What do academics want – a survey of behaviours and attitudes in UK higher education

A new survey has been undertaken which looks at the changing practices of academics in the UK. Ben Showers of Jisc and Mike Mertens of RLUK discuss three key findings of the survey which demonstrate the influence of new technologies on research, the altering perceptions of support services and the changing role of the academic library. This article was originally published on LSE’s […]

June 15th, 2013|Impact|0 Comments|

Bringing perceptions on gender equality in the sciences closer to reality

When it comes to the visibility of female scientists, gender bias still remains. Natalie Cooper finds the number of women in academia is higher than most actually believe. If academics unfairly favour male scientists in recommendations, women will continue to be held back from top positions, thus maintaining the current gender imbalance in academia. Measures such as planned quotas of 50% for seminars […]

June 8th, 2013|Impact|0 Comments|

Impact factors declared unfit for duty

Last week the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment was published. This document aims to address the research community’s problems with evaluating individual outputs, a welcome announcement for those concerned with the mis-use of journal impact factors. Stephen Curry commends the Declaration’s recommendations, but also highlights some remaining difficulties in refusing to participate in an institutional culture still beholden to the impact […]

May 25th, 2013|Impact|0 Comments|

Clear articulation of scholarly contribution is essential in academic writing

Comprehensible writing relies on the strength of authorial voice, but voice remains a bewilderingly nebulous concept. Rachael Cayley recommends shifting from discussing voice to discussing contribution. The clear articulation of the contribution of one’s work to a body of research will ultimately strengthen voice. Cayley outlines modesty, inexperience, and familiarity as hurdles many academics must overcome to achieve greater clarity. This article was originally published on […]

May 25th, 2013|Impact|0 Comments|

True innovation in Higher Ed will emerge from faculty-driven, open-source projects, not start-up commercialisation

Leslie Madsen-Brooks is skeptical about the kind of disruption start-ups and tech folks promise. She highlights ways university faculty and staff are already driving thoughtful technological innovation through engaging in open source, open learning projects. Projects which focus on the individual and collective empowerment of students and communities, rather than commercialization will ensure lasting, productive disruption. This article was originally […]

May 18th, 2013|Impact|1 Comment|

Open access requirements will erode academic freedom by catalysing intensive forms of institutional managerialism

In response to last week’s piece on how open access will enhance academic freedom, Kyle Grayson responds by outlining three key reasons why open access will directly–and indirectly–erode academic freedom in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. He argues that gold access will catalyse more intensive forms of managerialism based on crude metrics and that the scope and size of research […]

May 11th, 2013|Impact|0 Comments|

The legitimacy and usefulness of academic blogging will shape how intellectualism develops

Academic blogging has become an increasingly popular form, but key questions still remain over whether blog posts should feature more prominently in formal academic discourse. Jenny Davis clarifies the pros and cons of blog citation and sees the remaining ambiguity as indicative of a changing professional landscape. The wider scholarly community must learn how to grapple with these ethical and professional questions […]

May 11th, 2013|Impact|0 Comments|

It is time to stand up for collective forms of higher education and contest the enclosure and commodification of the university

Higher education is finding itself increasingly defined by modes of competition, marketisation and privatisation. Richard Hall disentangles the web of social relations in which the university exists and asks what alternatives to the neoliberal model are possible? He finds that academics may need to consider whether a more activist, public and social role is necessary in the face of the restructuring […]

May 4th, 2013|Impact|0 Comments|