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James Hutton Institute Blogs

How to evaluate organisations?

Katrin Prager

Many academics review papers and research proposals submitted by their peers. Fewer academics have experience with the evaluation of organisations. This is what I want to reflect on: How do we judge performance, output, quality and impact of an organisation? Who is best placed to evaluate? and...

To pre-congress or not pre-congress?

Lee-Ann Sutherland

In August 2015, the SEGS group hosted the ‘European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) Congress’. We organised a number of additional special events to accompany the congress, including a pre-congress workshop on visual methods. I was the chair of the local organising committee for...

Academic conferences – do we need to shake them up a bit?

Kirsty Holstead

One of the great things about my job here at the Hutton is that I get to attend academic conferences. They are a way to disseminate our research, meet and learn from people who work in the same field and gather new ideas and perspectives.

Commuting patterns in rural Scotland

Patricia Melo

Commuting is one of the main, and most visible, forms of integration between rural areas and surrounding small towns and urban areas; it allows workers to access urban employment opportunities while at the same time satisfying preferences for a rural residence. In this post I explore visually...

Reflections on one year of blogging

Kerry Waylen

This week our blog celebrates its first birthday! In the last 12 months our posts have covered a range of topics, everything from sharing new research findings (e.g. how do crofters obtain information and support?), to thoughts about the research process itself (e.g. what do you do when...

What time do I get up in the morning?

Tony Craig

In the last few years, I have become increasingly fascinated by how we use time. One of my projects - ‘NESEMP’- has given me insights as to how we use time, by measuring household electricity consumption.   

Are we getting out enough? Participation in outdoor recreation in Scotland

Kathryn Colley

Recent statistics suggest that the proportion of Scots regularly getting out and enjoying Scotland’s countryside and urban greenspaces has risen slightly compared to previous years. The latest figures from the Scottish Household Survey show that 48% of adults in Scotland reported...

Using a different lens: Children as researchers

Katrin Prager

Although there is plenty of research ‘on’ children and ‘with’ children, there is not much published on research that was done ‘by’ children, and no literature that covers research by children on greenspace. I assume this is due to the little education children...

Will policy changes facilitate community engagement in Scottish land management?

Annie McKee

In May this year, Aileen McLeod MSP, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform gave keynote speeches at the annual conferences of both Scottish Land & Estates, the representative body of the private landowning sector, and Community Land Scotland, whose membership comprises...

What’s in a name: authorship conventions in an interdisciplinary organisation

Kirsty Blackstock

Deciding authorship of academic publications is often tricky, and recently I received some advice that made me consider this issue from a new angle. Not long ago I had an extremely useful career review meeting, to help me navigate my role as a senior but part-time researcher in the Social,...


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.