Category: Academic Inspiration

Reshaping the tenure and promotion process so that it becomes a catalyst for innovative and invigorating scholarship

The metrics used to identify excellence, and on which current tenure and promotion decisions are based, have become a barrier to more exciting and innovative scholarship. Christopher P. Long suggests an overhaul of tenure and promotion practices, advocating a holistic approach in which structured mentoring plays a key role and values-based metrics that will empower faculty to tell more textured […]

Open-source, commercial, non-profit, for-profit: what power have you got?

A previous Impact Blog post expressed the view that scholarly communications shouldn’t just be open but non-profit too. Mark Hahnel responds to that contention, highlighting the technical and financial considerations that render many of the academic-led, grant-funded initiatives unsustainable. Moreover, the non-profit vs. for-profit dichotomy itself may be too simplistic; non-profit is not synonymous with good, and for-profit is not synonymous […]

The pace of academic life is not the problem—the lack of autonomy is

To many disgruntled with the quantification of scholarship, its impossible demands and meaningless metrics, it is the heightened pace of academic life that is the problem. For Alison Edwards, the crux of the problem is actually a lack of autonomy. Is it time for academics to take back control? This post is inspired in part by the Impact Blog’s Accelerated […]

Book Review: The Sustainable Economics of Elinor Ostrom: Commons, Contestation and Craft.

The threat posed by global warming and environmental degradation are the most pressing examples of what has become known over the past several decades as the ‘tragedy of the commons’. In this book, Derek Wall explores the work of the late Nobel Laureate, Elinor Ostrom, on how humans can overcome this problem, and sustain the commons over the long term. […]

The Organized Mind: How to better structure our time in the age of social media and constant distraction.

The information age is drowning us in a deluge of data, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate facts from pseudo-facts, objective from biased sources, and at the same time, we’re all being asked to do more at home and at work. Daniel Levitin reviews the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory, presents the differences between mind-wandering mode and […]

Tools for thinking about an increasingly complex world

Before his death in 1975, scientist and philosopher Conrad Hal Waddington wrote two popular science books on the complexity of the problems facing Earth. Brigitte Nerlich revisits these works and finds Waddington’s interdisciplinary approach to science communication still highly relevant today, … Continue reading

Should academics adopt an ethic of slowness or ninja-like productivity? In search of scholarly time

When viewed in the broader context of late modernity, responses to the increasingly frenetic academic workload can be more clearly understood, argues Filip Vostal. Rather than choosing between the regressive ethic of slow scholarship on the one hand, or the time management … Continue reading