Research Resilience: Why academics and funders alike should care about #RIPTwitter

Twitter is under close scrutiny these days with news that its timeline could be subject to further algorithmic control. Farida Vis looks at what such dramatic changes could mean for research. There is a great need for both funding councils and researchers to better understand the potential impact of these data and platform politics. Strategies must be developed to encourage lesser reliance on a single social… Read more

Confronting the suspicion (and misconceptions) of co-authorship

Philosophers Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum speak up for the benefits of writing collaboratively Our writing partnership in philosophy began in 2007, when Anjum arrived at Nottingham as a postdoctoral fellow. Since then, we have written three books and about 40 papers together, which seems rare, especially in philosophy. We think it’s time to issue a statement about our writing partnership, for at least four… Read more

Seven reasons why blogging can make you a better academic writer

Why do academics blog? What do academic bloggers get from blogging? Discussions about scholarly blogging most often centre on the need for we academics to write in ways that attract new audiences. If we write blogs, we are told, we can communicate our research more effectively. Blogs enhance impact, they are a medium for public engagement. The advocacy goes on… Blogs (and other social media) can point readers to our… Read more

Sean Phelan: The corporate university and its threat to academic freedom

Neoliberalism has facilitated the emergence of the ‘corporate’ university, which dangerously prioritises market rationality and public relations over academic freedom. The principle of academic freedom is increasingly regarded with institutional indifference, if not contempt, across the world. One recent example was the revelation that New Zealand Police effectively tried to censor the gang… Read more

Public engagement: go forth and mingle – Russel Foster, Oxford university

I learned that there is no shame in not having the answers to all questions…scientists should never be regarded as oracles As with most important aspects of life, my serious involvement with public engagement began with a random occurrence that gave rise to a transformative experience. I had previously undertaken the occasional favour and, armed with Anolis lizards and Siberian hamsters, gone into schools… Read more

An antidote to futility: Why academics (and students) should take blogging / social media seriously

Before I started teaching at LSE in January, I had the impression that the academics and researchers around the school were totally social media savvy – prolific tweeters like Charlie Beckett and top blogs like LSE Impact are high up on my follow list. It turned out the impression was, ahem, a little misleading. A good proportion of the people I have come across may be brilliant in their field, but when it comes to using… Read more

Five myths about academic editing

Writing skills and academic skills are clearly not one and the same. There is no doubt a correlation between the two, but even truly outstanding researchers do not always write well. Likewise, their work is not always well edited or translated. Academics whose native language is not English are confronted with particular challenges in getting published (and in getting their work well edited). Over the past decade… Read more

Why Interdisciplinary Research Matters

To solve the grand challenges facing society — energy, water, climate, food, health — scientists and social scientists must work together. But research that transcends conventional academic boundaries is harder to fund, do, review and publish — and those who attempt it struggle for recognition and advancement (see World View, page 291). This special issue examines what governments, funders, journals,… Read more

Researcher, organise thyself

Recently I put together a promotion application. For those of you unfamiliar with the Australian system, this is similar to a tenure application in the U.S.A. You must compile everything you have done in your academic career, assess its impact and present it all as a legible ‘story’ of your contribution to your discipline and your university. Colleagues warned me that doing a good promotion application is a lot… Read more

Social Science, Snow, and Safety Communications – Why do people ignore safety warnings? Guest blogger Leleiga Taito

Hailing from Upper Hutt, Leleiga Taito is an Honours Student at Massey University studying doing her Bachelor of Communications in Public Relations and Expressive Arts. In October 2014 I was approached by one of my Massey University lecturers about applying for a research scholarship with GNS Science. The scholarship involved living in Whakapapa Village, Mt Ruapehu for a few months during the ski season, doing… Read more