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    If we’re serious about changing the world, we need to get our evidence right – A comment on the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics.

If we’re serious about changing the world, we need to get our evidence right – A comment on the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics.

The announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize in economics has highlighted divisions within the development economics community, particularly around the efficacy of using Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) as a tool for making social interventions. In this post Gorgi Krlev discusses the pros and cons of experimental approaches in economics and suggests that rather than seeing routes to delivering social change […]

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    Manufacturing Collaboration – Can you teach researchers how to achieve impact?

Manufacturing Collaboration – Can you teach researchers how to achieve impact?

As part of the impact agenda and the increased focus on realising social and economic returns on research investment, universities have increasingly sought to promote and train academics to carry out research collaborations across disciplines and with non-academic partners. Whilst this kind of research can be impactful, Helen B Woods argues that attempts to direct research in this way […]

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    Disrupting transcription – How automation is transforming a foundational research method

Disrupting transcription – How automation is transforming a foundational research method

The transcription of verbal and non-verbal social interactions is a central feature of social research and remains one of the most labour intensive and time consuming parts of many research projects. In this post Daniela Duca explores how the automation of transcription has become standard practice in other industries, such as news media, and considers what this might mean for […]

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    Book Review: Research Ethics in the Real World by Helen Kara

Book Review: Research Ethics in the Real World by Helen Kara

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 […]

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    The human element – why randomised control trials need mixed methods approaches

The human element – why randomised control trials need mixed methods approaches

The applicability of Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) to the social sciences has been widely questioned. However, assessing the effectiveness of RCTs, in practice has proved difficult. In this post, Naila Kabeer reflects on her recent research into randomised control trials utilised as part of a programme to alleviate poverty in West Bengal and highlights how, when RCTs are used […]

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Four reasons to graphically illustrate your research

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 […]

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    Book Review: Other, Please Specify: Queer Methods in Sociology edited by D’Lane Compton, Tey Meadow and Kristen Schilt

Book Review: Other, Please Specify: Queer Methods in Sociology edited by D’Lane Compton, Tey Meadow and Kristen Schilt

In Other, Please Specify: Queer Methods in Sociology, editors D’Lane Compton, Tey Meadow and Kristen Schilt bring together contributors to reflect on the challenges and rewards of developing and conducting queer research while also questioning the traditional epistemological, methodological and political commitments of sociology. This is an engaging and vital book that provides methodological advice and practical strategies for undertaking queer research, writes Catalina Martin. 
This post […]

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    The death of the literature review and the rise of the dynamic knowledge map

The death of the literature review and the rise of the dynamic knowledge map

Almost every academic article starts with a literature review. However, although these short research summaries can be beneficial, as discussed in previous posts on the LSE Impact Blog, they also introduce opportunities for unverifiable misrepresentation and self-aggrandizement. In this post Gorgi Krlev proposes that short of abolishing them, or aiming for complete standardization of literature reviews, researchers in the […]

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    Big Qual – Why we should be thinking big about qualitative data for research, teaching and policy

Big Qual – Why we should be thinking big about qualitative data for research, teaching and policy

When social scientists think about big data, they often think in terms of quantitative number crunching. However, the growing availability of ‘big’ qualitative datasets presents new opportunities for qualitative research. In this post, Lynn Jamieson and Sarah Lewthwaite explore how ‘big qual’ can be deployed as a distinct research methodology to develop new forms of qualitative research and elucidate complex […]

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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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    Book Review: Doing Realist Research edited by Nick Emmel, Joanne Greenhalgh, Anna Manzano, Mark Monaghan and Sonia Dalkin

Book Review: Doing Realist Research edited by Nick Emmel, Joanne Greenhalgh, Anna Manzano, Mark Monaghan and Sonia Dalkin

In Doing Realist Research, Nick Emmel, Joanne Greenhalgh, Anna Manzano, Mark Monaghan and Sonia Dalkin draw on the expertise of key specialists who push the boundaries of traditional research approaches to advocate for a more thoughtful and critical application of realist methodologies. This book will support researchers across disciplines to challenge the rigidity of established practice, writes Andreea Moise, and makes a compelling case for integrating aspects of realism or […]

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    How games can help us to understand how people make decisions and support policy development that takes better account of field realities

How games can help us to understand how people make decisions and support policy development that takes better account of field realities

Games are increasingly used in research and development projects, often bringing elements of play into real life in order to deliver insights into decision-making processes. Claude Garcia describes how real life can be taken into the world of games, facilitating players to take better decisions by themselves, and how doing so can support policy development, helping to draft policy […]

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Let’s focus on the research process, not the outputs

The outsized importance of publications has meant too many research students focus on featuring papers in prestigous journals, despite having success in doing so feeling like something of a lottery. To Mattias Björnmalm, a strong focus on the research output instead of the research process is detrimental to research itself. Research is about increasing our understanding of the world […]

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    Greater than the sum of its parts: why the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs should adopt a programme approach to research design and management

Greater than the sum of its parts: why the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs should adopt a programme approach to research design and management

Awards for the GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs will soon be announced. Each of these Hubs will inevitably have to balance the different imperatives of research excellence, development impact, and collaborative processes. To improve their chances of being successful in doing so, Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray suggest that each Hub must set out with the explicit intention of being […]

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How to run a book sprint – in 16 steps

A “book sprint” is a method of writing a book collaboratively in only a short period of time, usually less than a week. Lambert Heller and Helene Brinken share insights from their own experience of facilitating a book sprint to write the Open Science Training Handbook earlier this year. Here, the process is measured out over a distance of […]

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    The overall incidence of published replication studies in economics is minuscule – greater incentives are required

The overall incidence of published replication studies in economics is minuscule – greater incentives are required

Replicability is considered a hallmark of good scientific practice, an important post-publication quality check. But how many studies are chosen for replication? Frank Mueller-Langer, Benedikt Fecher, Dietmar Harhoff, Gert G. Wagner have examined the economics literature and find that only one in one thousand publications are replication studies. The introduction of mandatory data disclosure policies may help to increase […]

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    “Interdisciplinary, like everyone else.” But are you being interdisciplinary for the wrong reasons?

“Interdisciplinary, like everyone else.” But are you being interdisciplinary for the wrong reasons?

Interdisciplinarity is the talk of the town. Funding agencies favour interdisciplinary research proposals, teaching programmes focus on developing interdisciplinary courses, and the publication of interdisciplinary studies has surged over recent decades. Lakshmi Balachandran Nair considers whether interdisciplinarity remains a strategy to surpass the limits of the methodological tools, theories, and views offered by a single discipline or has instead […]

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