Andy Miah: The A to Z of social media for academia

Introduction by Andy Miah (@andymiah), chair in science communication and future media at the University of Salford: “This resource accompanies the Social Media News email list for academics and university support staff, sharing info about the latest platforms for use by academics in their professional lives. It will update periodically, but please also send me your recommendations to add. “Everything… Read more

Elaine Campbell – Twitter trolls: time for academics to fight back?

I love Twitter. On logging in, I am instantly transported to a digital common room full of researchers. I get to exchange ideas, build networks and lurk in the background soaking up the conversation. Want to know what other academics are thinking about mixed methods right now? Go to Twitter, type “mixed methods” into the search bar, and within seconds you’ll be scrolling through a plethora of comments and… Read more

What’s wrong with the web and do we need to fix it?

More than 20 years after the first web server started bringing the internet into our lives, a recent conference in San Francisco brought together some of its creators to discuss its future. The general tone of the conference is probably best summed up by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation’s Cory Doctorow: In the last twenty years, we’ve managed to nearly ruin one of the most functional distributed systems ever… Read more

Creating an interdisciplinary ‘Ideas Hub’: Habitat III leading the way.

Hui Rangahau Tahi: to meet, to research, to find new ways to engage and give voice– a complex concept translated to carry the idea of ‘engaged social science’. Over 6 months a small group of dedicated activists and social science researchers have worked together on the eSocSci platform to generate a remarkable collaboration: a project to produce a State of New Zealand Report for Habitat III. In this blog, I reflect,… Read more

SAGE Open five years on: Lessons learned and future thoughts on open access in humanities and social sciences.

Back in 2010, we knew there was an appetite for open access publishing and we knew that SAGE was well-positioned to bring this new publishing model into the social sciences. What we didn’t know was just how receptive the community would be. Following our innovative instincts – as an independent publisher, we are encouraged to forge into unproven and even unknown territory – we decided to experiment. We created… Read more

While governments talk about smart cities, it’s citizens who create them

The Australian government recently released an ambitious Smart Cities Plan, which suggests that cities should be first and foremost for people: If our cities are to continue to meet their residents’ needs, it is essential for people to engage and participate in planning and policy decisions that have an impact on their lives. Such statements are a good starting point – and should probably become central to Australia’s… Read more

Managing social media

Walk anywhere today and you are likely to see a group of teenagers sitting together but with their eyes on their smartphones, usually accessing some social media network. The use of social media  among UK adolescents is higher than in other age groups and is increasing. As the increase in social media use increases in this age group, their levels of wellbeing are amongst the worst in Europe. Are these two trends linked… Read more

John Willinsky: Sci-Hub: research piracy and the public good

It looks like the scholarly publishing community has been hit by its own version of Napster. Over the past year, some 47 million research articles have been made freely available through a site called Sci-Hub. The publishing giant Elsevier, aghast at finding many of its articles being given away, wasted little time in suing the site in federal court for irreparable damages and copyright infringement “of up to $150,000… Read more

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

Why Doesn’t Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders? Howard University fights to join the tech boom.

In the fall of 2013 a young software engineer named Charles Pratt arrived on Howard University’s campus in Washington. His employer, Google, had sent him there to cultivate future Silicon Valley programmers. It represented a warming of the Valley’s attitude toward Howard, where more than 8 out of 10 students are black. The chair of the computer science department, Legand Burge, had spent almost a decade inviting… Read more