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    Not yet the default setting – in 2020 open research remains a work in progress.

Not yet the default setting – in 2020 open research remains a work in progress.

Responding to Daniel Hook’s post, The Open Tide – How openness in research and communication is becoming the default setting, Daniel Spichtinger argues that there remains much work to be done in order for open research practices to become the “new normal”. Highlighting unresolved issues around learned societies and the globalisation of open research policies, he suggests that rather […]

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2019 In Review: Research on Research

2019 has seen an increased focus on the ways in which different national and international research systems function and how they can be improved. This post brings together some of the top posts on the theme of research on research that have featured on the LSE Impact Blog during 2019.

Pushing research to the limit – Who innovates in social […]

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    Blind Luck – Could lotteries be a more efficient mechanism for allocating research funds than peer review?

Blind Luck – Could lotteries be a more efficient mechanism for allocating research funds than peer review?

Peer review is integral to the award of funds for academic research. However, as an increasingly large number of researchers attempt to secure limited funding, it is clear that much funding is awarded based on marginal assessments of the quality of different proposals. In this post, Lambros Roumbanis argues that randomly awarding research funding via lotteries presents a more […]

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    Old-fashioned peer review is still seen as the best way to allocate grants, but reviewers deserve greater recognition

Old-fashioned peer review is still seen as the best way to allocate grants, but reviewers deserve greater recognition

The allocation of research funding on the basis of peer review has recently come under scrutiny, due to the difficulty of assessing the difference between growing numbers of high quality applications. Presenting evidence from a large-scale survey of academics involved in the peer review of grant applications, James Hardcastle argues that academics largely see peer review as the best […]

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December 10th, 2019|Research policy|2 Comments|
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    To make PhDs fit for the 21st century we need to develop evidence based policies

To make PhDs fit for the 21st century we need to develop evidence based policies

The growth of PhD level education globally and in the UK has changed the nature of what it means to be a PhD holder. However, despite there being more PhDs and more value placed on producing them, there is still a severely limited evidence base for understanding PhD outcomes. Drawing on their recent working paper, Sally Hancock and Paul […]

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A Systemic View of Research Impact – An Invitation

How do we understand research impact and how does this understanding shape the knowledge societies in which academics carry out and communicate their research? Posing these questions, Benedikt Fecher and Sascha Friesike present the first chapter of a work in progress and invite readers to contribute to a larger collaborative writing project seeking to reframe the way we […]

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    Pushing research to the limit – Who innovates in social science research?

Pushing research to the limit – Who innovates in social science research?

Innovation in any field of research often runs the risk of being poorly judged and misunderstood by researchers beholden to more conventional methods. What then allows researchers to undertake research that could leave them ostracised from their disciplinary communities? In this post, Sharon Koppman and Erin Leahey highlight how the development of interdisciplinary identities, association with key organisations, and […]

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Managing secrets in higher education

In this re-post, Morten Hansen uses secrecy as a prism to deconstruct dynamics and processes in higher education. The reflections spring from various research projects on topics ranging from the Freedom of Information Act 2000, public-private partnerships, and new education markets. The post begins with experiences that Morten has had interviewing senior decision makers in the higher education sector as part […]

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    Scientist Led or Mission Oriented – How much does it cost research funders to lead science?

Scientist Led or Mission Oriented – How much does it cost research funders to lead science?

Across national research systems, decisions about what research is funded are influenced by both researchers themselves, and policymakers with national priorities. However, beyond short term change in response to grants, it is unclear how the latter mission oriented form of research funding affects research practices over the long term. In this post Kyle Myers, shows that the funding needed […]

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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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Why are Asian Academic Regulatory Bodies wary of blogging?

Blogs and blogging are an important medium for communication. In the Anglophone world they have taken on a particular significance within the academic community as a medium for discussing cross cutting issues that affect the universities sector. In this post Santosh C. Hulagabali argues that in Asia and India in particular, the dearth of institutional blogs has limited public […]

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    Lessons from the past – Why our current understanding of UK research policy is wrong

Lessons from the past – Why our current understanding of UK research policy is wrong

As a result of Brexit, research policy in the UK is being asked to perform an increasingly large array of functions and will likely undergo significant changes. In this post David Edgerton draws on the findings of a recent British Academy report on the history of UK research policy to highlight how research policy in the UK is frequently […]

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    Reflections on academic fundraising: the art of getting there

Reflections on academic fundraising: the art of getting there

Fundraising, or grant capture, has become an increasingly established part of a career in the social sciences. Whereas, in the UK this process has become institutionalized, in other research systems grant capture remains less central. In this post Abel Polese reflects on his own experiences of academic fundraising and argues that for researchers seeking research funding, failure is relative […]

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    To achieve a truly ‘Global Britain’ we need to take international research policy partnerships seriously

To achieve a truly ‘Global Britain’ we need to take international research policy partnerships seriously

The relationship between the UK’s research endeavour and its international partners is likely to change in coming years as a result of changes in domestic funding streams and a potentially sharp exit from EU funded research projects. In this post James Georgalakis argues that if the UK is seeking to be truly ‘Global’ in terms of research, there is […]

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    AmeliCA before Plan S – The Latin American Initiative to develop a cooperative, non-commercial, academic led, system of scholarly communication

AmeliCA before Plan S – The Latin American Initiative to develop a cooperative, non-commercial, academic led, system of scholarly communication

Open access is often discussed as a process of flipping the existing closed subscription based model of scholarly communication to an open one. However, in Latin America an open access ecosystem for scholarly publishing has been in place for over a decade. In this post, Eduardo Aguado-López and Arianna Becerril-Garcia discuss open access developments in Latin America and the AmeliCA initiative to develop […]

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    Book Review: Can Science Make Sense of Life? by Sheila Jasanoff

Book Review: Can Science Make Sense of Life? by Sheila Jasanoff

In Can Science Make Sense of Life?, Sheila Jasanoff questions whether the scientific capacity to manipulate life at the molecular level should also give science the authority to define what life is for. Exploring various cases to show how (techno)scientific knowledge embeds and is embedded in our social practices, identities, norms, institutions and ways of speaking, this book is a salient introduction […]

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