Author: Cousens,EV

How to tell an impact story? The building blocks you need

At a loss for how to demonstrate impact? Laura Meagher and David Edwards outline a dynamic understanding of impact evaluation comprised of ‘building blocks’. These building blocks are five types of impacts; five broad categories of stakeholders; and eight causal factors, along with a set of over-arching reflective questions.   The increasing pressure placed upon … Continued

The pandemic is making it harder for researchers but women are hit the hardest. 4 findings from 80 countries

Coronavirus has had a global impact and has affected every aspect of academic and university life. Chris Smith and Deirdre Watchorn  have surveyed 3,200 scholarly authors across 80 countries. They found that the impacts of changes to working conditions might not be experienced equally – and this inequality was divided along gender lines. De Gruyter is an international, independent academic … Continued

Data protection laws apply to anyone who collects information about a living individual. So what do researchers in arts, humanities and social sciences need to know?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has significant implications for academic researchers. The Royal Historical Society recently published a set of guidelines to help researchers navigate the legal requirements around data protection. Dr Katherine Foxhall, RHS Research and Communications Officer explains some of the key factors that researchers in SHAPE subjects should be aware of. … Continued

Businesses know the value of social sciences. Higher Education policy needs to catch up

The social sciences are recognised for their role in evaluating policy and offering practice-based interventions about ‘what works’. However, they are less often justified in terms of their value to the private sector. Sharon Witherspoon outlines the finding of a report into eight case studies of UK businesses.  The report covers a range of different … Continued

Online conferences don’t have to feel like substitutes. 4 considerations for making yours better than the ‘real thing’

Academics and event organisers have had to quickly adapt to online conferences. However, they are here to stay. Mark Carrigan  and Dave Elder-Vass argue that digital events offer opportunities to be better than face-to-face versions. They outline four considerations for organisers and participants to embed online events in academic culture, as a superior alternative to many, though … Continued

Book Review: The Impact Agenda: Controversies, Consequences and Challenges by Katherine E. Smith, Justyna Bandola-Gill, Nasar Meer, Ellen Stewart and Richard Watermeyer

In The Impact Agenda, Katherine E. Smith, Justyna Bandola-Gill, Nasar Meer, Ellen Stewart and Richard Watermeyer bring together research about the impact agenda and its policies into one critical discussion to highlight why it creates the controversies, consequences and challenges of the book’s subtitle. Calling on the UK academic community to seize the opportunity to reshape the impact agenda in more positive and … Continued

Between science and policy—Scrutinising the role of SAGE in providing scientific advice to government

Reflecting on his role as chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, Greg Clark MP, discusses the effectiveness of the UK’s scientific advisory body SAGE during the COVID-19 pandemic and considers the importance of transparency in assessing the extent to which scientific research can effectively guide government policy.   Since March, the Committee that … Continued

Navigating algorithms and affective communities in the quest for altmetric stardom

Developing a social media presence is an important ingredient for academics seeking engagement with their research. However, the binary logic rewarded by the Twitter algorithm, means that the route to altmertric stardom for some may yield abuse for others. Naomi Barnes argues that understanding how social media algorithms work is essential to ensure the ethical … Continued

The role of the research assessment in strengthening research and health systems

Research Impact Assessments are regularly regarded as a tiresome part of the research process. However, Annette Boaz and Stephen Hanney find that taking a systems approach to health research demonstrates the value of assessing impact. Drawing on examples from a new review for the WHO Health Evidence Network, they highlight the role that impact assessments … Continued

Scaling what works doesn’t work: we need to scale impact instead

Scaling has become a buzzword in international development, where the received wisdom is to ‘scale what works’. However, whilst this is a paradigm that suits private investment in international development and science more broadly, complex problems require nuanced solutions. Robert Mclean, John Gargani and Dena Lomofsky, argue that a new conception of scaling – scaling … Continued