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Research4Development: Challenges in Managing and Sharing Information
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Research4Development : Challenges in Managing and Sharing Information

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Presentation by Martin Parr (CABI/R4D) at the Euforic workshop 'Collaboration, Communication and Climate Change' - Copenhagen 10 June 2009

Presentation by Martin Parr (CABI/R4D) at the Euforic workshop 'Collaboration, Communication and Climate Change' - Copenhagen 10 June 2009

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  • General Introduction R4D is a site developed by CABI and its partners to provide a way to manage information about centrally funded DFID research

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  • 1. Research4Development Challenges in Managing and Sharing Information June 10 th 2008 EADI, Copenhagen Martin Parr (CIMRC & CABI)
  • 2. DFID spent £86 million on Research in 2005, spent upwards of £136 million in 2007, and £220 million by 2010
  • 3. History
    • 2002 – CIMRC Partnership set up with CABI as lead partner to deliver Communication and Information Management support to DFID CRD
    • 2004 – DFID’s Research Strategy Framework
    • 2004-5 - Specification & Development of R4D
    • 2006 – Launch R4D – basic structure
    • 2008 – Re-launch with added communication tools
  • 4. CABI + Partners = CIMRC
      • Communications and Information Management Resource Centre (CIMRC)
      • CABI, EUFORIC, CommsConsult
      • What we do
        • Communication expertise
        • Support DFID’s Central Research Department’s Communication Team
        • Information Management – Research for Development
  • 5. How is DFID’s Research funding spent?
      • In what sectors?
      • In what countries?
      • How is research programme contributing to the reduction of poverty, the uptake of new technology and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals?
      • How should research funding be directed in future?
  • 6. Research for Development – First Phase, 2005-2007
    • 1) Brought the research information together in an
    • archive database of:
        • project management information
        • research outputs / publications
    • 2) Improved access to existing websites / systems
    • 3) Started to improve exchange of information with communication partners
  • 7. R4D helps researchers and policy makers answer questions about DFID research
  • 8. R4D Vision
      • ‘ a service, not a site’
  • 9. UK + others. BBC,Wren FAO,Shared ODAMOZ Codesria etc. EADI, ERAs Communication affiliates R4D information Project outputs Project records R4D website RSS Email IDS,APC,DevGateway Research networks Radio,TV,Print Research partners Project partners Internet Development partners Initiatives Policy Practice News Case studies How it works Developing an Outward-facing service Blogs R4DTV
  • 10. User-focused collections - Themed Collections
      • R4D based on a collection indexed for users rather than just using a thesaurus; repurpose information around themed collections
  • 11. User-focused collections - Document type and user
      • Classify content according to type and likely user group, e.g. Policy Papers, Handbooks, etc. Allow users to filter the content
  • 12. Make all serially produced content available as RSS
      • Build feeds to support users. Link these to promotion at and through events
  • 13. Have a communication function built on top of the repository
      • Add News and Blog content to put the service in context and encourage feedback
  • 14. Video and podcasts?
      • Use new media to enliven debate
  • 15. Do community users know what we are doing?!
      • Place information where the users are – includes ensuring content is indexed in the relevant service – e.g. GFIS
  • 16. Free up your data
      • Through:
        • Using release of Sitemaps to boost visibility in search engines, especially Google. Don’t forget Google News, blog searches, etc.
        • Use data standards that allow for and promote re-use of data. RSS, Xml, OAI-PMH
  • 17. Free up your data
        • Have R4D information accessed via other development websites: providing a research information service that increasingly fits with and links to similar portals such as GFIS, effectively supplying a joined-up service to users
        • How? – use of RSS feeds, promoting their uptake by individuals & other sites, links to canned searches and OAI material.
        • Site and feeds should provide targeted e-alerts
        • Promotion of tools through associated Marketing & Communications activities – including promotion at/through events
  • 18. Summary: Delivering the Service
      • R4D based on a collection indexed for users rather than just using a thesaurus; repurpose information around themed collections
      • Classify content according to type and likely user group, e.g. Policy Papers, Handbooks, etc.
      • Build feeds to support users. Link these to promotion at and through events
      • Add News and Blog content to put the service in context and encourage feedback
      • Use new media to enliven debate
      • Place information where the users are – includes ensuring content is indexed in the relevant service
      • In General - Free up the data – use the right formats and approaches – use of Google News, Maps, OAI, Sitemaps for improved searching
  • 19. Approach
        • Consider service aspects of. Principle:
            • a service not a site
        • Move from Platform to People
        • Working to ‘free up data’ – use a less technical approach, more engagement
            • Targeted information
            • Widen the audience to your data
            • Working with donors and partners – developing/promoting syntheses
        • Be responsive , have a flexible approach to delivering the message, innovating new products and approaches.
        • Use communication, and Workshops to:
          • Move data from platform to user community
        • But…aim to keep a comprehensive collection – don’t lose sight of key requirement to provide a source for all relevant research outputs
  • 20. www.Research4development.info
    • Martin Parr (m.parr@cabi.org)