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OAA12 - Supporting the development agenda: Research information for policy-makers and a non-academic audience.


Michelle Willmers, Programme Manager, Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme

Michelle Willmers, Programme Manager, Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme

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  • Thorin SE (2003) Global changes in scholarly communication. In SC Hsianghoo, PWT Poon and C McNaught (eds) eLearning and Digital Publishing . Dordrecht: Springer. Available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/w873x131171x2421/
  • http://www.scidev.net/en/science-communication/news/agricultural-research-communication-needs-more-support--1.html
  • David Willetts is the UK Minister of State for Universities and Science http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2012/oct/22/evidence-based-policy-david-willetts?CMP=twt_gu
  • Category covers physics, biology , chemistry, mathematics, clinical medicine, biomedical research, engineering, technology, and earth and space sciences. The number of scientific papers published by researchers in the United States was more than three times as many as were published by the second highest-publishing population , Japan. Source: http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=205 . Data is from 2001.
  • http://www.carnegie3.org.za/participating-organisations
  • http://onthinktanks.org/2012/07/30/the-onthinktanks-interview-laura-zommer-part-2-of-3/
  • http://onthinktanks.org/2012/08/20/communication-options-for-think-tanks-channels-and-tools/
  • http://www.researchtoaction.org/tag/research-uptake/
  • http://www.drussa.net/
  • This slide is the work of Cameron Neylon and is licensed under a CC-BY-SA license. Research assessment to support research impact, University of Cape Town Open Access Symposium, 10 August 2012
  • http://impactstory.it/
  • http://www.battelle.org/media/news/2011/05/11/$3.8-billion-investment-in-human-genome-project-drove-$796-billion-in-economic-impact-creating-310-000-jobs-and-launching-the-genomic-revolution
  • http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1492578
  • https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/scientific-data-open-access-research-results-will-boost-europes-innovation-capacity
  • http://www.ci.org.za/


