Category / BU research

Tourism Week – Helping charities use social media

The eTourism Lab, ICTHR , in the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University is supporting Just a Drop– a water charity to spread its word through Social Media and the Internet.

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis and Georgina Sekadakis a Masters student at Bournemouth University work closely with Fiona Jeffery Chairman of World Travel Market & Just a Drop and Ana Sustelo of Just a Drop to demonstrate how charities can use Social Media to benefit their great causes. Just a Drop is a registered water charity raising money to build wells, install boreholes and hand pumps as well as carry out sanitation and health education programmes in some of the poorest parts of the developing world. The mission they are trying to accomplish is to reduce child mortality. Currently a child dies every 20 seconds as a result of water-borne diseases and this must stop. Their main donors are from the Travel and Tourism industry however they are now trying to attract donors from all industries and individuals.

While there is agreement that charities nowadays have a greater need for marketing, there is little agreement on how they should be approaching marketing and especially when it comes to the adoption of Social Media; research has shown that they are lagging behind as they are waiting to see how others use this new technology.  Today, charities of any size can take advantage of Social Media tools to showcase their organisation to the world without relying on huge budgets.  Money is no longer the decision factor, creativity is.

Little research has actually been carried out on marketing from a non-profitable organisation’s point of view.  Bournemouth University is experimenting with Internet and Social Media to try and classify a best practice for charities to help them engage and create awareness about the problem and how people can help make a change.  Facebook and Twitter are primarily used to raise awareness and create story telling.  As relationships are the foundation for Social Media sites they are key for charities in order to engage further with their stakeholders.  So far our attempts have been successful and we have found that followers are engaging with us through Social Media and we are now looking into ways of raising money through the various platforms to help fund new projects around the world. Using social media strategically will be critical for organisations of the future and the expertise of the eTourism Lab will be widely used for all organisations engaging.

Bidding success

On Friday last week the RDU organised two bidding workshops with John Wakeford of the Missenden Centre.

John left the groups with some important points to remember when writing funding applications.

Here are John’s top tips for bid writing success……

Top ten rules for readability:

  • think about your audience
  • think how they will read it
  • only use words they will understand
  • plan
  • engaging title and first sentence
  • every word counts
  • avoid -ve words, difficulties, conditionals
  • face problems, but replace with challenges/opportunities
  • short sentences
  • eliminate jargon, and minimise acronyms

 Key features of a good proposal:

  • investigate funders’ current priorities
  • contact CRE Ops, RPRS, identify potential reviewers and book them in
  • read carefully the precise rules for submissions
  • check agreement among your collaborators
  • allow time for multiple drafts

Strategies for success:

  • network, network, network
  • hitch your wagon to a star
  • be in contact with funders
  • why should they want to fund you?
  • ensure you are the world expert
  • guarantee impact
  • clear your diary
  • re-use ideas on different context and try again
  • deliver on title
  • re-read and consider:
  • why should it be funded?
  • how would the world be different if it wasn’t?

If you are thinking about writing a funding proposal please contact Caroline O’Kane and find out about how the RPRS can support your bid.

To find out more about John Wakeford’s sessions please contact Susan Dowdle or Caroline O’Kane.

Tourism comes of age…

Although a major contributor to life at BU, the study of Tourism is often wrongly maligned as being a niche subject on the periphery of more established areas of study such as Business & Management and Geography. Well, in the UK alone over 100 institutions offer HE courses at undergraduate level including “top tier” universities such as Exeter, Surrey, Strathclyde and Stirling with many more competing for students and staff across Europe and beyond with major concentrations of activity in North America, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia and New Zealand where tourism is not only a significant area of academic interest but also of valuable income, foreign exchange earnings and employment.

