Friday, October 30, 2015

Reproducibility of Social Sciences' and Humanities' results

Recently we see many efforts (even challenges) to reproduce experiments and results of social scientific research. One pioneering project is hosted by the Open Science Framework:

Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science

In the project wiki replicated studies are listed:

Even though replication studies are often heavily criticized the current trend fosters a new attention for reproducibility in science and social sciences. Especially big data studies come with replication challenges. 

This seems like a fascinating topic to be studied from an STS perspective.  We are currently collecting bibliographies of existing papers to that topic.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Just found this wonderful paper and list of relevant literature:
Social Studies of Social Science: A Working Bibliography
Mair, Michael and Greiffenhagen, C. and Sharrock, W. (2013) Social Studies of Social Science: A Working Bibliography. NCRM Working Paper. NCRM. (Unpublished)
"The social sciences are currently going through a reflexive phase, one marked by the appearance of a wave of studies which approach their disciplines’ own methods and research practices as their empirical subject matter. Driven partly by a growing interest in knowledge production and partly by a desire to make the social sciences ‘fit-for-purpose’ in the digital era, these studies seek to reinvigorate debates around methods by treating them as embedded social and cultural phenomena with their own distinctive biographical trajectories – or “social lives”. Empirical studies of social scientific work and the role of methods within it, however, remain relatively scarce. There are several reasons for this but, for one thing, it can be difficult to find examples of how such studies might be undertaken. This contribution draws together a literature scattered across various social science disciplines and their sub-fields in which social science methods have been studied empirically. We hope this working bibliography will provide a useful resource for those who wish to undertake such studies in the future. We also hope to show that the more recent literature can be connected to, and stands to be informed by, a much broader literature. We do not pretend that our bibliography is complete and comprehensive but we do think it represents a starting point for those who wish to pursue these issues for themselves."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Issues in Open Research Data

A new book edited by Panton fellow Samuel A. Moore is dedicated to pressing issues of Open Research Data.
In 2010 the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science were published. These principles were founded upon the idea that 'Science is based on building on, reusing and openly criticising the published body of scientific knowledge’ ( and they provide a succinct list of the fundamentals to observe when making your data open. Intended for a broad audience of academics, publishers and librarians, Issues in Research Data explores the implications of the Panton Principles through a number of perspectives on open research data in the sciences and beyond.
The book features chapters by open data experts in a range of academic disciplines, covering practical information on licensing, ethics, and advice for data curators, alongside more theoretical issues surrounding the adoption of open data. As the book is open access, each chapter can stand alone from the main volume so that communities can host, distribute, build upon and remix the content that is relevant to them. Readers can access the online version of the book via open access.
Especially recommended is the chapter by Eric C. Kansa: "The Need to Humanzie Open Science" for its critical look on technocratic OS phantasies i.a..

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The military and the social sciences

The launch of the US Minerva programme - a funding scheme for social and cultural sciences to be embedded in and used by the military - in 2008 was accompanied by a well documented controversy on the ethics and legitimacy of social science research in security or military contexts.

  • a collection of essays by the US Social Science Research Council"The Department of Defense recently announced the creation of the Minerva Research Initiative (PDF), also known as Project Minerva, providing as much as $75 million over five years to support social science research on areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. The initiative indicates a renewal of interest in social science findings after a prolonged period of neglect, but it also prompts concerns about the appropriate relationship between university-based research programs and the state, especially when research might become a tool of not only governance but also military violence. The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has invited prominent scholars to speak to the questions raised by Project Minerva and to address the controversy it has sparked in academic quarters."

Monday, December 01, 2014

Open Access in the Social Sciences and Humanities

There is a wonderful book by Martin Paul Eve:
Open Access and the HumanitiesContexts, Controversies and the Future

Just click on the open access button to get a highly elaborated overview of the many factors that co-shape scholarly communication and publishing practices in the humanities.

The main focus is on the transition to- and reflection of open access strategies, all of this relevant also for the social sciences in general!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Research Evaluation for the Social Sciences and the Humanities RESSH 2015

The EvalHum Initiative is pleased to open the call for papers for its first international conference on Research Evaluation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (RESSH), to be held at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme en Bretagne in Rennes, France, from the 4th to 6th June 2015.

This major conference follows a highly successful international workshop on Quality in Humanities Research held in Rennes in June 2014, as part of the QualiSHS project, supported by the French network of Humanities Institutes, the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, as well as a series of meetings held within the context of the EvalHum Initiative. The aim of this event is to bring together a wide range of researchers and stakeholders interested in questions of research evaluation and the societal impact of the Social Sciences and the Humanities (SSH).

Evalhum is an open initiative, aiming at promoting the study of SSH research and increasing its visibility among scholars of other fields and disciplines, the lay public and stakeholders and decision makers. Evaluation appears as an interesting tool to achieve this.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Survey and Analysis of Basic Research in SSH conducted at the European Academies of Sciences and Humanities (SASSH)

In order to optimise the future coordination of pan-European research cooperation, the investigative project intends to improve the coherence of the numerous ongoing SSH research projects and activities conducted in these academies, including the harmonisation of existing standards, tools and instruments applied in those undertakings.

