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What works and doesn't work in research dissemination


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Is 'closed' more effective than 'open' in research knowledge creation and dissemination? This paper argues that open is more efficient and effective, and makes better scholarship as well as academic profile for the researcher.

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What works and doesn't work in research dissemination

  1. 1. What works and what doesn’t work in research disseminationTerese Bird, Learning Technologist & SCORE Research Fellow University of Leicester University of South Africa, Pretoria, 13 June 2012
  2. 2. What will we talk about?1. Collaborate and disseminate as you go ‘Closed’ doesn’t work Funder requirements Examples of sharing data along the way Examples of academics – ‘blogging plus’ Tools2. Open Research Open research issues - affordability, inequality Research Impact is greater when we open it up Metrics from Leicester LRA Metrics from outside Leicester3. How to start
  3. 3. 1.Collaborate & disseminate as you go Cann, A., Dimitriou, K., and Hooley, T. (2011), p15
  4. 4. Does ‘closed’ work?Working together rather than in competition brings the power of shared information and investigation.ExampleThe Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) was founded to address the inefficiencies and structural barriers present across Multiple Sclerosis research efforts. These challenges included• academic research labs working independently in expertise ‘silos’,• widespread secrecy and safeguarding of research progress and knowledge,• limited publication of research producing non-results,and others. These longstanding coordination issues are exacerbated by the fact that such approaches to drug discovery and development are unsuitable for complex, multi-casual diseases like MS.
  5. 5. There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet. –Eric Hoffer Image courtesy of Myelin Repair Foundation on Flickr
  6. 6. Funder RequirementsJISC now requires ‘disseminate as you go’ and ‘disseminate from day one’“Dissemination informs the community about what you have developed and the benefits of using it” - JISC
  7. 7. How does one collaborate and disseminate as you go?• Share findings as you go• Project website• Academic blog – Open research notebook – journaling what happens in practice – Recording encountered risks, different from the original project timelines – Air new ideas, see reaction, discuss• Invite to your site (Twitter, Google+, Facebook)• Share presentations on Slideshare
  8. 8. Example of releasing data midstream – speed of light
  9. 9. Accelerated Research Collaboration Model in Medical Research
  10. 10. Risks???
  11. 11. Risks• Stealing ‘but I might have stolen them to start with’. We don’t always attribute.• Sharing simply not allowed- industrial funder.• Someone may misinterpret your idea, misuse your idea. Even safety issues.• Social Sci – incorrectly attribute causality• Ethical – exposing data you shouldn’t expose• Steal your thunder just before you show your stuff• Is the user interested in half-baked stuff?• Only brownie points for journal articles, not blogs• We don’t want to see blogs as references, not peer- reviewed
  12. 12. Positive examples – Alan Cann
  13. 13. Positive examples – Cristina Costa
  14. 14. What I did with SPIDER• Website• Blog Disseminate & collaborate• Online survey – baseline• – identify, curate, collaborate, disseminate• Data collection: Twitter, Weibo• Conferences• Slideshare
  15. 15. Draw readers to your project website
  16. 16. Tasks and Tools
  17. 17. Mendeley, Delicious, Google Docs, RSS Aggregator iGoogleFacebook DropboxTwitter Scoop.itGoogle+LinkedIn WordpressGoogle+ EvernoteWetpaint Wordpress, Twitter, Slideshare,, Flickr, Pinterest, LinkedIn
  18. 18. 2. Open ResearchWe cannot afford ‘closed’ – Princeton – Harvard – Elsevier boycott
  19. 19. UK Open Access Implementation Group ReportsThe UK public sector already saves £28.6 million by using open access. Both the public sector and the voluntary sector would see further direct and indirect benefits from increased access to UK higher education research publications. Already, more Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations use open access than pay for subscriptionsThe UK public sector spends £135 million a year, made up of subscriptions and time spent trying to find articles, accessing the journal papers it needs to perform effectively. Each extra 5% of journal papers accessed via open access on the web would save the public purse £1.7 million, even if no subscription fees were to be saved.<
  20. 20. Leicester Research Archive Example• Traditional printed PhD thesis is read a total of 4 times over the life of the academic (avg)• Leicester Research Archive: most theses are downloaded 10-40x monthly (avg)• Top 10 LRA accesses in 2011 were PhD theses: – 1772 accesses for the number 1 – 1584 accesses for the number 3
  21. 21. If you want people to find and read your research, build up a digital presencein your discipline, and use it to promote your work when you have somethinginteresting to share. It’s pretty darn obvious, really.If (social media interaction is often) then (Open access + social media =increased downloads). - Melissa Terras, UCL worth-it/
  22. 22. It’s all political• REF doesn’t seem to reward the new models(?)• UK Minister enlisting Jimmy Wales’ help to open research publications – efficiency & effectiveness• White House petition for open access to research
  23. 23. 3. How to do it? Follow the stars!
  24. 24. It’s in your hands! Thank you!Cann, A., Dimitriou, K., Hooley, T. (2011) Social media: a guide forresearchers. 15.