  • 1. Supporting the development agenda:research information for policy-makers and a non-academic audienceBioMed Central Open Access Africa 2012 Conference, Cape Town, 4 NovemberMichelle WillmersCC-BY-SA
  • 2. Towards a definition of ScholarlyCommunication that suits the Africancontext- Conducting research, developing ideas and informal communications.- Preparing, shaping and communicating what will become formal research outputs.- Disseminating formal outputs.- Managing personal careers, and research teams and programmes.- Communicating scholarly ideas to broader communities. (Thorin, 2003) > We like this definition because it speaks to ideas and processes, a broad range of outputs (formal and informal) and addresses both relevance and prestige.
  • 3. What is the relationship between scholarly communication and impact in a developmental context? Values Mission Impact“Our results indicate that the notion of scientific impact is a multi-dimensionalconstruct that cannot be adequately measured by any single indicator, althoughsome measures are more suitable than others.” (Bollen et al. 2009)
  • 4. What kinds of impact should we expectfrom research? (Davies et al. 2005)- Knowledge production (e.g. peer-reviewed papers)- Research capacity building (postgraduate training and career development)- Policy or product development (incl. input into official guidelines or protocols)- Sector benefits (impacts on scientific client groups)- Societal benefits (economic > health > productivity > innovation)
  • 5. So, basically, we needresearch to workharder in our context.
  • 6. Which researchcomponents/formats/genres are we going toput to work? (All of them)
  • 7. Statistics tell us that Africanresearch is invisible
  • 8. But that doesn’t meanthere isn’t a large amountof very important researchgoing on
  • 9. It depends where you’re looking(and what you’re looking at)
  • 10. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 11. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 12. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 13. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 14. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 15. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 16. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 17. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 18. Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
  • 19. We see a mountain of research content/outputbeing produced in African universities Journal Articles Conference Papers Technical Reports Working Papers Policy Briefs Blog Posts Tweets
  • 20. But we treat the mountain like an iceberg Journal Articles Conference Papers Technical Reports Working Papers Policy Briefs Blog Posts Tweets
  • 21. Privileging the sharing of outputs that address prestige Journal Articles Prestige
  • 22. How does this serve the development agenda and address the need for relevance? Journal Articles
  • 23. Rewards & IncentivesValues Mission Impact ce ge van esti Rele Pr
  • 24. In the drive for research toaddress development we areexchanging new andinteresting forms ofscholarship with new andinteresting consituencies(who are often not interested in journal articles)
  • 25. The open science model becomesmore compelling in trying to addressdevelopment “Publishing systems that run as application servers.” (DeWaard & Martone 2012)
  • 26. Think tanks and research units respondingto issues on the ground through a range ofapproaches using a wide range of newtools and platforms> Communication is at the centre of thisendeavor“A think tank does not produce knowledge for the pleasure ofit, but to modify reality and impact on it. With this objective,not investing in communication is a contradiction.”Laura Zommer (Cippec, Argentina)
  • 27. Publications Online/Digital Media Events• Academic journal • Emailed newsletter • Op-eds • Workshops and• Academic paper • Website • Press release training• Semi-academic • Blog • Media ‘Q&A’s • Seminars (and magazine • Twitter • Media Awards participation in• Working Paper • Facebook • Media training seminars) (series) • LinkedIn • Media • Webinars• Research Report • Youtube channel for partnerships/ • Public Events• Background Note videos and MOOCs • subcontracts (debates and (on a policy issue • Ustream for for features presentations) or methodology) ‘webstreaming’ and analysis • Public Event• Project Briefing • Flickr or Picassa • Media face-to- Series• Policy Brief • ITunes for podcasts face briefings • Private• Draft legislation • Scribd for documents meetings with• Opinion • Google Drive or Dropbox key• Workshop or for intranet and sharing stakeholders Event Report documents• Reading list, • SurveyMonkey Annotated • Eventbrite Bibliography or • Wikipedia Literature Review • Data visualisation
  • 28. There is newglobal focus onresearch uptake
  • 29. New focus on howto think aboutimpact
  • 30. Slide by Cameron Neylon CC-BY-SA
  • 31. New focus oncorrelation betweenopenness andeconomicdevelopment /innovation
  • 32. New modes ofdelivery
  • 33. New modes ofinterface betweenresearch andteaching
  • 34. And newchallenges1. Addressing transformation of reward and incentive systems > building a new policy environment2. Addressing content management and curation systems for alternative forms of content (most systems and processes set up for journal curation/exchange)3. Exploring new forms of quality assurance and peer review4. Making publishers of institutions, research units and think tanks > cohesive strategic approach
  • 35. ReferencesBollen J, Van De Sompel H, Hagberg A & Chute R (2009) A principle component analysis of 39 scientificimpact measures. PLOSone 4(6): e6022. DOI: 10.371/journal.pone.0006022. Available athttp://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0006022Davies H, Nutley S & Walter I (2005) Approaches to assessing the non-academic impact of social scienceresearch. Report of the ESRC Symposium on assessing the non-academic impact of research, 12-13 May2005DeWaard A & Martone ME (2012) Force II: The Future of Research Communications and eScholarship.NCBO webinar. Available at http://www.slideshare.net/anitawaard/ncbo-webinar-force11Herb U (2010) Alternative Impact Measures for Open Access Documents? An examination of how togenerate interoperable usage information from distributed open access services. Proceedings fromWorld Library and Information Congress: 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, 10-15 August2010, Gothenburg, SwedenThorin SE (2003) Global changes in scholarly communication. In SC Hsianghoo, PWT Poon and CMcNaught (eds) eLearning and Digital Publishing. Dordrecht: Springer. Available athttp://www.springerlink.com/content/w873x131171x2421
  • 36. Michelle WillmersProgramme Manager, Scholarly Communication in Africa Programmemichelle.willmers@uct.ac.zahttp://www.scaprogramme.org.za/@SCAprogrammeThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 SouthAfrica License.