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Welcome to the Impact Conversation

We want to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences and concerns about impact and its measurement. Comment below or write us at info@socialscience space.com

Ken Prewitt Wants to Retrofit The Social Sciences

“In a world facing many complex, formidable problems,” Kenneth Prewitt asks, “how can the social sciences become a decisive force […]

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Preschool literacy impact graphic

Impact in Action: DRIVE-ing to Improve Preschool Literacy

A simple idea the authors had to help local schools has evolved into an enterprise that benefits struggling elementary readers, their schools, and future educators and school personnel who give back to their communities through their service to the profession.

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David Willetts

David Willetts Sees a ‘Failure to Understand the Value of Social Science’

“The problem with intangibles is often with identifying whether there is an asset, and who owns it and why,” says Lord David Willetts, visiting professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy at King’s College London, president of the Resolution Foundation, and minister for universities and science from 2010 to 2014. Here he talks with the LSE’s David Coombe and Horatio Mortimer.

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Social Science Space Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020!

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Observed since 1911, the annual event “celebrat[es] the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.” This year IWD is themed “Each for Equal,” and seeks both to raise awareness about and then against bias, and foster action to ensure equality.

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NYU’s Social Science for Impact Forum

Each year, NYU researchers analyze New York State Medicaid, New York City Department of Education, and New York City subsidized housing data to discover new patterns of family experiences and outcomes and inform new approaches to fighting poverty, reducing inequality, and expanding opportunity in our communities.

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Autism assessment impact award

How Can We Improve Delivery of Diagnostic Assessment for Children with Possible Autism?

A team working in collaboration with NHS England believe their work will have significant impact in answering which existing models of autism diagnostic service delivery offer high quality, timely and cost-effective solutions, and the factors that underpin their success.

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Impact banner - immigrant belonging

Impact in Action: Home in the Remaking

Being at the intersection of two or more cultures and confronting new cultural codes such as values, symbols, lifestyles or products, immigrants may feel comfort and estrangement concurrently and this can result in a conflict of their individual and social identities.

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Free Essay Collection Examines State of Open Data

By offering a broad overview of the open data movement’s first 10 years, the editors of a recent collection of essays hope to provide an account that helps practitioners, policy-makers, community advocates, and anyone else in the open data movement, to progress the movement over the next 10 years…

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Coherence Front to Back Key to Usable Impact Statements

UK Research and Innovation, Britain’s main research funding body, is scrapping separate impact sections from all grant applications. Paul Benneworth and Julia Olmos Peñuela argue how impact statements can produce meaningful statements of the potential future impact of research and set out a framework for assessing these claims.

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We Asked for Impactful Social Science. The World Responded

Our debut writing contest for impactful social and behavioral research drew entries from around the globe, both institutionally and where fieldwork occurred. With entries ranging from Albania to New Zealand, we saw no lack of desire from practicing researchers to share the exciting news that their work matters in “real life.”

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Assessing Australia’s Poor Record of Impact Assessment

Over the years, Australia has had a confused relationship with the impact agenda, with much of this grounded in the vagaries of government. When the idea of a national exercise to evaluate research was first touted in the form of the Research Quality Framework, the focus was to be on both quality and…

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How Bibliometrics Incentivize Self-Citation

Using bibliometrics to measure and assess researchers has become increasingly common, but does implementing these policies therefore devalue the metrics they are based on? Here researchers present evidence from a study of Italian researchers revealing how the introduction of bibliometric targets has changed the way Italian academics cite and use the work of their colleagues.

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Understanding The Most Widely Used Occupational Therapy Measure

Since its debut in the Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy in 1990, the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure has been adopted by, more than 40 countries across healthcare professions, and as such is the most widely used occupational therapy measure in the world. The article has received 490 citations according to CrossRef and has been cited, according to Google Scholar, 843 times.

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Book Review: Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher

Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher presents chapters that reflect on the experiences that ‘early career researchers’ have had in relation to research impact. The collection is not a manual or textbook on how to achieve impact, but instead presents different voices on how researchers experience and react to the demand for impact.

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SSHRC Impact Awards Honor Expanders of Access, Citizenship

Earlier this month, Ted Hewitt, the president of Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council, presented the 2019 SSHRC Impact Awards to gold medal winner Will Kymlicka and four other notables at a ceremony in Ottawa.

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Levi.Prewitt.Miller McCune

Nominate a Distinguished Social Scientist for SAGE-CASBS Award

Nominations to honor an individual whose work has advanced the role of the social and behavioral sciences in enriching and enhancing public policy and good governance are being taken now. The honoree will join luminaries such as William Julius Wilson and Daniel Kahneman as recipient of the SAGE-CASBS Award, sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University and SAGE Publishing.

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Help Us Write a Book About Research Impact

Benedikt Fecher and Sascha Friesike present the first chapter of a work in progress and invite readers to contribute to a larger collaborative writing project seeking to reframe the way we currently think about research impact.

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Henri Tajfel

Rupert Brown on Henri Tajfel

Rupert Brown, the biographer of Henri Tajfel, talks about the pioneering explorer of prejudice in this Social Science Bites podcast. Brown reviews the roots of Tajfel’s research arising from the Holocaust, and the current repercussions of Tajfel’s personal misdeeds.

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women voting in Kabul

A Pioneer of Gender Politics: Vicky Randall, 1945-2019

Vicky Randall, a political scientist whose research into how marginalized populations – such as women, the aged, and those outside the First World – can and do interact in politics, died on November 22. The emeritus professor of government at Essex University was 74.

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Opportunity: COSSA Seeking Nominations for 2020 Impact Award

COSSA is now seeking nominations for the 2020 COSSA Public Impact Award. If you know of individuals, groups, or organizations that are using social and behavioral science research to affect real change in society, consider nominating them!

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Analysis: Indonesia Needs Quality Research to Inform Policy-Making

Our study, Doing Research Assessment, shows Indonesian policy-making is predominantly informed by research with poor theoretical engagement, with no strong tradition of peer review and with legal threats to academic freedom.

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Why Social Science? Because It Can Improve the Lives of Those Who Serve Our Country

While considerations of the impact of science and the military often focuses on weaponry, social science has also contributed to the lives of the warriors themselves. Here, Leanne Knobloch and Steven Wilson outline four specific contributions on this Veterans’ Day.

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U.S. Army medical researchers take part in World Malaria Day

To Err Is Human, To Impact Divine

Looking back on its most impactful articles of the last 20 years, the American Journal of Medical Quality says, “we can appreciate the advances we have made. … As much as these articles reflect the progress we have made, there is still a great deal of work to be done.’

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Impact Requires Breadth and Ideas, Not Tick Boxes

As part of their impact agenda, universities increasingly promote and train academics to carry out research collaborations across disciplines and with non-academic partners. While this can be impactful, Helen B. Woods argues that attempts to direct research in this way can produce inauthentic collaboration, and suggests an ideas-led approach.

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Alvin Roth

Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth: Economics Can Save Lives

“Many people die without getting a transplant because there aren’t enough organs for the people who need them, living donor organs included. Sometimes, you might love someone enough to give him a kidney but you can’t give a kidney to the person you love, because kidneys have to be very well-matched. Kidney exchange is a way of getting some transplants done, even when patients and their donors are not well matched.”

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