Category: academia

Editorial: Social science in a time of social distancing

The spread of the Covid-19 virus has presented an unparalleled challenge for society, academia and the social sciences. As universities across the UK and the world have halted teaching activities, closed campuses and moved to online forms of working, major changes have been asked of individuals and society as a whole. As of last week, … Continued

The Senior Management Survey: auditing the toxic university

Higher education in the UK has been defined by a succession of assessment frameworks; National Student Survey, Teaching, Research Excellence and Knowledge Exchange Frameworks. Turning the quantitative focus of these exercises onto the management of universities, Mark Erickson, Paul Hanna and Carl Walker present the findings of a survey of staff perceptions of senior management … Continued

Book Review: Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy by Richard Watermeyer

In Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy, Richard Watermeyer critically explores the increasing quantification of academic life and the rise of the marketised competitive university. This book particularly succeeds in not only exploring the futility and counterproductiveness of quantified academic performance metrics, but also revealing how complicity among some academics allows … Continued

10 Counter-intuitive insights from an academic writing coach

Academic writing is a difficult and creative undertaking and advice to authors can often be to follow a single method or to copy the approaches of other academics. In this post Chris Smith draws on his years of experience working as an academic writing coach, to provide 10 counter-intuitive insights to help you understand and improve your own writing practice.  […]

Book Review: Getting the Most out of Your Doctorate: The Importance of Supervision, Networking and Becoming a Global Academic edited by Mollie Dollinger

In Getting the Most out of Your Doctorate: The Importance of Supervision, Networking and Becoming a Global Academic, editor Mollie Dollinger brings together commentary and analysis from an international group of students and scholars to offer reflections on the doctoral researcher’s journey through a PhD programme. This is a smart, handy and pragmatic contribution to any doctoral student’s bookshelf, writes Sabrina Wilkinson, and may […]

Making research evaluation processes in Europe more transparent

Researchers repeatedly cite career advancement as a key incentive for their practices and behaviours. This is critical to understanding the pace of change in scholarly communications, as those researchers inclined to innovate or experiment with new forms of research outputs, methodologies, or communication styles risk being penalised by the evaluation system used by many research institutions that are slow to […]

How to compare apples with oranges: using interdisciplinary “exchange rates” to evaluate publications across disciplines

Academic research performance is typically assessed on the basis of scientific productivity. While the number of publications may provide an accurate and useful metric of research performance within one discipline, interdisciplinary comparisons of publication counts prove much more problematic. To solve this problem, Timo Korkeamäki, Jukka Sihvonen, and Sami Vähämaa introduce interdisciplinary “exchange rates”, which can be used to convert […]

Book Review: Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research: In Praise of Detours edited by Charlotte Wegener, Ninna Meier and Elina Maslo

The collection Cultivating Creativity in Methodology and Research: In Praise of Detours, edited by Charlotte Wegener, Ninna Meier and Elina Maslo, is comprised of short essays that offer imaginative detours from conventional academic wisdom to reflect on lived experiences of research. While the volume at times risks emphasising the unhappy aspects of academic life over and above the potential for creativity, […]