Category: Featured

Thomas Piketty’s Capital changed the global discussion about inequality because of its great data – now make it open.

The rich data informing Thomas Piketty’s landmark research in Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been instrumental to its success. Ulrich Atz argues it is highly commendable that Piketty has made attempts to share the data files. But none of this data is explicitly open for reuse and fails to be available in machine-readable formats. Without an open licence it is not clear whether […]

Academic citation practices need to be modernized so that all references are digital and lead to full texts.

Researchers and academics spend a lot of time documenting the sources of the ideas, methods and evidence they have drawn on in their own writings. But Patrick Dunleavy writes that our existing citation and referencing practices are now woefully out of date and no longer fit for purpose. The whole scholarly purpose of citing sources has changed around us, but […]

Publishers respond to growing need for collaboration by offering an open access home for interdisciplinary research.

The new journal Palgrave Communications aims to support interdisciplinary development by offering a high-quality outlet for research in the humanities, the social sciences and business, hoping to foster interaction, creativity and reflection within and between disciplines. Sam Burridge provides an initial overview of the new outlet. But developing truly collaborative research takes time, a feature with little appreciation in funding and policy demands, […]

What can be done to prevent the proliferation of errors in academic publications?

Every now and again a paper is published on the number of errors made in academic articles.  These papers document the frequency of conceptual errors, factual errors, errors in abstracts, errors in quotations, and errors in reference lists. James Hartley reports that the data are alarming, but suggests a possible way of reducing them. Perhaps in future there might be a […]

Five minutes with Steve Fuller: “The best teachers are like the best jazz artists – drawing on multiple texts simultaneously”

Mark Carrigan interviews Steve Fuller about the act of improvisation and how it shapes creativity and learning. Through improvisation, the mind is gradually freed up from reproducing past social structures. Improvisation depends on having read sufficiently what others have written to be able to create something that is interestingly new. As such, Professor Fuller finds that improvisation is one of the […]

Global-level data sets may be more highly cited than most journal articles.

Scientists can be reluctant to share data because of the need to publish journal articles and receive recognition. But what if the data sets were actually a better way of getting credit for your work? Chris Belter measured the impact of a few openly accessible data sets and compared to journal articles in his field. His results provide hard evidence that the […]

Journalists should follow the lead of media scholars and look to the Internet as a rich source of data.

Journalists rarely use the web as a source of data about the state of issues, debates and information flows in different societies. Liliana Bounegru looks at how media scholars have leveraged digital data and algorithmic accountability. In times of shrinking news budgets and staff cuts journalists can turn to such readily available sources of data as a way to understand public engagement […]