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2-Understanding information

Topic 4    Research supply chain

Earlier in this section we thought about the way in which many different types of information make a journey (go through an information supply chain) before they reach you, the consumer. Information (often in the form of empirical data) taken from pure research in a laboratory usually reaches you as a consumer in the form of an article published in an academic journal. This journey could be described as the ‘research supply chain’. It is important to understand the processes behind this journey, as most of the information that you use during your studies will have been produced in this way.


Penny has had her PhD thesis ‘A study into morning sickness and other minor complaints of early pregnancy’ accepted by the Open University. Three years later she finds out that her research has been quoted in the SK220 Human Biology and Health course book. Four years after her PhD is published she is contacted by BBC Radio 4 and asked to speak on ‘Woman's Hour’ about her research. How do you think this happens?


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