Open Syllabus Explorer: evidencing research-based teaching?

Research impact is often equated with the way in which research articles are cited and used by other researchers and non-academics. An often less appreciated aspect of research impact is the impact that the ideas contained within research papers and books have when used to teach students. In this re-post Anne-Wil Harzing presents the The Open Syllabus Explorer, an online tool […]

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    India’s retrospective review of PhD research quality is set to significantly change research practices

India’s retrospective review of PhD research quality is set to significantly change research practices

India’s University Grants Commission recently invited proposals to retrospectively assess the quality of PhD theses awarded by the country’s universities over the past 10 years. In this post Santosh C. Hulagabali, outlines the potential impacts of this review on Indian universities and scholars and highlights the role of this review in signaling the quality of Indian research.   

In the […]

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    A call for funders to ban institutions that use grant capture targets

A call for funders to ban institutions that use grant capture targets

Grant capture, or the ability of researchers to secure funding for their projects, is often used as a formal metric for academic evaluation. In this repost, Dorothy Bishop argues that this practice has led to peverse incentives for researchers and institutions and that research funders have both a responsibility and a significant interest in using their influence to halt […]

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    How will the emerging generation of scholars transform scholarly communication?

How will the emerging generation of scholars transform scholarly communication?

Presenting evidence from the Harbingers Study, a three-year longitudinal study of Early Career Researchers (ECRs), David Nicholas assesses the extent to which the new wave of researchers are driving changes in scholarly practices. Finding that innovative practices are often constrained by institutional structures and precarious employment, he suggests that the pace of change in these areas is always going […]

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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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    Assessing Impact Assessment – What can be learnt from Australia’s Engagement and Impact Assessment?

Assessing Impact Assessment – What can be learnt from Australia’s Engagement and Impact Assessment?

The impact agenda is an international and evolutionary phenomenon that has undergone numerous iterations. Discussing the development and recent release of the results of the Australian Engagement and Impact Assessment (EIA), Ksenia Sawczak considers the effectiveness of this latest exercise in impact assessment, finding it to provide an inadequate account of the impact of Australian research and ultimately a shaky […]

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    Measuring Inequality – Creating an indicator to assess gender bias in universities

Measuring Inequality – Creating an indicator to assess gender bias in universities

Higher education and research institutions are increasingly coming to terms with the issue of gender inequality. However, efforts to move in this direction are often isolated and difficult to compare and benchmark against each other. In this post, Caroline Wagner presents a new initiative from the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden (CWTS), to assess gender inequality […]

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    The “impact” of the Journal Impact Factor in the review, tenure, and promotion process

The “impact” of the Journal Impact Factor in the review, tenure, and promotion process

The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) – a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in a journal – has been widely critiqued as a measure of individual academic performance. However, it is unclear whether these criticisms and high profile declarations, such as DORA, have led to significant cultural change. In this post, Erin McKiernan, Juan Pablo Alperin […]

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    The careers of carers – A numerical adjustment cannot level the playing field for researchers who take time off to care for children

The careers of carers – A numerical adjustment cannot level the playing field for researchers who take time off to care for children

Quantitative measures of the effect of caring for children on research outputs (published papers and citations) have been used by some universities as a tool to address gender bias in academic grant and job applications. In this post Adrian Barnett argues that these adjustments fail to capture the real impacts of caring for children and should be replaced with […]

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    Book Review: Scholarly Communication and Measuring Research – What Does Everyone Need to Know?

Book Review: Scholarly Communication and Measuring Research – What Does Everyone Need to Know?

Academics are required to not only find effective ways to communicate their research, but also to increasingly measure and quantify its quality, impact and reach. In Scholarly Communication: What Everyone Needs to Know, Rick Anderson puts us in the picture. And in Measuring Research: What Everyone Needs to Know, Cassidy Sugimoto and Vincent Lariviere critically assess over 20 tools currently available for evaluating the […]

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    Are altmetrics able to measure societal impact in a similar way to peer review?

