Category: Featured

The careers of carers – A numerical adjustment cannot level the playing field for researchers who take time off to care for children

Quantitative measures of the effect of caring for children on research outputs (published papers and citations) have been used by some universities as a tool to address gender bias in academic grant and job applications. In this post Adrian Barnett argues that these adjustments fail to capture the real impacts of caring for children and should be replaced with contextual […]

Book Review: Scholarly Communication and Measuring Research – What Does Everyone Need to Know?

Academics are required to not only find effective ways to communicate their research, but also to increasingly measure and quantify its quality, impact and reach. In Scholarly Communication: What Everyone Needs to Know, Rick Anderson puts us in the picture. And in Measuring Research: What Everyone Needs to Know, Cassidy Sugimoto and Vincent Lariviere critically assess over 20 tools currently available for evaluating the quality […]

Are altmetrics able to measure societal impact in a similar way to peer review?

Altmetrics have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of scholarly communication, although the value they indicate is contested. In this post, Lutz Bornmann and Robin Haunschild present evidence from their recent study examining the relationship of peer review, altmetrics, and bibliometric analyses with societal and academic impact. Drawing on evidence from REF2014 submissions, they argue altmetrics may provide evidence for wider […]

For a Civil Internet – How the tone of online conversations can build trust

The internet is a challenging environment for those looking to engage in enlightened public discourse. In this repost, Fabio Sabatini and Tommaso Reggiani present evidence showing how, although incivility has become the default setting for online conversations, where debate is civil it has a corresponding effect on levels of trust. Suggesting that an appropriate policy response to the incivility of the internet, […]

Publishing and Perishing – Does a new generation of social scientists have to publish more to achieve less?

It is often anecdotally remarked that early career and PhD researchers have to publish their research more frequently and earlier in their careers than previous generations of academics, if they aim to secure a permanent academic job. In this post, Rob Warren lays out empirical evidence from the field of Sociology showing that this is indeed the case and highlights two […]

20 ways to increase your research impact – you won’t believe number 6!

When it comes to the war for eyeballs, most academics are ill-equipped to drive online attention to their research. In this post, Andy Tattersall draws on best practice from the sphere of viral marketing to develop the concept of ‘Scholarly Enticement’. He then presents a toolbox of simple techniques that can be applied by anyone across any discipline, to enhance […]

Book Review: Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents by Joseph M. Reagle, Jr.

In Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents, Joseph M. Reagle, Jr. explores the cultural trend of life hacking in its myriad forms as rooted in both the increasing pressures to perform to the maximum of our abilities and technological advances that are enabling us to monitor and quantify the world in unprecedented detail. The book not only lays bare an increasingly popular […]

The value of a journal is the community it creates, not the papers it publishes

When we think about the value of journal publishing, we have a tendency to think in terms of costs per article and the potential for new technologies to reduce these costs. In this post, Lucy Montgomery and Cameron Neylon argue that we should instead focus on the social life of journals and the knowledge communities they sustain. Taking this as […]