Presentation on theme: "Supporting the development agenda: research information for policy-makers and a non-academic audience BioMed Central Open Access Africa 2012 Conference,"— Presentation transcript:
Supporting the development agenda: research information for policy-makers and a non-academic audience BioMed Central Open Access Africa 2012 Conference, Cape Town, 4 November Michelle Willmers CC-BY-SA
- 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) Towards a definition of Scholarly Communication that suits the African context > 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.
Values Impact Mission What is the relationship between scholarly communication and impact in a developmental context? Our results indicate that the notion of scientific impact is a multi-dimensional construct that cannot be adequately measured by any single indicator, although some measures are more suitable than others. (Bollen et al. 2009)
-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) What kinds of impact should we expect from research? (Davies et al. 2005)
So, basically, we need research to work harder in our context.
Which research components/formats/g enres are we going to put to work? (All of them)
Statistics tell us that African research is invisible
But that doesnt mean there isnt a large amount of very important research going on
It depends where youre looking (and what youre looking at)
Carnegie3 participants (cont.)
Journal Articles Conference Papers Technical Reports Working Papers Policy Briefs Blog Posts Tweets We see a mountain of research content/output being produced in African universities
Journal Articles Conference Papers Technical Reports Working Papers Policy Briefs Blog Posts Tweets But we treat the mountain like an iceberg
Journal Articles Prestige Privileging the sharing of outputs that address prestige
Journal Articles How does this serve the development agenda and address the need for relevance?
In the drive for research to address development we are exchanging new and interesting forms of scholarship with new and interesting consituencies (who are often not interested in journal articles)
The open science model becomes more compelling in trying to address development Publishing systems that run as application servers. (DeWaard & Martone 2012)
Think tanks and research units responding to issues on the ground through a range of approaches using a wide range of new tools and platforms > Communication is at the centre of this endeavor A think tank does not produce knowledge for the pleasure of it, but to modify reality and impact on it. With this objective, not investing in communication is a contradiction. Laura Zommer (Cippec, Argentina)
Workshops and training Seminars (and participation in seminars) Webinars Public Events (debates and presentations) Public Event Series Private meetings with key stakeholders Op-eds Press release Media Q&As Media Awards Media training Media partnerships/ subcontracts for features and analysis Media face-to- face briefings ed newsletter Website Blog Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Youtube channel for videos and MOOCs Ustream forwebstreaming Flickr or Picassa ITunes for podcasts Scribd for documents Google Drive or Dropbox for intranet and sharing documents SurveyMonkey Eventbrite Wikipedia Data visualisation Academic journal Academic paper Semi-academic magazine Working Paper (series) Research Report Background Note (on a policy issue or methodology) Project Briefing Policy Brief Draft legislation Opinion Workshop or Event Report Reading list, Annotated Bibliography or Literature Review PublicationsOnline/DigitalMediaEvents
There is new global focus on research uptake
New focus on how to think about impact
Slide by Cameron Neylon CC-BY-SA
New focus on correlation between openness and economic development / innovation
New modes of delivery
New modes of interface between research and teaching
And new challenges 1.Addressing transformation of reward and incentive systems > building a new policy environment 2.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 review 4.Making publishers of institutions, research units and think tanks > cohesive strategic approach
References Bollen J, Van De Sompel H, Hagberg A & Chute R (2009) A principle component analysis of 39 scientific impact measures. PLOSone 4(6): e6022. DOI: /journal.pone Available at Davies H, Nutley S & Walter I (2005) Approaches to assessing the non-academic impact of social science research. Report of the ESRC Symposium on assessing the non-academic impact of research, May 2005 DeWaard A & Martone ME (2012) Force II: The Future of Research Communications and eScholarship. NCBO webinar. Available at Herb U (2010) Alternative Impact Measures for Open Access Documents? An examination of how to generate interoperable usage information from distributed open access services. Proceedings from World Library and Information Congress: 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, August 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden 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
Michelle Willmers Programme Manager, Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License.