Author: Taster

‘It could be effective…’: Uncertainty and over-promotion in the abstracts of COVID-19 preprints

A defining feature of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scholarly communication has been the brief and intense surge in the production of preprints. This has had significant impacts on the ways in which new research findings have been reported and…

What or where is the ‘Global South’? A social science perspective

The ‘Global South’ has become a popular meta category in the practice and study of world politics. Exploiting its analytical potential, Sebastian Haug argues, requires explicit engagement with definitions, meanings and the implications of taken-for-gra…

Connecting research to policy is complex, unpredictable and time consuming – so should we expect academics to do it on their own?

Earlier in the year the chief executive of UKRI, Dame Ottoline Leyser, argued that a research culture that prizes the figure of the ‘lone genius’ has stifled productive collaboration. Drawing on the experience of UCL’s Faculty of Engineering Sciences P…

Book Review: Causal Inference: The Mixtape by Scott Cunningham

In Causal Inference: The Mixtape, Scott Cunningham offers a new guide to methods for determining cause and effect in the social sciences. In summarising, systematising and prioritising methodological tools for researchers, this book will be of use to a…

Policy relevant, multidisciplinary, disruptive: What kind of research do economists want?

Based on a global survey of almost 10,000 academic economists, Peter Andre and Armin Falk explore what economists perceive to be worthwhile research in their discipline. Finding many economists think that economic research should become more policy rel…

In legislating for freedom of speech on university campuses, whose opinions will the government protect?

The Higher Education and Freedom of Speech Bill is currently moving through the committee stage in Parliament. In this post, Conor Gearty reflects on previous attempts to regulate free speech in universities and highlights potential unintended conseque…

Genuine open access to academic books requires collective solutions

UKRI, the UK’s national research funding agency, and cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders, recently reaffirmed their commitments to delivering open access to academic books. However, whilst an open trajectory has been clearly se…

Creating what we seek to measure – How to understand the performative aspect of impact evaluation?

A common feature of evaluation mechanisms across many fields of activity is the influence they have on shaping perceptions and practices within them. In the UK a key argument in favour of the inclusion of impact within the REF has been the way in which…

Book Review: The Power of Narrative: Climate Skepticism and the Deconstruction of Science by Raul P. Lejano and Shondel J. Nero

In The Power of Narrative: Climate Skepticism and the Deconstruction of Science, Raul P. Lejano and Shondel J. Nero offer a narrative analysis of climate skepticism, exploring its emergence and transformations as well as its position in the ‘post-truth…