Returning to the UK one of the most significant “coming of age” moments has been the explicit inclusion of Tourism for the very first time in a Unit of Assessment in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework. Unit 26, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism is one of only a few new units in the REF, a fact which clearly reflects its growing maturity as an area of academic investigation and the widespread positive recognition with which it is now held across the sector. This recognition really took hold 2 to 3 years ago when the ESRC awarded colleagues at the University of Exeter £1.5 million to set up its research cluster in Sport, Leisure and Tourism, an award which would have been unthinkable only a few years before. Since then, staff from the School of Tourism at BU have been attracting funds from the ESRC, the European Union and the United Nations World Tourism Organization and others while the significant award recently won by colleagues from the School from the EPSRC on sustainable patterns of travel demonstrates the collaborative and inter-disciplinary opportunities offered by Tourism. This latter point was again highlighted recently with the inclusion in the RCUK publication Big Ideas for the Future of a project looking at the fusion between public health and tourism policies at the local level. This was BU’s only entry in this prestigious publication, testament if it were ever needed that the industry that is widely acclaimed as the world’s largest has now also come of age in the academic arena!

Tourism Week – highlighting stories from BU’s School of Tourism

Tomorrow, Tuesday 27th September 2011, is World Tourism Day and to celebrate this week on the research blog is Tourism Week.  Every day the research blog will be highlighting stories about the excellent work going on in Bournemouth University’s School of Tourism.

World Tourism Day was instigated by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.

“The message on this World Tourism Day is that, thanks to tourism, millions of people from different cultures are being brought together around the world like never before,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “This interaction between people of different backgrounds and ways of life represents an enormous opportunity to advance tolerance, respect and mutual understanding”.

In 2010, 940 million tourists travelled to a different country, coming into direct contact with tangible – art, monuments – and intangible – music, food, traditions – culture. World Tourism Day 2011 is a celebration of this unique interaction and aims at furthering understanding of the values of cultural diversity.

BU internal peer-review scheme for your research proposal

Why is the internal peer review of research proposals important?

  • The competition for research funds is high and is likely to increase.  Research Council funding presents a particular challenge – with the ESRC having one of the lowest success rates.
  • In recent years funders have expressed their growing concern over the number of poor quality research proposals they receive, with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) taking the action to implement a ban on submissions from unsuccessful candidates who fail repeatedly and requesting evidence on steps institutions take to improve academic skills in producing research proposals.
  • Internal peer review has been credited with producing higher quality research proposals and increased success rates and is a process encouraged by the Research Councils.

Who reviews the applications?

  • The Peer Reviewers are a selection of BU academics who have a considerable track record in successfully gaining research funding, who sit on funding panels and who review research proposals for funders.
  • We select two reviewers to review your proposal.

Who can apply to the RPRS?

  • The service is open to anyone at BU and for any type of research funding.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Peer reviewers will provide feedback on the proposed research in terms of topic selection, novel value, clarity of ideas proposed and advise on how the proposal can be further strengthened. They may also provide the names of potential collaborators where applicable.
  • Feedback will be delivered within 3 weeks of submission – often before.

Will the RPRS help with unsuccessful applications?

  • Yes, if you have a unsuccesful proposal, the RPRS will provide feedback on your submission on how you could potentially improve the style of the proposal, advise on other possible funders and provide other useful information.   The system works as for as yet unsubmitted drafts.

How do I submit an application?

  • Contact RKEO Funding Development Team to obtain a rough costing for your proposal. RKEO FDT will guide you through the process
  • Send in a Word or PDF version of your electronic submission draft (such as Je-S) and submit to Jo Garrad and Dianne Goodman/Giles Ashton.
  • The RKEO FDT will undertake review of the proposal and forward to 2 experts
  • You will receive feedback within 2-3 weeks


  • Please allow sufficient time in your proposal development to allow for the  mandatory internal deadline of five working days for the submission of Research Council bids via the Je-S system. This internal deadline also applies to applications made via the E-Gap2 and Leverhulme Online e-submissions systems (affecting applications made to the British Academy, the Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust).

Who can I ask for further help?

  • Jo Garrad and Dianne Goodman/Giles Ashton  in the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development team look after the RPRS and will answer any questions you have.

Comment on copyright term extension

The deed is done. Copyright term extension for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years was adopted yesterday (12 September 2011) by qualified majority in the European Council. The remaining opposition came from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. Austria and Estonia abstained.