Are altmetrics able to measure societal impact in a similar way to peer review?

Altmetrics have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of scholarly communication, although the value they indicate is contested. In this post, Lutz Bornmann and Robin Haunschild present evidence from their recent study examining the relationship of peer review, altmetrics, and bibliometric analyses with societal and academic impact. Drawing on evidence from REF2014 submissions, they argue altmetrics may provide evidence for […]

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    Book Review: Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents by Joseph M. Reagle, Jr.

Book Review: Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents by Joseph M. Reagle, Jr.

In Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents, Joseph M. Reagle, Jr. explores the cultural trend of life hacking in its myriad forms as rooted in both the increasing pressures to perform to the maximum of our abilities and technological advances that are enabling us to monitor and quantify the world in unprecedented detail. The book not only lays bare an increasingly […]

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    “If you use social media then you are not working” – How do social scientists perceive altmetrics and online forms of scholarly communication?

“If you use social media then you are not working” – How do social scientists perceive altmetrics and online forms of scholarly communication?

Altmetrics – web-based measures of research usage – have existed for a decade. However, a significant proportion of social science research fails to register any online attention at all. This impairs the usefulness of altmetrics as a tool to understand the relevance of social science research and also suggests social researchers are less inclined to engage in online arenas. […]

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    Counting is not enough – How plain language statements could improve research assessment

Counting is not enough – How plain language statements could improve research assessment

Academic hiring and promotion committees and funding bodies often use publication lists as a shortcut to assessing the quality of applications. In this repost, Janet Hering argues that in order to avoid bias towards prestigious titles, plain language statements should become a standard feature of academic assessment.

Let’s start with the obvious. Evaluation and assessment are part and parcel of the […]

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    Invisible impact and insecure academics: structural barriers to engagement and why we should do it anyway

Invisible impact and insecure academics: structural barriers to engagement and why we should do it anyway

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a form of research that involves prolonged and deep engagement with local communities and can produce profound social impacts. In this post, Dr Katrina Raynor describes how current approaches to impact assessment and the structure of the academic labour market impede researchers from engaging with PAR and raise particular challenges for insecurely employed early […]

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    Introducing the Observatory of International Research: A simple research discovery tool for everyone

Introducing the Observatory of International Research: A simple research discovery tool for everyone

Andreas Pacher presents the Observatory of International Research (OOIR), a research tool that provides users with easy to use overviews and information for whole fields of social science research. Reflecting on the advantages and limitations of other discovery tools and the potential for information overload, Andreas points to the utility of OOIR in producing search results that are both […]

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    Book Review: The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception by David Beer

Book Review: The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception by David Beer

In The Data Gaze: Capitalism, Power and Perception, David Beer explores how we are being put under the extractive, analytic and predictive lens of a data gaze that seeks to define our world in increasingly granular detail. Critically probing into the data analytics industry and the imaginary that gives it legitimacy, Beer offers a thoroughly readable take on the structures that are constructing […]

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    Now is the time to update our understanding of scientific impact in light of open scholarship

Now is the time to update our understanding of scientific impact in light of open scholarship

Sascha Friesike, Benedikt Fecher and Gert. G. Wagner outline three systemic shifts in scholarly communication that render traditional bibliometric measures of impact outdated and call for a renewed debate on how we understand and measure research impact.

New digital research infrastructures and the advent of online distribution channels are changing the realities of scientific knowledge creation and dissemination. Yet, the […]

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    The growing, high-stakes audit culture within the academy has brought about a different kind of publishing crisis

The growing, high-stakes audit culture within the academy has brought about a different kind of publishing crisis

The spate of high-profile cases of fraudulent publications has revealed a widening replication, or outright deception, crisis in the social sciences. To Marc Spooner, researchers “cooking up” findings and the deliberate faking of science is a result of extreme pressures to publish, brought about by an increasingly pervasive audit culture within the academy.

By now most readers will have heard […]

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