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The Conversation rscd2018

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The Conversation as a Research Engagement Tool presented by
Charis Palmer (Deputy Editor, The Conversation) at the Research Support Community Day 2018
The Conversation is as a research engagement tool which is becoming increasingly important for researchers to disseminate their ideas on topical issues to a broad audience. Researchers are routinely approached for media interviews following posts of their work. Charis Palmer outlined the reach of The Conversation and some brief tips on pitching ideas that librarians can pass on to our researchers.

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The Conversation rscd2018

  1. 1. Academic rigour, journalistic flair
  2. 2. ● Our team of professional editors work with academics to unlock their knowledge for the wider public. ● We seed the mainstream media with expert voices. ● We are focused on public interest journalism.
  3. 3. TRUST IS THE KEY TO GROWTH 3 • The Conversation was founded in Australia, now with editions based in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa & France. • All our stories are free to read or republish – which is how we reach millions more readers through global media outlets. • More than 80% of our readers are non- academics. • Academics get final sign-off on all edits, so it’s accurate. 35 million reach including republication in other media 8 million users on site
  4. 4. Commercial media Not for profit x Authors recognised experts x Content free to the public x Free from commercial agenda x Solution-centric x Safe publishing platform x Creative Commons, access to all x New voices x WHY WE ARE DIFFERENT
  5. 5. 5 ● “... there are data providers which collect research metrics of internet downloads, blogs, Wikipedia entries, Twitter and other social media (for example Altmetrics by Digital Science, The Conversation and the AusSMC ).”
  6. 6. 6 An article published by The Conversation, or media interviews, can be evidence of research engagement beyond academia. The ARC says “potential indicators for optional use in the engagement narrative” include: ARC ENGAGEMENT AND IMPACT ● Book sales ● Serving on external advisory boards ● Consultations with community groups, professional/practice organisations, govt ● Consultation with/advice to Government ● Expert witness in court cases ● Contributions/submissions to public enquiries on industry-research related issues ● Public lectures, seminars, open days, school visits ● Presentations to practitioner communities ● Established networks and relationships with research users ● Public lectures, policy engagements, media engagements, community events) ● Media coverage of exhibitions and new works ● Metrics which capture social media activity
  7. 7. Inside an author dashboard
  8. 8. 8 REAL WORLD ENGAGEMENT AND IMPACT “My first two articles were republished and read in more than 10 countries, including Japan, Germany and India. That international exposure is fuelling a whirlwind of new opportunities: I’ve been approached by industry leaders such as Microsoft, and given in-kind funding from Amazon to further my work…. [and recently met] Dr. Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Amazon.com.”
  9. 9. Global exposure creates new opportunities
  10. 10. Why share research with the public? Here’s why
  11. 11. Make a mark with policymakers & the public “Soon after I started writing about our research for The Conversation, I was invited to present at an event with all the key regulatory stakeholders. I assumed they’d know nothing about our project – but was surprised to find nearly everyone in the room had read my Conversation articles. Some state government regulators even came up afterwards to say, 'We really like what you're doing with The Conversation, please keep writing’ … Instead of ending up in a government report that isn't read, many tens of thousands of people have read about our findings.” - MARTIN YOUNG, GAMBLING RESEARCHER, SCU - JENNY OSTINI, DIGITAL FUTURES RESEARCHER, USQ
  12. 12. The academic value of sharing what you know As well as attracting 180,000 readers, this January 2014 article led to: • Talkback on ABC Radio National • Interviews on ABC radio (Qld & NSW) + commercial radio (4BC) • ABC 1 TV Breakfast interview That national media coverage resulted in: • Very happy funding partners (govt & industry) + approaches from new potential funders • Invitations to review for a high-rated journal; submit to another; and present at a conference • A lasting spike in Wendy’s publication downloads (shown below, starting January 2014). “As a first-time Conversation author, the results far exceeded my expectations.”
  13. 13. Why share research with the public? Here’s why
  14. 14. 14 REAL WORLD ENGAGEMENT AND IMPACT Alice Gorman, space archeology expert, has been: ● cited in academic papers, as well as scientific articles and books (The Atlantic, The Voyager Record) ● been profiled by New Yorker ● cited by government (referred by Chair of Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) ● published in Best Australian Science Writing ● Interviewed for Between The Lines (ABC National) and by CSIRO
  15. 15. “Some articles have an impact even years after publication, particularly an article I wrote back in 2013 on Aboriginal music sent into space on the Voyager spacecraft. That story continues to resonate hugely, here and overseas; among other things, it’s been included in an anthology of the Best Australian Science Writing and cited in a published paper.”
  16. 16. PITCHING IDEAS
  17. 17. PITCHING IDEAS New research News hook An explainer
  18. 18. BUT IT’S EXTREMELY COMPETITIVE The Conversation Australia has just 18 section editors, who receive hundreds of pitches daily. We have to prioritise the pitches we can accept.
  19. 19. MORE THAN WORDS: MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING
  20. 20. NEED MORE HELP? WE RUN MASTERCLASSES Can you write about your research in a clear, concise & compelling way? Do you know how to tailor & target your work to gain attention beyond your own peers – including politicians, the media, industry & grant assessors? Available on campus by request for 10-20 participants per session, at a discount rate as a Member of The Conversation. For more details: bit.ly/PitchMasterclass
  21. 21. theconversation.com charis.palmer@theconversation.edu.au conversationEDU conversationEDU theconversation.com/au/newsletter

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