The chorus of approval has been led by aging artists, masking the fact that for more than a decade the lobby for copyright extension has been resourced by the multinational record industry (see related BBC news item). Labels do not want to lose the revenues of the classic recordings of the 1960s which are reaching the end of their current 50 year term. Rather than innovating, right holders find it much easier to exclude competition. Europe is in danger of locking away her music heritage just as digital technology is enabling the opening of the archives.

It is not surprising that many performers’ organisations and collecting societies support the Directive. They do not have to carry the costs – which will exceed EURO 1 billion to the general public (based on the Commission’s own figures – see calculations in Joint Academic Statement issued by Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM, Bournemouth University), the Centre for Intellectual Property & Information Law (CIPIL, Cambridge University), the Institute the Institute for Information Law (IViR, University of Amsterdam), and the Max Planck Competition and Tax Law (Munich).

72 percent of the financial benefits from term extension will accrue to record labels. Of the 28 percent that will go to artists, most of the money will go to superstar acts, with only 4 percent benefiting those musicians mentioned in the European Council press release as facing an “income gap at the end of their life times” (New rules on term of protection of music recordings, Council of the EU, 12/09/11). Many performers also do not appear to understand that the proposal would lead to a redistribution of income from living to dead artists.

In an interview with the NY Times yesterday, I said: “This is a dreadful day for musicians and consumers. Policymakers are schizophrenic, speaking a language of change and innovation, but then respond to lobbying by extending the right which gave rise to the problem in the first place. This only entrenches a cynical attitude toward copyright law and brings it into further disrepute.”

Sweden and Belgium issued dissents after the vote in the Council. They are worth quoting in full: Interinstitutional File: 2008/0157 (COD)

Declaration by Sweden

Throughout the negotiations, Sweden has had strong reservations regarding the commission’s proposal to extend the term of protection for sound recordings.

As regards copyright regulation in general Sweden has always stressed the importance of taking all relevant aspects and involved interests into account, in order to maintain a fair balance in the copyright system. We believe this to be essential if we are to successfully uphold respect for the copyright system in the future.

Extending the term of protection for sound recordings as proposed is neither fair nor balanced. It therefore risks undermining the respect for copyright in general even further. Such a development is very unfortunate for all those who depend on copyright protection to make a living.

Sweden believes there to be good reasons for measures aiming at improving the situation for those professional musicians and other artists who often operate under economically difficult conditions. Extending the term of protection will however not primarily be of benefit to this group.

Against this background Sweden regrets the decision to adopt the proposal amending Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights.

Belgian declaration

With regard to the proposal for a directive on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, Belgium believes that a term extension is not an appropriate measure to improve the situation of the performing artists. Furthermore, we believe that the negative consequences the proposal entails do not outweigh the advantages it brings. We can therefore not support this proposal.

It seems that the measure will mainly benefit record producers and not performing artists, will only have a very limited effect for most of the performing artists, will have a negative impact on the accessibility of cultural material such as those contained in libraries and archives, and will create supplementary financial and administrative burdens to enterprises, broadcasting organisations and consumers. Therefore, the overall package of the proposal appears, as demonstrated by a large amount of academic studies [1], unbalanced.

Finally, one has to observe that several initiatives which have clear links with and impact on the proposal, have recently been adopted or announced by the Commission in its Communication of 24 May 2011 [2]. These initiatives include for example a proposal for a directive on orphan works, a new initiative on collective management, and a new initiative on online distribution of audiovisual works. Taking into account this global approach of copyright issues in the internal market, we think that it would only be reasonable to re-examine the merits of this proposal in the context of this global approach.


[1] See e.g. “The Proposed Directive for a Copyright Term Extension – A backward-looking package” Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM, Bournemouth University), the Centre for Intellectual Property & Information Law (CIPIL, Cambridge University), the Institute the Institute for Information Law (IViR, University of Amsterdam), and the Max Planck Competition and Tax Law (Munich); N. HELBERGER, N. DUFFT, S. VAN GOMPEL, B. HUGENHOLTZ, ‘Never forever: why extending the term of protection for sound recordings is a bad idea’, EIPR 2008, 174; S. DUSOLLIER, ‘Les artistes-interprètes pris en otage’, Auteurs & Media 2008, 426.

