Accessibility in scholarly communications is often framed as an economic and technical question of enabling more people to have access and engage with research literature. However, the dominance of the English language especially in the most prestigious academic journals, poses a different barrier to researchers who do not have high quality English writing skills. In this post Sneha Kulkarni discusses […]
As research into AI has become more developed, so too has the understanding that AI research might be misused. Discussing OpenAI’s recent decision to withhold the source code for an algorithm designed to replicate handwriting, citing concerns for the public good, Gabrielle Samuel argues that blanket commitments to openness are insufficient to protect against the potential ‘dual-use’ of AI […]
In Research Ethics in the Real World, Helen Kara offers a wide-reaching exploration of research ethics, drawing on both European/Western and Indigenous ethics paradigms and perspectives. The book will prove valuable for researchers looking to expand their consideration of ethics into all aspects of a research project, recommends Mariel McKone Leonard.
This post originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. If you would like to […]
Researcher-artist Bathsheba Okwenje contrasts the visa requirements for a Ugandan national visiting the UK with a UK national visiting Uganda. While highlighting how some passports carry certain privileges, more hidden is the emotional tax non-privileged passport-holders pay by wanting to explore the world, by needing to prove they are worthy of travel in a country that is not their […]
Developing a finer grained analysis of research impact: Can we assess the wider effects of public engagement?
Promoting public engagement with research has become a core mission for research funders. However, the extent to which researchers can assess the impact of this engagement is often under-analysed and limited to success stories. Drawing on the example of development aid, Marco J Haenssgen argues we need to widen the parameters for assessing public engagement and begin to develop […]
As schools become suffused with ed-tech, is the only response to constant surveillance the right to remain silent?
The growing prevalence of ed-tech in schools has prompted concerns over the ability of students (and parents) to develop informed decisions towards how, why, when and who uses school data. As technologies increasingly make record of students’ every word and move, Velislava Hillman asks whether the constant monitoring, micromanagement and data collection of students can guarantee a safe environment […]
Book Review: Refugees in Higher Education: Debate, Discourse and Practice by Jacqueline Stevenson and Sally Baker
20 June is World Refugee Day. In their new book Refugees in Higher Education: Debate, Discourse and Practice, Jacqueline Stevenson and Sally Baker offer a comprehensive discussion of the policies and practices that seek to ensure refugee students access to higher education, focusing on the UK and Australia. This book challenges the context of global efforts to widen participation in higher education systems for […]
In Scientists Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, editors JPat Brown et al bring together obtained FBI files to offer an insight into FBI investigations into the life and research of some of the world’s most renowned scientists, showing this surveillance to be typically driven by fear, ignorance and senseless tip-offs. The collection sheds light on some of the most intrusive ways that […]
As social media accounts and hashtags, such as #manelwatch, demonstrate academic conferences often fail to represent the diversity that exists in academia. In this post, Alice Chautard reflects on how conferences can be planned ensure/promote diversity of attendance and inclusivity of participation and presents 10 insights from the best practice guide she co-authored after implementing these inclusive planning principles at the annual […]
A critical blind spot in the impact agenda has been that impact is understood and defined solely in positive terms. In this post Gemma Derrick and Paul Benneworth introduce the concept of ‘Grimpact’, to describe instances where research negatively impacts society, and argue that the implicit optimism of research assessment has rendered researchers and science systems poorly equipped to […]
Academic writing is often criticised for being overly complicated and impenetrable to anyone outside of a small circle of experts. In this post Gemma Sou reflects on how communicating her research in the form of a graphic novel transformed her research practice. Not only making her research more representative and accessible to those involved, but also through reshaping her […]
What do you do with research that produces potentially harmful results? In this post Andrew Crane, explores how research can produce negative as well as positive impacts on society and discusses how his own research group has approached dealing with the complex issue of ‘negative impact’.
“If you put these things in your report it will kill our industry”. The […]
Gender bias in peer review has been much discussed in the wider research community. However, there have been few attempts to analyse the issue within the social sciences. To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), this post by Alex Holmes and Sally Hardy highlights research undertaken by the Regional Studies Association to investigate the effect of gender on peer review […]
Self-plagiarism, or publishing substantially similar work twice, is frowned upon in academia as a way of gaining an unfair advantage in a competitive ‘publish or perish’ environment. However, the increasingly open and digital nature of academic publishing means that replication is now easier than ever before. In this post, Mark Israel explores the ethics of self-plagiarism and asks, when is it […]
Citing the ecological damage caused by the frequent international flights made by academics, Jürgen Gerhards asks: do academics really need to travel so much? He then presents four simple changes that could be made to reduce the environmental impact of international academic travel.
Students and lecturers alike are worried about global warming and related climate change. With a clear ecological […]
How do early career researchers (ECRs) use Sci-Hub and why? In this post David Nicholas assesses early career researcher attitudes towards the journal pirating site, finding a strong preference for Sci-Hub amongst French ECRs. He raises the question, will Sci-Hub prove the ultimate disruptor and bring down the existing status quo in scholarly communications?
When we started the Harbingers Project […]
In Dissident Knowledge in Higher Education, editors Marc Spooner and James McNinch bring together contributors including Noam Chomsky, Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Eve Tuck to offer critical perspectives on the impact of neoliberalism and new managerialism on universities. Grounded in rigorous research, this is a worthy read for scholars, policymakers and education practitioners, writes Khalaf Mohamed Abdellatif.
This post originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. […]
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 […]
You-Na Lee and John P. Walsh argue that the solution to rising incidences of unreliable findings and research pathologies does not necessarily lie with preventing individual malpractice, but rather with promoting structural research integrity and developing better research teams and organizations.
There is increasing concern amongst the scientific community, policymakers and the general public about the unreliability of science. This […]
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 […]