What do most academics do to ensure they maximize the impact of their research post-publication? You guessed it: Absolutely nothing.
Some might participate in writing a press release if asked to by their institution, or answer some media inquiries if necessary, but most will sit back and wait for their citations to start rolling in.
Wrong approach? Perhaps. These days research impact is assessed by universities, funding agencies and governments in a range of ways, more than just ‘how many citations did you get’ and ‘which journal did you publish your work in’. Research ‘impact’ is best visualized as academic impact plus the difference your work makes to the lives of ordinary people (think: socioeconomic impact). The first of these variables (academic impact) is much easier to measure (citations, downloads, reads) but the second ….. (much harder to do, let alone measure).
How can you maximize the socioeconomic impact of your research? Ensure that it makes a difference outside academia?
The best way to start is simply to talk about your research. Are you doing that? Do you blog about your research, do you post content on social media?
At Edanz, we know that this is often quite hard for academics. We are all super busy, juggling the competing demands of research, perhaps clinical practice, supervision and day-to-day meetings and teaching. We’ve recently connected with another company who can help: Science Diffusion and engaged with their e-magazine that talks about research, Scientia.
“If you don’t have time to write and blog about your research, we can take the weight. Why not get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help you to maximize your research impact and connection with society. Blogs, e-books, audio podcasts, videos, and even short magazine articles about your research.”
Science Diffusion means that researchers are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to communicate more broadly, especially to the public. Moreover, given the significant change in the way information is disseminated and accessed, people want more from researchers, academic institutions, and industry than ever before. As a result, the topic of science communication is a growing area of interest. It is now widely accepted that broader science communication is a fundamental aspect of a researcher’s career. While many do recognize this, it can be a challenge to do it effectively.
With the majority of research being funded at government level through the taxpaying public, we believe it is crucial to tackle these goals and help connect science and society without any restrictions. It is important to communicate and disseminate research to support and enhance science beyond traditional scholarly publishing. Simply put, we aim to make science understandable, enjoyable, accessible, and open.
A large number of academics are actively being encouraged by their institute or funding agency to engage and showcase their work beyond their own niche communities and traditional publishing channels, especially when it comes to taxpayer-funded research.
Quoting REF2021: “Scientists must provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of this investment.”
Quoting the NSF: “Broader Impacts: The potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.”
Quoting the WHO: “knowledge translation is the synthesis, exchange, and application of knowledge by relevant stakeholders to accelerate the benefits of global and local innovation in strengthening health systems and improving people’s health.”
Quoting JSPS: “GreatER outreach efforts are need to cultivate public awareness as to the importance of scientific research.”
Don’t just write up your work and then lie in your hammock waiting for the ‘impact’ to happen on its own! We can help you to engage with your audience, inside and outside academia.