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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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    Learned Societies, the key to realising an open access future?

Learned Societies, the key to realising an open access future?

Plan S, a funder led initiative to drive open access to research, will have significant impacts on the ways in which academics publish and communicate their research. However, beyond simply changing the way academics disseminate their research, it will also influence how learned societies, the organisations tasked with representing academics in particular disciplines, operate, as many currently depend […]

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    Peer review is not just quality control, it is part of the social infrastructure of research

Peer review is not just quality control, it is part of the social infrastructure of research

The purpose of peer review is often portrayed as being a simple ‘objective’ test of the soundness or quality of a research paper. However, it also performs other functions primarily through linking and developing relationships between networks of researchers. In this post, Flaminio Squazzoni explores these interconnections and argues that to understand peer review as simply an exercise in […]

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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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    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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    Grimpact – Time to acknowledge the dark side of the impact agenda

Grimpact – Time to acknowledge the dark side of the impact agenda

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 […]

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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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    Charting the rise and fall of North American leadership in global science: Insights from the population of Nobel Laureates.

Charting the rise and fall of North American leadership in global science: Insights from the population of Nobel Laureates.

For the majority of the last century North America has been at the epicentre of global scientific research. However, through the course of the 21st century other countries have begun to close this gap in a number of ways, notably China is now the global leader in published research and is on course to overtake the US in […]

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    Building a globalised research system – the case of Bangladesh

Building a globalised research system – the case of Bangladesh

The internet has had a double impact on scholarly communication in the global south, making it easier for these countries to access research and also making research published in these countries more accessible. In this post Dr Haseeb Irfanullah discusses how Bangladesh has adapted to this new scholarly communication system and highlights the need for strong research infrastructures and […]

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    How does funding and publication affect the time taken to complete a PhD?

How does funding and publication affect the time taken to complete a PhD?

A persistent problem for higher education policy has been how to ensure a steady supply of doctoral graduates equipped to deal with today’s global challenges. In this post Hugo Horta, Mattia Cattaneo and Michele Meoli examine the relationship between PhD funding and research productivity during PhD studies with time taken to complete a PhD and suggest that a key […]

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    The Open Tide – How openness in research and communication is becoming the default setting

The Open Tide – How openness in research and communication is becoming the default setting

 Open Access to research findings is often presented as an end unto itself. However, the ethos of open access, to enable a greater sharing and utilisation of research knowledge, suggests a more complex network of scholarly communication. Presenting the findings of a recent report on the development of Open Access, Daniel Hook explores how the open trajectories of the […]

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    Plan S and the Global South – What do countries in the Global South stand to gain from signing up to Europe’s open access strategy?

Plan S and the Global South – What do countries in the Global South stand to gain from signing up to Europe’s open access strategy?

Plan S raises challenging questions for the Global South. Even if Plan S fails to achieve its objectives the growing determination in Europe to trigger a “global flip” to open access suggests developing countries will have to develop an alternative strategy. In this post Richard Poynder asks: what might that strategy be?

Announced last year, Plan S is an initiative […]

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    Between value for money & development impact: Some reflections for the Global Challenges Research Fund

Between value for money & development impact: Some reflections for the Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund has engaged many researches with Official Development Assistance and the auditing and assessment infrastructures associated with it. In this post Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray outline how researchers can adopt a value for money (VfM) approach that can justify North/South research projects in a way that accounts for economy, efficiency, effectiveness, as well as […]

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    Book Review: Dissident Knowledge in Higher Education edited by Marc Spooner and James McNinch

Book Review: Dissident Knowledge in Higher Education edited by Marc Spooner and James McNinch

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. […]

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    Citizens of Somewhere: What is the effect of the international profile of UK academia on national and international pathways to impact?

Citizens of Somewhere: What is the effect of the international profile of UK academia on national and international pathways to impact?

In this post Cornelia Lawson, Ammon Salter, Alan Hughes, and Michael Kitson explore how international academics working in the UK higher education system contribute to impacts made inside and outside of the UK. Drawing on a survey of 18,000 academics, they note that whilst international academics contribute more to impacts outside of the UK than their UK counterparts, they […]

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