Category: Featured

Geographies of knowledge: practical ways to boost the visibility of research undertaken and published in the South.

Jonathan Harle and Sioux Cumming discuss how to strengthen research networks in developing countries. There is still a huge body of Southern research which simply never gets counted. Research that is undertaken and published in the South needs to be valued, and this will only happen when Southern universities value it in their reward and promotion systems and when research funders recognise it […]

Book Review: Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings

Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings’ book maps the life of philosopher Walter Benjamin from beginning to end, tracing the roots of his thought all the way from his early childhood to his seminal work as part of the esteemed ‘Frankfurt School’, and ultimately to his last months in Paris. The biography is very well written, featuring sparse, elegant prose – a lot […]

To argue against open access on the grounds that it damages the reach of research is to undersell research.

In this article, Ben Johnson posits that the frequently asked questions concerning open access implementation for particular disciplines arise from an incomplete conception of the nature of openness more generally. This conception neglects one vital component of openness: connection. Connection requires moving beyond a view of open access as a disruptive process towards a more nuanced picture of the interrelationship between openness, visibility […]

Creating an efficient workflow for publishing scholarly papers on Wikipedia.

The global scope and popularity of Wikipedia make it an ideal medium for researchers to share expertise. But it has been difficult to find an efficient way to link accessible scholarly work into the edits. Martin Poulter describes how the journal PLOS Computational Biology has tackled this issue by inviting submissions of review papers on a specific topic or research technique that has no article, […]

Clicking on the real: telling stories and engaging audiences through interactive documentaries.

An interesting thing about contemporary media is just how much of it is factual. From journalism to social media, YouTube to reality TV we are surrounded by media that claims to be true. Often this content has a definite agenda; it wants to persuade us, make us click, join in and pass it on. How can we understand our changing […]

‘Big data’ from online market interactions offer a rich opportunity to study human nature and economic behaviour.

Data on the interactions between individuals on the Internet are often viewed as a potential threat to privacy or freedom of expression. As Wojtek Przepiorka writes, however, the ‘big data’ produced by online transactions and feedback processes on websites such as eBay can also be an invaluable resource for academics and policy-makers. He argues that subjecting this data to formal study has […]

Book Review: The Passionate Economist: How Brian Abel-Smith Shaped Global Health and Social Welfare by Sally Sheard

In this book Sally Sheard looks at the life and achievements of former LSE professor Brian Abel-Smith, and at the development of health and social welfare systems since the 1950s. The Passionate Economist deserves to find its way on to many people’s shelves and reading lists: not just the historians of health and welfare, but anyone interested in questions of social justice and how academics, politicians […]

Impact Round-Up 12th April: Academese, #datadramas, and how not to think about the humanities.

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. What would happen if you lost all of your research data? by Julia Giddings at Digital Science explores such a situation faced by Billy Hinchen when his laptop with four years worth of research data was stolen. Hear […]

University rankings wield immense influence over Higher Ed and society at large – with positive and perverse effects.

In a time of growing demand for and on higher education, university rankings have transformed university strategy. Ellen Hazelkorn finds their crude simplicity is what makes rankings so infectious. Yet, quality is a complex concept. Most of the indicators used are effectively measures of socio-economic advantage, and privilege the most resource-intensive institutions and-or countries. In response and reaction to the limited nature […]