Category: free

“Writing sprints” can facilitate collaboration and encourage new ways of thinking about academic writing

Claire Taylor and Niamh Thornton describe their experience of hosting a “writing sprint”, a time-limited exercise in which academics from many disciplines and from all over the world were brought together virtually to produce an academic article. Despite certain challenges, the writing sprint proved a great way of facilitating collaborations and providing opportunities for reflections on the process of writing […]

Book Review: The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook edited by Ellyssa Kroski

With The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook, editor Ellyssa Kroski offers a guide for librarians wanting to learn more about the different approaches to, challenges of, and technologies involved in makerspaces. This is an interesting, informative and fun read, writes Antony Groves, that will inspire a wide audience. This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books and is published under a CC BY-NC-ND […]

“This device is licensed”: the material and immaterial bureaucracy of academic research

Derek Dunne draws attention to the hidden bureaucratic labour that is increasingly a part of academic life. Rather than see this as the “white noise” to be tuned out of everyday working practices, he calls for us to question the forms that are put in front of us demanding our acquiescence, whilst also locating potential sites of resistance.   “This device is […]

Research should not allow the loud voice of online content production to drown out the quiet majority of internet users

Social science research aims to record, analyse, and make sense of social mess; to observe and account for everything in a given setting. Why, then, does so much of the research carried out online refuse to do this? Harry Dyer argues that in order to understand the social uses of the internet, it is crucial that research is not focused […]

“Words divide, pictures unite” – great historic examples of the use of data visualisation for research communication

Students, researchers and academics from across a variety of disciplines use data visualisations and infographics in their blogs and projects to better tell the stories in their data and enhance audience understanding. As part of a series previewing their new book Communicating Your Research with Social Media, Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams explore a short history […]

Microsoft Academic is on the verge of becoming a bibliometric superpower

Last year, the new Microsoft Academic service was launched. Sven E. Hug and Martin P. Brändle look at how it compares with more established competitors such as Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science. While there are reservations about the availability of instructions for novice users, Microsoft Academic has impressive semantic search functionality, broad coverage, structured and rich metadata, and […]

Book Review: Copyright and E-learning: A Guide for Practitioners, 2nd ed. by Jane Secker with Chris Morrison

In Copyright and E-Learning, A Guide for Practitioners, Jane Secker and Chris Morrison provide guidance to educational practitioners working with copyright content. While the book is particularly of use to those in the HE sector, this guide offers a holistic, timely and useful overview of the most pertinent copyright issues affecting education today, writes Emily Stannard. This review originally appeared on LSE […]

Leading research institutions should not be allowed to get away with bad writing

Paul Romer, chief economist at the World Bank, was recently sidelined after encouraging his researchers to communicate more clearly, even going as far as imposing a limit on their use of the word “and”. Caroline Cassidy defends Romer’s intentions and argues that strong communication is of critical importance to using research to find solutions to the world’s problems, even more […]