From the LSE Impact blog, a complementary attempt to codify best practices for achieving impact: Drawing on a range of evidence-based principles that underpin impact delivery, The Research Impact Handbook by Mark Reed aims to equip researchers with the skills and confidence needed to embed impact in their own research. Steven Hill, Head of Research Policy at HEFCE, […]

A William James moment: Mariana Valverde on the foundations of disciplines, and what this can illuminate about how to respond to the co-opting of ‘interdisciplinarity’ as hollow administrative jargon. She uses the term ‘infradiscipline’ to describe the knowledge production regime from which contemporary disciplines arose, and argues for recovering this sense of scholarship to counter […]

In the pell-mell pursuit of impact we have neglected to do some first order thinking on what precisely we mean by the term. Underlying our accountability culture’s focus on increasing impact is a simple assumption: impact = good, great impact = better. It is time that we stand back and review the concept. For once […]

Policy studies examines how scientific research is translated into social value. Throughout the Cold War the answer to this question was basically serendipity. In Science, the Endless Frontier, a 1945 manuscript presented to President Truman, Vannevar Bush (who led scientific R&D efforts during the war), argued that basic research is foundational to social progress. We […]

A study by Biswas and Kirchherr (2015) found that 82% of peer-reviewed publications in the humanities are never cited. The study’s authors estimate that less than 5% of peer-reviewed humanities papers are ever read by anyone. It matters little matters if these numbers are correct: they will be used in partisan wars seeking to defund the […]

A philosophy of bibliometrics: Data are increasingly used to govern science. Research evaluations that were once bespoke and performed by peers are now routine and reliant on metrics1. The problem is that evaluation is now led by the data rather than by judgement. Metrics have proliferated: usually well intentioned, not always well informed, often ill […]