“Wild writing” or “Global Common Room”? 6 perspectives on academic blogging

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Many academics have taken up blogging with enthusiasm as a way of sharing and promoting their research online or as a more reflective way of working. For others, the idea of blogging is an addition to a heavy workload and comes with anxiety about public scrutiny and plagiarism. There have been several interesting articles this year which focus on different reasons – and justifications – for blogging:

1. Mark Corrigan discusses the concept of a “thriving academic blogosphere” which opens up “a distinctive space between academic research and journalism” – read more on the LSE Impact blog.

2. Pat Thompson reports on a small study of academic bloggers which found that blogging (and commenting) functions as a “global common room”  – read more from the Guardian’s Higher Education Network.

3. The idea of blogging as a “vehicle for intellectual exploration” is discussed by Mark Corrigan and also echoed in a discussion of academic writing on the patter blog which quotes Gerald Raunig’s “Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity” on the restrictions of academic writing:

“Wild and transversal writing is tamed and fed into the creativity-destroying apparatuses of disciplining institutions”

4. Sasley and Sucharov discuss blogging as a place for “moral activism” within the context of social engagement and a way of expressing one’s non-scholarly identity – read more on the LSE Impact Blog.

5. Is blogging what policy makers want to read i.e. more easily digestible content than full reports or academic articles? This study of US policy-makers explores this potentially impact-boosting benefit of blogging.

6. This article from the Guardian on the current emphasis on demonstrating impact from research focusses on blogging and highlighted our very own Katharina Hall’s successful “Mrs Peabody” blog in connection with REF 2014.

 

(If you are interested in starting a blog there’s a recent “top 10 tips for academic blogging” article from the Guardian or this article by Mary Hunt has excellent advice on style and approach. The LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is also a great ongoing source of articles on all aspects of engagement and social media.)

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