Research and Innovation Development Office
Category: Research news
14 December 2016
It's been a useful few weeks for researchers: various blogs have been giving really helpful advice on a huge range of topics. I've tried to capture some of the most interesting below.
This is part of a series of posts by the London School of Economics and Political Science blog around how academics can engage with Parliament. The whole series is fascinating, but this one in particular shows how experts can talk directly to MPs, influencing crucial debates around potential legislation. While one may be approached seemingly at random there are some ways to boost your chances:
Research Fundermentals often provides insightful posts on the different aspects of being a researcher, and tackling the challenges posed by UK funding bodies. In this post they focus on the variety of social networking tools available to researchers and the general public.
The advice in the post is very useful for any researcher considering sharing their work with the public outside of the usual formal settings.
The Conversation draw attention here to a growing issue in social science – researchers cannot guarantee anonymity for their participants. While researchers know that they need to give subjects anonymity to enable them to talk freely, high profile research can lead to legal efforts to obtain the data, and no legal protection is granted.
The post highlights of former IRA members speaking in confidence for a study, whose evidence is now needed by the police. Another example is given of people affected by a wind farm development. A researcher conducted a study into the issues onvolved and volunteered as a witness when the affected individuals brought a law suit against the developers. This led to the researcher's raw data being granted to the developers as evidence in the case.
Detailed arguments are given in the piece to highlight the need to legally protect the anonymity of study participants in sensitive cases, akin to doctor-patient confidentiality.