Robertson and Travaglia: An emerging iron cage? Understanding the risks of increased use of big data applications in social policy

Big data technologies are increasingly being utilised in the field of social policy, including in areas such as policing, crime and justice, education, and social services. Although these sectors often seek to use big data methods and strategies as a form of evidence-based policy development, big data techniques do not of themselves guarantee the production of objective knowledge regimes. The level of caution… Read more
View down the inside of a glass stairwell

Michael Cameron: Loss aversion, ideology and the peer review process

Last month, Andrew Gelman wrote an interesting blog post about peer review, or more accurately about how researchers steer their papers through the peer review process: …researchers are taught to be open to new ideas, research is all about finding new things and being aware of flaws in existing paradigms—but researchers can be sooooo reluctant to abandon their own pet ideas… My story goes like this.… Read more
Cartoon of a stick figure person crawling along a rope over a shark tank to illustrate what the peer review process feels like

Nadejda Williams: There Are More Women Military Historians Than Ever Before. Why Hasn’t the Field Noticed?

There is a lovely expression in my adoptive home of Georgia: “bless your heart.” It can be used as a genuine expression of sympathy, but more often, at least in the classroom setting, it is a good response for when someone said something unusually awkward or problematic. I am a military historian of the ancient world, and this fall semester, I had an unexpected “bless your heart” moment in my upper-level history… Read more
Pallas Athene by Gustav Klimt

Alla, Hall, Whiteford, Head, and Meurk: The concept of research impact pervades contemporary academic discourse – but what does it actually mean?

The concept of research impact pervades contemporary academic discourse. Its prominence can be viewed as part of an increasing demand for academic institutions and individual researchers to demonstrate the practice and policy implications of their work. Yet, despite its widespread usage, research impact remains an unclear and contested concept. Search for a conceptual definition of research impact As Australia-based… Read more
Wordle for Impact

Holly Else: Authorship wars: academics outline the rules for recognition

“The final draft came back and all we had was a red circle around my boss’ name and an arrow that pointed to the front of the authorship list.” This incident is seared into the memory of a pre-doctoral academic from India, who recently submitted a manuscript for publication. The researcher, who spoke to Times Higher Education on condition of anonymity, says that the principal investigator in the laboratory… Read more
1920s-style illustration of a row of multi-coloured book spines and the words "Game of Authors" in red font

Is there a culture of denial around sexual misconduct in academia?

I write this from my office in a department of philosophy somewhere in the northern hemisphere. Beside my computer, the unshorn mug of Harvey Weinstein stares out from the cover of the 23 October edition of Time magazine. Beside his unpleasant mien are three words: Producer, Predator, Pariah. Academia is no Hollywood, but it is also infected by a hidden epidemic of sexual misconduct. There is at least one sexual predator… Read more
Face of a woman with her eyes shut

Kevin Veale: Tactics for addressing Alt-Right ideologies in the classroom

Universities are generally understood to be bastions of independent thought and free-expression, which is exactly what they need to be. However, one of the realities that we need to take into account is that “freedom of speech,” “free expression” and other vitally important ideals are not and never have been evenly distributed within our society: the Guardian studied its own comments section and revealed… Read more
Meeting full of alt-right Pedro Frog characters.

John Morgan: Are graduates good value for money?

The world has more graduates than ever before. In an era of mass expansion, the proportion of the population with degrees is at a historical high across many nations, both developed and developing. The world also has more newspaper and magazine articles, thinktank reports and academic papers than ever before questioning the value of that expansion. In recent years, policymakers have been driven by a human capital… Read more
mortarboards being thrown in the air

Jäschke, Linek, and Hoffmann: New media, familiar dynamics: academic hierarchies influence academics’ following behaviour on Twitter

Twitter is a platform well-suited for disseminating and collecting information. Politicians, NGOs, and corporations eagerly employ Twitter for agenda-setting. The platform is a popular source of news and quotes for journalists. As a result, academics may be attracted to Twitter for public outreach and research dissemination. A recent study of computer scientists’ activity on Twitter finds that information… Read more
Twitter bird wearing a black mortarboard

The Thesis Whisperer: I call bullshit on pointless ‘hope labour’

About 30% of my work week is classified as ‘service’: work that supports others in the community, such as sitting on committees, writing reviews and references, consulting on problems and so on. As a result of this higher than usual level of service work, the sheer number and range of things I do in a day can be bewildering. Sometimes I feel like I work behind the counter at an academic delicatessen serving an endless… Read more
Frazzled academic under a stack of marking in front of a blackboard