Category: Research policy

Not yet the default setting – in 2020 open research remains a work in progress.

Responding to Daniel Hook’s post, The Open Tide – How openness in research and communication is becoming the default setting, Daniel Spichtinger argues that there remains much work to be done in order for open research practices to become the “new normal”. Highlighting unresolved issues around learned societies and the globalisation of open research policies, he suggests that rather than […]

2019 In Review: Research on Research

2019 has seen an increased focus on the ways in which different national and international research systems function and how they can be improved. This post brings together some of the top posts on the theme of research on research that have featured on the LSE Impact Blog during 2019. Pushing research to the limit – Who innovates in social […]

Blind Luck – Could lotteries be a more efficient mechanism for allocating research funds than peer review?

Peer review is integral to the award of funds for academic research. However, as an increasingly large number of researchers attempt to secure limited funding, it is clear that much funding is awarded based on marginal assessments of the quality of different proposals. In this post, Lambros Roumbanis argues that randomly awarding research funding via lotteries presents a more rational, […]

Old-fashioned peer review is still seen as the best way to allocate grants, but reviewers deserve greater recognition

The allocation of research funding on the basis of peer review has recently come under scrutiny, due to the difficulty of assessing the difference between growing numbers of high quality applications. Presenting evidence from a large-scale survey of academics involved in the peer review of grant applications, James Hardcastle argues that academics largely see peer review as the best mechanism […]

To make PhDs fit for the 21st century we need to develop evidence based policies

The growth of PhD level education globally and in the UK has changed the nature of what it means to be a PhD holder. However, despite there being more PhDs and more value placed on producing them, there is still a severely limited evidence base for understanding PhD outcomes. Drawing on their recent working paper, Sally Hancock and Paul Wakeling […]

A Systemic View of Research Impact – An Invitation

How do we understand research impact and how does this understanding shape the knowledge societies in which academics carry out and communicate their research? Posing these questions, Benedikt Fecher and Sascha Friesike present the first chapter of a work in progress and invite readers to contribute to a larger collaborative writing project seeking to reframe the way we currently think […]

Pushing research to the limit – Who innovates in social science research?

Innovation in any field of research often runs the risk of being poorly judged and misunderstood by researchers beholden to more conventional methods. What then allows researchers to undertake research that could leave them ostracised from their disciplinary communities? In this post, Sharon Koppman and Erin Leahey highlight how the development of interdisciplinary identities, association with key organisations, and the […]

Managing secrets in higher education

In this re-post, Morten Hansen uses secrecy as a prism to deconstruct dynamics and processes in higher education. The reflections spring from various research projects on topics ranging from the Freedom of Information Act 2000, public-private partnerships, and new education markets. The post begins with experiences that Morten has had interviewing senior decision makers in the higher education sector as part of […]

Scientist Led or Mission Oriented – How much does it cost research funders to lead science?

Across national research systems, decisions about what research is funded are influenced by both researchers themselves, and policymakers with national priorities. However, beyond short term change in response to grants, it is unclear how the latter mission oriented form of research funding affects research practices over the long term. In this post Kyle Myers, shows that the funding needed to […]

Manufacturing Collaboration – Can you teach researchers how to achieve impact?

As part of the impact agenda and the increased focus on realising social and economic returns on research investment, universities have increasingly sought to promote and train academics to carry out research collaborations across disciplines and with non-academic partners. Whilst this kind of research can be impactful, Helen B Woods argues that attempts to direct research in this way can […]