As a parallel objective, the project intends to detect opportunities for a long-term SSH research programme on cultural heritage in Europe (including funding opportunities on the European level) and to analyse the existing - and lacking - (digital) infrastructures for long-term SSH research.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The role of social science and humanities in addressing global challenges

ESOF 2014
16:30 - 17:45 , June 24 2014
Dipylon Hall, Carlsberg Museum

The future of Europe is increasingly determined by the ability of its governments, industries and citizens to integrate and deploy knowledge through economic, societal and cultural measures. Policy makers look towards science to find solutions to the grand challenges of our time such as climate change, energy and food security, and sustainable resources. Sustainable approaches to those challenges will need cooperation among the natural, social and human sciences. Social science and humanities have the tools to analyse social, political and economic processes, and transfer new knowledge and innovative solutions among individuals and institutions. Even the basic capacity to acknowledge and define a societal challenge is co-shaped by socioeconomic analysis.

We will address where this research is headed and how best to make visible the societal relevance of the human and social sciences. We will present an exclusive medley of recent reports and initiatives mapping the outcomes of this research.


Kirsten Drotner, Science Europe
Poul Holm, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Wim van den Doel, Faculty of Humanities - Leiden University

Discussant: Liviu Matei, Central European University

Moderator: Vincent Hendricks, University of Copenhagen

Session organiser: David Budtz Pedersen, University of Copenhagen; Katja Mayer, University of Vienna, Austria

ESOF 2014 - Mapping Social Sciences and Humanities

June 23 2014 (15:00 - 16:15) 
Carlsberg Museum/The Dance Halls, Copenhagen, DK 

Andrea Scharnhorst, Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS, NL) 
J├╝rgen Pfeffer, Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, USA 
Gunnar Sivertsen, Nordisk Institutt for Studier av Innovasjon, Forskning 
og Utdanning (NIFU) 

Discussant: Katja Mayer, University of Vienna 
Moderator: Frederik Stjernfelt, University of Copenhagen 

Session description 

Session organisers: David Budtz Pedersen, University of Copenhagen; 
Katja Mayer, University of Vienna 

Mapping scientific fields and research areas is of growing interest to 
scientists, policymakers, funding agencies and industry. Computation of 
bibliometric data such as co-authorships, co-citation analysis, 
cross-disciplinary collaborations, and inter-institutional networks 
supply coherent visual maps of the research landscape. Research in the 
social sciences and humanities is often difficult to map and survey, 
since these fields are embedded in diverse and often diverging epistemic 
cultures. Some are specifically bound to local contexts, languages and 
terminologies, and the domain lacks global referencing bodies and 
dictionaries. Mapping scientific activity and understanding 
interdisciplinary exchanges requires researchers to go beyond 
traditional statistical methods, such as co-citation analysis, and 
develop new semantic technologies such as topic models, natural language 
processing, as well as survey-based studies. 
We will explore how combinations and variations of science mapping 
approaches can provide a productive basis for studies of research 
characteristics in the humanities and social sciences. 

Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) is Europe’s largest interdisciplinary 
science conference. It takes place every second year in a major European 
city. ESOF2014 consists of a global forum for discussions on topical 
issues in science and humanities complemented by an ambitious outreach 
programme with a large number of events. The conference takes place at 
the Carlsberg City District, Copenhagen June 23-26, 2014 
( About 4,500 participants from more than 70 
countries are present at the conference. The Science in the City 
festival is expected to attract more than 30.000 citizens to the free 

Presentation of Andrea Scharnhorst here

Friday, May 16, 2014


Mapping the Population, Careers, Mobilities and Impacts of Advanced Research Degree Graduates in the Social Sciences and Humanities (POCARIM)

This project is focused on increasing our understanding of the career paths and employment patterns and contribution of doctoral graduates in the social sciences and humanities.

The study focuses on three objectives:
  • Identification of the dimensions of the population and its core characteristics and assess trends in their employment;
  • Identify the diversity of post-doctoral career paths in the SSH field;
  • Assessment of the contribution that this diverse group of research-trained graduates make to Europe’s knowledge based economy and society (their ‘impact’).

In order to respond effectively to these objectives a team of national experts has been put together. All the team have extensive experience of work in this area from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and specific research skills. The team (11 beneficiaries) represents 10 European countries. The national "reach" of the team is however much broader with all participants having engaged in cross-country research spanning the EU and beyond (12 countries).

The work is distributed across 8 work packages combining a range of research review, policy analysis, statistical analysis with fresh survey research and qualitative interviews.

The study incorporates an integrated impact strategy commencing at project start-up through close engagement with the stake holder and user communities and SSH researchers themselves. An active dissemination programme comprising text and web-based dissemination with 5 Regional Workshops and international quality level academic publication commitments.

The results of this work will provide an important and entirely new evidence base enabling us to respond to the three objectives outlined above and shape the future of social sciences and humanities at European and National level.