Category: Featured

Plan S – Time to decide what we stand for

Reflecting on the recent consultation period for Plan S, a funder led proposal for achieving universal open access to research papers, Jon Tennant argues that whereas, the consultation has in many ways followed the contours of previous OA debates, OA has now become an unavoidable part of academic life and has moved into the mainstream. For this reason, he argues […]

Big Qual – Why we should be thinking big about qualitative data for research, teaching and policy

When social scientists think about big data, they often think in terms of quantitative number crunching. However, the growing availability of ‘big’ qualitative datasets presents new opportunities for qualitative research. In this post, Lynn Jamieson and Sarah Lewthwaite explore how ‘big qual’ can be deployed as a distinct research methodology to develop new forms of qualitative research and elucidate complex interactions […]

Say blockchain one more time! What is the real value of blockchain to higher education?

The revolutionary potential of blockchain has been much touted in many fields including research and higher education. In this post, Martin Hamilton discusses some of the potential applications of blockchain to academia and raises key questions about how these systems could be implemented and safeguarded from malicious exploitation.   Blockchains are all the rage right now. They’ve joined cloud computing, […]

Self-plagiarism: When is re-purposing text ethically justifiable?

Self-plagiarism, or publishing substantially similar work twice, is frowned upon in academia as a way of gaining an unfair advantage in a competitive ‘publish or perish’ environment. However, the increasingly open and digital nature of academic publishing means that replication is now easier than ever before. In this post, Mark Israel explores the ethics of self-plagiarism and asks, when is it right […]

Between value for money & development impact: Some reflections for the Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund has engaged many researches with Overseas Development Aid and the auditing and assessment infrastructures associated with it. In this post Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray outline how researchers can adopt a value for money (VfM) approach that can justify North/South research projects in a way that accounts for economy, efficiency, effectiveness, as well equity. Since […]

“Greetings from Berlin, Tokyo, Beijing” – Should we call time on international academic travel?

Citing the ecological damage caused by the frequent international flights made by academics, Jürgen Gerhards asks: do academics really need to travel so much? He then presents four simple changes that could be made to reduce the environmental impact of international academic travel.  Students and lecturers alike are worried about global warming and related climate change. With a clear ecological […]

Book Review: Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media edited by Dario Llinares, Neil Fox and Richard Berry

In Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media, editors Dario Llinares, Neil Fox and Richard Berry offer an interdisciplinary collection that explores the topic of podcasting through a media and cultural studies lens. Kim Harding welcomes this scholarly introduction to an emerging area of enquiry that will hopefully open up avenues for deeper appreciation of this new aural culture.  This post originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. If […]

Wellcome Open Research, the future of scholarly communication?

In this blog, Robert Kiley and Michael Markie, discuss the ambition behind creating Wellcome Open Research, an innovative funder led publishing platform, and assess the success of the platform over its first two years. Going on to imagine a future, in which all research is published using the principles behind Wellcome Open Research, they suggest the potential benefits such a […]

The Impact Chain – How to craft an effective impact case study narrative

A vital part of any research assessment program is the ability to clearly demonstrate the impacts, whatever they may, of the research undertaken. In this post, Katy McEwan presents the impact chain approach for writing impact case studies. A method, which provides a framework for producing impact narratives and helps authors clearly describe and spotlight the consequences, intended and unintended, […]

Counting is not enough – How plain language statements could improve research assessment

Academic hiring and promotion committees and funding bodies often use publication lists as a shortcut to assessing the quality of applications. In this repost, Janet Hering argues that in order to avoid bias towards prestigious titles, plain language statements should become a standard feature of academic assessment. Let’s start with the obvious. Evaluation and assessment are part and parcel of the […]