Category: Featured

Impact Round-Up 5th April: Open access mandates, academic freedom, and homo academicus.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication. There has been plenty of news coming from HEFCE this week. The new policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework was announced (see Monday’s post by Alma Swan describing the new policy as a game-changer for the open […]

The right tool for the job: Five collaborative writing tools for academics.

Research collaboration now involves significant online communication. But sending files back and forth between collaborators creates redundancy of effort, causes unnecessary delays and, many times, leaves people frustrated with the whole idea of collaboration. Luckily, there are many web-based collaborative writing tools aimed at the general public or specifically at academic writers to help. Christof Schöch looks at the different tools out […]

Research assessment, altmetrics and tools for determining impact: Reading list for #HEFCEmetrics review launch.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, has announced that HEFCE are arranging an independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment and management. The Impact blog welcomes this review and will look to encourage wider discussion and debate on how research is currently assessed and how it could be in years to come. Over the last two […]

Designing ‘attention points’ in academic work: Four principles for improving tables, graphs, charts and diagrams.

Attention points in a written text help to focus readers’ attention  on the key points of the research findings. While the inclusion of such points are generally recognised as vital, Patrick Dunleavy finds that in practice, many scholarly writers struggle with basic design strategies. He identifies four top-level design principles to consider when constructing tables, charts, graphs, or diagrams. Particularly in a digital era it […]

“Re-purposing” data in the Digital Humanities: Data beg to be taken from one context and transferred to another.

While scientists may be well-versed in drawing on existing data sources for new research, humanists are not conditioned to chop up another scholar’s argument, isolate a detail and put it into an unrelated argument. Seth Long critically examines the practice of re-purposing data and finds data in the digital humanities beg to be re-purposed, taken from one context and transferred […]

HEFCE announces Open Access policy for the next REF in the UK: Why this Open Access policy will be a game-changer.

With the final consultation period now over, the Open Access policy for the next REF has been released. Alma Swan looks at the rollout which requires the deposit of articles into repositories and finds this is pragmatic but good policymaking. With that simple requirement, the culture in British universities can be shifted towards open access. Swan also notes areas where the […]

Four reasons to stop caring so much about the h-index.

The h-index attempts to measure the productivity and impact of the published work of scholar. But reducing scholarly work to a number in this way has significant limitations. Stacy Konkiel highlights four specific reasons the h-index fails to capture a complete picture of research impact. Furthermore, there are a variety of new altmetrics tools out there focusing on how to measure […]

Impact Round-Up 29th March: Citation types, commercialised knowledge, and boundary workers.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication. We need different types of citation: Replicates, Falsifies, DependsOn, Acknowledges … by Mike Taylor at SV-POW argues for further metadata on citation type to be pulled in, which would add a richer and more useful layer to citation metrics. Over […]

Mind the gap in data reuse: Sharing data is necessary but not sufficient for future reuse.

The changing cultural norms about open science and government mandates encouraging open data have influenced the increasing availability of research data. Limor Peer reports back from a recent conference involving leading voices in the scholarly community involved with facilitating data sharing and grappling with the challenges of data reuse. Peer argues the first step is to acknowledge data reuse is a problem, but remains optimistic that with […]