The race to digitise language records of the Pacific region before it is too late

A suitcase of reel-to-reel audio tapes arrived recently at the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. They were from Madang, in Papua New Guinea (PNG), were made in the 1960s and some contain the only known records of some of the languages of PNG. There are very few records of most of the 800 or so languages in PNG, so every new resource is important. Languages are complex systems that encode… Read more

Simon Wessen: Green dream

While a future where renewable energy prevails is a dream for many, today the UK is still heavily reliant on older power generation technology such as coal, gas and nuclear. What steps are necessary to make the renewable energy future a reality? For the first time ever renewable energy surpassed coal in supplying the UK’s electricity for a whole quarter according to government statistics released in September 2015,… 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

101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication: How researchers are getting to grip with the myriad of new tools.

Are we witnessing a major overhaul of scholarly communication rules and tools? In the last six months alone, this blog has featured posts on all phases of the research cycle. From Wikipedia (discovery) to replication (analysis), Chrome extensions for reference management (writing), the Open Library of Humanities and RIO Journal (publishing), Twitter & blogging (outreach), altmetrics, R-index and PublonsRead more

Database on the World Top incomes

The public and freely accessible World Top Incomes Database (WTID), part funded by the ESRC, provides online data on the long-run development of economic inequality. Beginning with the research of the longrun distribution of top incomes in France, a succession of studies has constructed top income share time series over the long-run for some thirty countries to date. The WTID draws on tax data… Read more