The Snakes and Ladders of Social Media World Tour…
In Australia as elsewhere, researchers are increasingly facing demands to open up and discuss their research in the public sphere. The issue of ‘research with impact’ is also live here – the new National Research and Innovation Agenda includes planning for a pilot impact assessment exercise in 2017.
This week the snakes-and-ladders-of social-media went on tour (if Milton Keynes to London can be counted as touring). I ran a social media workshop at London South Bank University as part of their Global Entrepreneurship Week. The session was aimed at researchers but included a small number of students and entrepreneurs, which enriched the discussion.
Our seminar this month was a celebration of the diversity of engaging research at the Open University. To launch the second Engaging Researchawards, we asked some of the winners of the inaugural awards to reflect on what ‘engaging research’ means for them in their research and practice.
I’ve been involved with Cafe Scientifique for over ten years now and supported volunteer organisers to set up cafes all over the world. Closer to home, we’ve used the cafe scientifique model to develop a series of research cafes in schools in Milton Keynes as part of our Engaging Research project. Continue reading →
Creating and sustaining an online research presence
As part of a small team of researchers working within the OU’s Public Engagement with Research Catalyst team, Trevor Collins and I have been exploring how researchers across the OU are using digital tools as part of their public engagement with research activities to develop an online presence that sustains public engagement with their research. Here’s an update on the work we’ve been doing…
Research staff surveys
The first step was to include four questions in the Vitae CROS and PIRLS research staff surveys in 2013. In one, we asked respondents to give us an example of a public engagement activity they had undertaken; only 3.5% (six people) identified some form of digital engagement (e.g. blogging, citizen science, podcasting, etc.). This suggests either that respondents are unaware of the potential of digital tools as an engagement technology or do not think of digital technologies as a means for engagement.
Martin Hall, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford, came to the OU today to talk about the challenges and opportunities of open access publishing. This was part of Open Access Week at the OU.
The green and gold swamp of confusion
The mire of confusion around the green and gold models of open access – and which is ‘best’ – is trampled by many feet. Too long to rehearse here, I’d suggest a quick definition is that in ‘’gold’, the author pays to publish their work in an open access journal, and it is then instantly openly available. This raises the question of who pays the charges, of course. ‘Green’ open access relies on authors themselves archiving, in publicly-available repositories (such as the Open University’s ORO) a pre-publication version of work that they have published elsewhere.