Category: academic writing

How academics review books (and each other)

The editorial guidelines for academic book reviews regularly instruct authors to focus on the content of the works being reviewed, rather than the authors. But, how far does this hold true in practice? Drawing on evidence from historical book reviews, …

The great convergence – Does increasing standardisation of journal articles limit intellectual creativity?

Drawing on a recent survey of forty years of research papers in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and interviews with authors, Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner, Kean Birch, Thed van Leeuwen and Maria Amuchastegui observe an increasing homogenisat…

Cutting and Pasting the Past

Drawing on her book, Cut/Copy/Paste, Whitney Trettien reflects on the history of radical bookwork and what it can teach us about digital publishing today. (This feature essay first appeared on the LSE Review of Books Blog).  John Mansir Wing (1844-1917…

Tell me what you read (or watch) and I will tell you what you research: The two-way street between science and literature

Literature and in particular science fiction is often seen as being prefigurative to the development of science and technology. Whilst this can on occasion be the case, drawing on a study of AI researchers and their reading and viewing material, Sarah …

Open access books: A global preference for regional subjects

For many research disciplines English functions as the global language for research. But, how far does this align with patterns of research use globally? Drawing on download evidence from the OAPEN library of open access books, Ronald Snijder explores …

Book Review: Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork by Whitney Trettien

In Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork, Whitney Trettien explores how seventeenth-century English publishers cut up and reassembled paper media into radical, bespoke publications, arguing that this ‘bookwork’ contributes to understan…

Should you be highlighting that paper you’re reading?

The chances are at some point you have looked at a text you have been highlighting, digitally, or in the traditional fashion with a highlighter, and thought, what do these blocks of fluorescent colour actually mean? In this cross post, Pat Thomson disc…

Research Rituals – Finding the value of writing accountability groups

Academia, especially at PhD and Post-Doctoral level, is often associated with individual work and isolation. Reflecting on her experience of designing, facilitating, and working in writing accountability groups, Ann Gillian Chu discusses how to forge e…

Lives change across academic careers – so should your writing habits

Are your writing habits the same as they were when you started your academic career? Are your lifestyle and responsibilities the same? In this post, Chris Smith explores how writing habits formed at the beginning of academic careers can be difficult to…