In this post Dr Reka Solymosi & Dr Michael Chataway discuss the use of mobile phone applications as a research method in the social sciences. Reflecting on their own use of apps to study fear of crime, they highlight the methodological advantages of incorporating apps into research designs and provide four key points to consider for researchers seeking to […]
Type vaccines into twitter and under a new initiative you will be prompted towards information supplied by expert institutions such as the NHS or US Department of Health and Human Services. However, by directing audiences to these sources, do social media companies overlook the important role played by online communities of lay experts? In this post Stefania Vicari explores […]
Book Review: A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy by Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum
In A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy, Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum identify and outline the emergence of a new type of conspiracist thinking in our contemporary moment, showing it to pose a fundamental threat to democratic functioning. While questioning whether the book ascribes too much intentionality to those engaging in ‘the new conspiracism’, this […]
Academic research is most often represented in abstract depersonalised formats, such as written articles and books, tables of evidence, infographics etc. Whereas these media have developed to convey information, they are less well suited to developing trust in readers outside of academic circles. In this post, Becky Carmichael explores the effects personalising research, by showing the faces of researchers, […]
Twitter and other social media platforms represent a large and largely untapped resource for social data and evidence. In this post, Wasim Ahmed updates his recurring series on the Impact Blog, to bring you the latest developments in digital methods and methodologies for researching Twitter and other social media platforms.
This post builds upon the 2015, and 2017 editions of […]
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 […]
In this post, Gal Oestreicher-Singer, Hilah Geva, and Maytal Saar-Tsechansky, discuss the extent to which users of twitter use the platform in order to diversify their identities, or to maintain ‘on message’ branded identities. Presenting a novel methodology, their findings suggest that twitter has become a tool for targeted self promotion, behaviour that is especially prevalent in professional bloggers.
The internet is a challenging environment for those looking to engage in enlightened public discourse. In this repost, Fabio Sabatini and Tommaso Reggiani present evidence showing how, although incivility has become the default setting for online conversations, where debate is civil it has a corresponding effect on levels of trust. Suggesting that an appropriate policy response to the incivility of […]
Social media platforms have become an everyday feature of modern life. One feature common to these platforms is the creation of a user profile. These profiles are vital for social media companies to make money from data analytics and targeted advertising. In this post, Lukasz Szulc explores how social media platforms translate this data-driven business model into the design […]
Helen Kennedy reflects on the recent #tenyearchallenge trend. Looking at responses to the challenge, she considers what they tell us about the public understanding of data and the companies that utilise it. Drawing on qualitative and survey data on the levels of public awareness, she finds that what the public knows about data continues to be unclear.
Facebook, Instagram […]
Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing
Academic publishing has been transformed by digitisation over recent decades, with the review process now able to be comprehensively tracked and transparent. But despite such progress, is our publication infrastructure actually more transparent, inclusive, and with less conflict? Or are practices of exclusion and gatekeeping merely now being hidden? Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Santi Furnari, Albane Grandazzi, Marie Hasbi, Maximilian Heimstädt, […]
Despite the near-constant clamour to do so, many academics remain understandably reluctant to use social media to communicate their research. But as well as increasing the diversity of the audiences academics reach with their work, Andy Tattersall suggests social media can also serve an important purpose in the present era of Brexit and “fake news”. Social media can promote […]
Until relatively recently the ability to exploit new data for open access books was restricted to large publishers or content aggregators with the resources to invest in its collection, management, and analysis. However, Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Alkim Ozaygen and Tama Leaver describe how barriers to engaging with data are falling, with open access monograph publishers now having growing […]
There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence
Our social media feeds are full of articles shared by friends and family that make claims about how something can prevent a particular health condition. But how robust is the scientific evidence base underpinning these claims? Noah Haber, Alexander Breskin, Ellen Moscoe and Emily R. Smith, on behalf of the CLAIMS team, report on a systematic review of the state […]
Social news website reddit is home to one of the world’s largest online science communities, r/science. The community ran a popular Ask Me Anything Q&A series that saw hundreds of academics quizzed on their area of expertise by an inquisitive online audience. However, following reddit’s decision to rely solely on its algorithm to surface content to its users, the […]
In their previous Impact Blog post, Katy Jordan and Mark Carrigan considered whether institutions have invested too much hope in social media as a solution to the problem of demonstrating research impact. Here they report on research analysing how social media was cited in impact case studies submitted to the UK’s REF 2014. Around a quarter of case studies […]
In a rapidly changing higher education landscape, where the meaning of “impact” and the expectations surrounding it are continually developing, the perceived relevance of social media seems obvious. Accordingly, increasing numbers of institutions are encouraging their researchers to take up social media to communicate their research to wider society. However, as Katy Jordan and Mark Carrigan explain, the rhetoric […]
The sheer number of online services and social media platforms available to academics makes it possible to receive a constant stream of information about newly published research. However, much of this may serve only as a distraction from your research and staying on top of it all can even come to feel like a burden. Anne-Wil Harzing offers some simple […]
Twitter is well established as a platform through which academics can communicate with wider audiences. However, research indicates there are clear differences between certain subject communities in how effectively this happens. Marina Della Giusta describes how economists tweet less, mention fewer people and have fewer conversations with strangers, and use less accessible language with more abbreviations and a more […]