Category: free

The perpetual tango: what exactly is “evidence-informed policymaking” premised on and working towards?

Given the field of evidence-informed policymaking has existed for some time, experts’ confusion, knowledge gaps, and inconsistencies around the fundamentals is bewildering. Reporting on a recent Ontario case study, Jacqueline Sohn considers how evidence-informed policymaking works in practice, likening the swift and abrupt movements that eventually lead to policies being developed to a perpetual tango, and reveals how research producers […]

The growing, high-stakes audit culture within the academy has brought about a different kind of publishing crisis

The spate of high-profile cases of fraudulent publications has revealed a widening replication, or outright deception, crisis in the social sciences. To Marc Spooner, researchers “cooking up” findings and the deliberate faking of science is a result of extreme pressures to publish, brought about by an increasingly pervasive audit culture within the academy. By now most readers will have heard […]

How to save space and stick to the limit when writing research funding applications

Research funders impose length limits on applications for practical reasons: to discourage epic submissions, and to ease the burden on reviewers. It’s also true that concise ideas are generally stronger ideas. But sticking to these limits can often seem a difficult and frustrating task. Jonathan O’Donnell offers advice to researchers looking to find a little more space in their applications. […]

For genuinely open social science texts, the disguised elitism of citing paywall sources is no longer good enough

Drawing on their experience in producing a new open access textbook/handbook of UK politics, Patrick Dunleavy and Alice Park outline some inescapable dilemmas around referencing paywalled materials, and how they can be overcome. They also outline how creative design changes can enhance the advantages of a fully digital, open access book for citizens, students, and teachers. What does doing genuinely […]

Rewarding peer reviewers: a problem of adverse selection?

As a solution to the worsening peer reviewer shortage, many scientific journals now offer non-monetary rewards as an incentive to researchers to register to review. Marco Seeber and Monica Zaharie report on research studying the efficacy of non-monetary rewards in attracting peer reviewers, exploring whether acceptance varies according to the nature of the offer of the reward or the researcher’s […]

Flipping a journal to open access will boost its citation performance – but to what degree varies by publisher, field and rank

Many observers have drawn the logical conclusion that the increased exposure and visibility afforded by open access leads to improved citation performance of open access journals. Yang Li, Chaojiang Wu, Erjia Yan and Kai Li report on research examining the perceived open access advantage, paying particular attention to journals which have “flipped” to open access from a subscription model. Findings […]

Could it all be much ado about nothing? A tragicomic perspective on research impact

The contemporary drive to understand exactly how academic research has had an impact on society represents a major undertaking, with significant resources being expended. However, researchers acknowledge there may be occasions where no amount of time, effort, or funds will identify the impact arising from certain research. Given the considerable effort that has been dedicated to research assessment processes, and […]

Unpaywall: a beautiful way to help everyone Get The Research

To round off the Impact Blog’s coverage of Open Access Week 2018, Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem reiterate the beauty in appearance, ideals, and promise of Unpaywall, and also preview the team’s soon-to-be-launched GetTheResearch initiative, which will enable citizen scientists, patients, practitioners, policymakers, and millions more beyond academia to find, read, and understand the scholarly research on any topic. There’s […]

Watch: Paywall: The Business of Scholarship (2018)

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, produced and directed by Jason Schmitt, is a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science. It is free to stream and download, and is licensed under the CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons designation. A short explainer of the documentary can be found underneath the video below, as can links to recent reviews by […]

PhD theses – drawing attention to the often overlooked articles in open access repositories

Earlier this Open Access Week, university library staff throughout the UK celebrated #ThesisThursday, a day of focused attention on the less talked-about articles in open access repositories, PhD theses. Camilla Griffiths and Nancy Graham describe the work the LSE Library has led to digitise the theses of the School’s doctoral alumni, outlining the benefits of greater visibility, widespread indexing, and […]