Category: Featured

Book Review: The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities by Doris Sommer

Celebrating art and interpretation that take on social challenges, Doris Sommer looks to steer the humanities back to engagement with the world. Among the cases that she covers are top-down initiatives of political leaders, such as those launched by Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, and also bottom-up movements like the Theatre of the Oppressed created by the Brazilian director, writer, and […]

Impact Round-Up 22nd March: Data journalism, code as a research object, and the cure for impact factor mania.

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. The high-profile launch of Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight site (manifesto here), along with similar journalistic ventures like Vox Media, and The Upshot, provide the background for this week’s top recommended read by economist Allison Schrager. The problem with data journalism (Quartz), imparts […]

Business education can revive itself by building links with the public sector and embracing policy relevance.

Business schools have operated under the same pedagogical model for the past 30 years, making them a prime target for innovation. Mark Esposito pinpoints the emergence of a possible nexus between business schools and policy makers – a connection yet to be fully explored but with massive potential to help address complex problems of the future. While private and public sector […]

Open data sheds light on how universities are minority providers of commissioned research to government.

Anyone under the impression that universities are the dominant suppliers to government of commissioned research, advice, and knowledge, think again. Open data on government spending shows the relative dominance of other suppliers and mediators of knowledge to government – not least the private sector and think tanks. Simon Bastow presents some preliminary government-wide data. Moves towards more transparent and open […]

Social media is a ticking time bomb for universities with an outdated web presence.

There are pressing questions academic institutions will need to address over the next couple of years regarding their expanding participation in social media streams. Andy Tattersall argues that with such blurred boundaries of ownership, access and support, what is needed is wide-scale demystification to help academics dovetail a few choice tools to bring how they work into a modern setting. Social Media, […]

Research datasets need to be easy to find if they are to achieve their potential impact.

The impact of research data is now of definitive importance for universities, funders and disciplines themselves. Similar to the wave of preprint repositories established for journal articles that helped preserve access to papers in disciplines not otherwise catered for, we are now seeing a steady stream of institutional data repositories emerging. Alex Ball provides the background for a Jisc project looking to establish […]

BIS report on UK Research Councils: Drop in income sees fewer researchers supported but more knowledge created.

Jane Tinkler breaks down the key findings from the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) report on the impact of research council funding over the last year. With income cuts playing a significant role, the number of principal investigators and research fellowships with research council funding have both gone down. Interestingly, output productivity of funded researchers has actually increased […]

Book Review: Introducing Qualitative Research: A Student’s Guide, 2nd Edition, by Rose Barbour

In this book, Rose Barbour sets out to provide a clear, user-friendly introduction to the craft of doing qualitative research. The author’s writing style and the inclusion of numerous anecdotes from her own research, simultaneously demystify qualitative research whilst reiterating the expertise and skill which researchers must possess, writes Christina Dobson. Christina recommends this book to anyone undertaking qualitative research, postgraduate students in particular. This review originally […]

From STEM to STEAM: The potential for arts to facilitate innovation, literacy and participatory democracy.

The value of the arts goes far beyond its monetary returns. Malaika Cunningham outlines how the arts play a huge role in boosting proficiency within STEM subjects. Creative thinking is needed for truly excellent scientists, engineers and mathematicians, and how better to foster this than a rounded education, which includes arts subjects? Arts education fosters a literate and innovative workforce and strengthens the […]