes to the way clinical services are organised keep happening, despite a lack of evidence that it improves anything. Health services research often excludes important dimensions, such as politics and emotions, in favour […]

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    The changing imperative to demonstrate social science impact

The changing imperative to demonstrate social science impact

In less than a decade the impact agenda has evolved from being a controversial idea to an established part of most national research systems. Over the same period the conceptualisation of research impact in the social sciences and the ability to create and measure research impact through digital communication media has also developed significantly. In this post, Ziyad Marar […]

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    Does evidence still matter? 10 strands of continuity and change in evidence based policy and practice

Does evidence still matter? 10 strands of continuity and change in evidence based policy and practice

The concept of evidence based public policy has been well established for over 20 years and unsurprisingly has sustained numerous critiques and criticisms over this period. In this post Annette Boaz, Sandra Nutley, Huw Davies, and Alec Fraser, present findings from a new international review of the evidence based policy paradigm and highlight 10 ways in which […]

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    The value of a journal is the community it creates, not the papers it publishes

The value of a journal is the community it creates, not the papers it publishes

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 […]

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    Beware the well-intentioned advice of unusually successful academics

Beware the well-intentioned advice of unusually successful academics

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 […]

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    Research Translation for Health Impact, The state of the art

Research Translation for Health Impact, The state of the art

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.

Impact […]

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    Measuring knowledge exchange – the road to societal impact?

Measuring knowledge exchange – the road to societal impact?

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 […]

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    One-way, mutually constitutive, or two autonomous spheres: what is the relationship between research and policy?

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 […]

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    The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem

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, […]

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Conference travel as a barrier to knowledge development

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 […]

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The last great unknown? The impact of academic conferences.

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 […]

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    Research collaboration between universities and industry: Five practical principles to make it work.

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 […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.