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    Book Review: This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

Book Review: This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

In This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality, Peter Pomerantsev takes readers on a gripping journey through the disinformation age, drawing on his own family history as well as encounters with numerous figures positioned on both sides of the information spectrum: those working to manipulate our perceptions and those engaged in the struggle for a more facts-based public sphere. Ignas […]

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    Do social media companies undervalue the expertise of online communities?

Do social media companies undervalue the expertise of online communities?

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 […]

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    Book Review: A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy by Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum

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 […]

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    How will the emerging generation of scholars transform scholarly communication?

How will the emerging generation of scholars transform scholarly communication?

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 […]

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    Building online personas: Has social media become an exercise in self-branding?

Building online personas: Has social media become an exercise in self-branding?

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.

More […]

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    For a Civil Internet – How the tone of online conversations can build trust

For a Civil Internet – How the tone of online conversations can build trust

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 […]

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    Our Profile(d) Selves: How social media platforms use data to tell us who we should be

Our Profile(d) Selves: How social media platforms use data to tell us who we should be

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 […]

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    What does Facebook’s #tenyearchallenge tell us about public awareness of data and algorithms?

What does Facebook’s #tenyearchallenge tell us about public awareness of data and algorithms?

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.

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    Three propositions to help to cultivate a culture of care and broad-mindedness in academic publishing

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, […]

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    In the era of Brexit and fake news, scientists need to embrace social media

In the era of Brexit and fake news, scientists need to embrace social media

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 […]

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    How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

How small open access monograph presses can make the most of an increasingly rich data landscape

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 […]

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    There is a large disparity between what people see in social media about health research and the underlying strength of evidence

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 […]

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    r/ip: why science communicators should mourn the loss of reddit’s Ask Me Anything series

r/ip: why science communicators should mourn the loss of reddit’s Ask Me Anything series

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 […]

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How was social media cited in 2014 REF Impact Case Studies?

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 […]

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