Engineering can greatly bolster any country’s development and growth.
Africa has recorded a tremendous growth in its output of academic engineering research over the past 20 years. Greater collaboration can increase this growth even more.
For research to have an impact, it needs to be used or applied in some way.
Engagement and impact will be part of research performance assessment starting in 2018, signalling a shift in what kind of research we value and why.
Working within and across disciplines allows blue sky research to deliver real world impact.
Ensuring knowledge creates impact involves disciplinary excellence, communication, co-location and funding.
Is"useful" knowledge the only knowledge worth knowing?
Are we in danger of losing academic freedom?
Getting input from well-connected academics and researchers is crucial to a paper’s scientific impact.
The scientific impact of a research paper increases with every additional commenter who provides feedback – particularly if the comment came from a well-connected academic.
What’s the best way to measure research impact?
This move to measure the impact of university research on society introduces many new challenges that were not previously relevant when evaluation focused solely on academic merit.
Research shows that Wikipedia is one of the most read sources of medical information by the general public across the world.
Medical entries on Wikipedia are widely consulted across the world. Doctors and medical researchers need to make efforts to ensure the content on the online collaborative encyclopedia is accurate.
In-depth surveys allow governments to drill their understanding down to street level.
Image courtesy GCRO/Clive Hassall
Without data, people don't know what to believe or whom to trust. Empirical, thorough data collected by academics can help to fill important governance gaps.
More medical experts should contribute to Wikipedia to ensure its health pages are accurate.
The academic medical community largely views Wikipedia with suspicion. But some traditional journals are starting to take the site more seriously – and some journals work very closely with it.
Piles of evidence don’t make any difference if they’re not being used to develop policy.
Researchers and policymakers need to talk to each other. If they don't, important research will merely gather dust and policies might do more harm than good.
What is the purpose of measuring engagement, impact or quality?
Engagement is not impact, and simple measures such as non-government research income tell us very little about genuine external engagement between universities and industry.
Education should be a laughing matter.
Irony can provide new theoretical insights. Social scientists should embrace it.
No go zone for academics?
New rules could have a chilling effect on academic freedom of speech.
How useful is ERA for measuring research quality?
The new impact framework will improve some of the problems arising out of the ERA's university research audit, but major challenges will remain.
Research must have an impact – but what’s the best way to measure it?
A government report on research funding and policy has recommended introducing a funding incentive to ensure university research benefits society and business.
Too many academic careers are shaped around writing journal articles nobody reads and planning twice-weekly lectures to a diminishing class of students.
Prime Minister Turnbull has signalled a desire to move away from a 'publish or perish' academic culture toward one that prioritises public impact and engagement. It's a challenge scholars should embrace.
The iPhone is a good example of an entire industry built on the back of publicly funded research outcomes. The ‘iPhone fish’ is designed to teach people healthy eating through portion size control.
Publicly-funded research should contribute to society in some way. But we need to think carefully about how we create a system that allows us to measure the impact of research.
Academics are under enormous pressure to publish prolifically because this generates subsidies for their universities.
A new policy on research outputs and funding will be introduced in South Africa in 2016. But it leaves too much unchanged from the old policy.
Access to free, accurate information is as important to learning as access to desks, chairs and science labs.
A lack of access to quality, peer-reviewed information can actually contribute to societal and educational inequality. How can Open Access help?
Academics need to work together to solve the world’s big problems.
Lightbulb via Ruslan Grumble/www.shutterstock.com
We need to know what 'good' interdisciplinary research looks like.