Category: Featured

“This device is licensed”: the material and immaterial bureaucracy of academic research

Derek Dunne draws attention to the hidden bureaucratic labour that is increasingly a part of academic life. Rather than see this as the “white noise” to be tuned out of everyday working practices, he calls for us to question the forms that are put in front of us demanding our acquiescence, whilst also locating potential sites of resistance.   “This device is […]

Research should not allow the loud voice of online content production to drown out the quiet majority of internet users

Social science research aims to record, analyse, and make sense of social mess; to observe and account for everything in a given setting. Why, then, does so much of the research carried out online refuse to do this? Harry Dyer argues that in order to understand the social uses of the internet, it is crucial that research is not focused […]

“Words divide, pictures unite” – great historic examples of the use of data visualisation for research communication

Students, researchers and academics from across a variety of disciplines use data visualisations and infographics in their blogs and projects to better tell the stories in their data and enhance audience understanding. As part of a series previewing their new book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams explore a short history […]

Microsoft Academic is on the verge of becoming a bibliometric superpower

Last year, the new Microsoft Academic service was launched. Sven E. Hug and Martin P. Brändle look at how it compares with more established competitors such as Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science. While there are reservations about the availability of instructions for novice users, Microsoft Academic has impressive semantic search functionality, broad coverage, structured and rich metadata, and […]

Leading research institutions should not be allowed to get away with bad writing

Paul Romer, chief economist at the World Bank, was recently sidelined after encouraging his researchers to communicate more clearly, even going as far as imposing a limit on their use of the word “and”. Caroline Cassidy defends Romer’s intentions and argues that strong communication is of critical importance to using research to find solutions to the world’s problems, even more […]

Gained in translation: adding value to research to inform policy

Within the social sciences, translating and sharing new knowledge is now common practice amongst many researchers and institutions across academia. From evidence briefings and summaries of literature to online blogs and presentations, a wide range of research evidence aims to engage policy and practitioner audiences so they can more easily access and use the evidence. Raj Patel questions whether it […]

How do LSE blogs impact the academic sphere? Blogs as citable items in scholarly publications

In the third of a series of posts on the Impact of LSE Blogs project, Carlos Arrebola takes a closer look at the increasing frequency with which LSE blog posts are being cited in scholarly publications. The Impact Blog has been cited most often, perhaps reflecting its authors’ readiness to draw on non-traditional scholarly outputs. Unsurprisingly, a majority of citations come from […]

A closer look at the Sci-Hub corpus: what is being downloaded and from where?

Sci-Hub remains among the most common sites via which readers circumvent article paywalls and access scholarly literature. But where exactly are its download requests coming from? And just what is being downloaded? Bastian Greshake has analysed the full Sci-Hub corpus and its request data, and found that articles are being downloaded from all over the world, more recently published papers are among […]

OpenAIRE can form the basis for a truly public European Open Access Platform

In a previous Impact Blog post, Benedikt Fecher and colleagues envisioned a European Open Access Platform, an innovative public information infrastructure that would integrate publishing and dissemination into the research lifecycle, rather than having it outsourced. Tony Ross-Hellauer describes how OpenAIRE is working to make this vision a reality, and how it can contribute further to create a participatory, federated […]

How do LSE Blogs impact the academic sphere? Exploring the effects of blogging on published research

In the second of a series of posts on the Impact of LSE Blogs project, Carlos Arrebola and Amy Mollett share the first findings of an LSE study that sought to examine the effects of blogging on the success of published articles. While the study proved to be more exploratory than explanatory, with the positive effects on citations particularly difficult […]