In-depth surveys allow governments to drill their understanding down to street level.
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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.
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We need to know what 'good' interdisciplinary research looks like.
If you map the world by scientific research output, things look rather uneven.
There are huge global inequalities in knowledge production and exchange. What drives this inequality and how can it be corrected?
Listen up! Your research too could be in the eye of the storm.
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What's behind a plant scientist's research getting reported in over 4,000 media outlets? Here's her post-game analysis.
Lots has changed, but not this.
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As more people around the world head to university, the quality of teaching and research is coming under tighter scrutiny.
Proof that research leaves a mark.
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The diversity of research impact makes it tricky to measure in numbers.
Research excellence can be self-selecting.
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There can be little doubt that the research environment in universities is changing: it is now less a collegiate community of scholars than a competitive game of winners and losers. This transformation…
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When McDonald’s came under sustained criticism from campaigners in the 1980s, the company responded by constructing a carefully crafted image of corporate social responsibility. It insisted that it cared…
It’s now ok to step out of line.
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Academics love games. We can’t resist playing them – but the Research Excellence Framework (REF) is our favourite. As the results of the UK’s 2014 assessment of university research are digested, academics…