[2] Communication from the Commission of 24 May 2011, A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights Boosting creativity and innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe, COM (2011) 287

Methodology Training – Building Momentum in the School of Tourism

With many of the leading journals in the field of Tourism and related studies now recording rejection rates in excess of 90%, the pressure is on all of us with an interest in publishing in such journals to enhance our level of engagement with the variety of alternative research methodologies available to us and to deepen our level of knowledge of those deemed most appropriate; as well as to improve the level of rigour with which we apply them in our work! In addition to constructive criticism from panel members of the level of conceptual and theoretical engagement in many papers reviewed for RAE2008, feedback from reviewers points to methodological weaknesses in papers submitted and a sense of frustration over the a lack of rigour and an apparent unwillingness to try contemporary approaches. 

In response, the School of Tourism has invested much time in developing the methodological expertise of its staff and for 2011-12 is launching a new programme of Research Methods on Wednesday mornings throughout the year. Available to all School staff and PhD students, the new programme, being led by Professor Roger Vaughan and Dr Lorraine Brown, explores both quantitative and qualitative approaches to research, a number of emerging methods of contemporary interest, with the programme concluding with sessions on the use of “voice” and “trustworthiness” on the writing up of qualitative research and the presentations of quantitative findings.

For further information please contact Dr Lorraine Brown at

One man’s experience of the Research Proposal Review Service

A short while ago Richard Berger, Head of Postgraduate Research for the Media School, submitted a proposal to the Research Proposal Review Service.  This is his story…..

I recently used RPRS for the first time. It’s a system that’s been running for a while, and before then I used to informally ask colleagues to look over bids I was in the process of putting together. This time however, I used the RPRS for a recent Expression of Interest. Previously, I had always been in a rush to get bids in and felt that I wouldn’t have time to go through a formal peer-review process. But I was wrong.

Despite quite a tight deadline and the fact that this took place in August – when many colleagues and support staff are on leave – the service was very prompt and extremely diligent. I was asked to select some designated reviewers from the Media School, and in a week, I received two comprehensive reviews of my EOI. The comments were extremely useful, and I incorporated most of them into my document. It was clear that both reviewers, and Caroline at the Centre for Research and Enterprise, had read the quite complex (and lengthy!) call for expressions-of-interest – which much have taken some time.

I’ll have to wait and see, but I do feel the process was very worthwhile. Bid-writing is often quite a lonely process, and it’s nice to know that there is now a great deal of support at BU, even in the height of summer. It’s quite difficult to get the balance right between being objective and critical, and being supportive; I think the team at CRE have got it just about right.

So, in future, I will still show work-in-progress to colleagues and friends at BU, but I’ll use the RPRS too, as it’s more formal and doesn’t take as long as you perhaps think it might. Also, your colleagues may not be as critical as RPRS no doubt will be. Being successful at getting research funding will benefit everyone who works at BU in the long-run, as the reputation of our institution increases. So, why not try for yourselves?

To find out more about the RPRS and how we can support your proposal,  please contact Caroline O’Kane

What makes a good impact section?

In writing an FP7 bid the marks allocated for Impact are the same as those for Science & Technological Excellence. So, how do you make sure you score top marks?

Beta Technology (sponsored by DEFRA) are the UKs National Contact Point for three of the FP7 themes and offer a number of good tips. They’ve also provided real-life examples of a good and not so good Impact Section together with the evaluators’ mark and feedback – these are essential reading for any propective FP7 applicant! 

Impact section examples can be found on the I drive at the following address: \\Lytchett\IntraStore\CRKT\Public\Research Blog Docs\Impact Summary

If you would like more information on the impact advice from Beta Technology please contact Shelly Maskell.

Find out about Dr Samuel Nyman’s research into the psychosocial aspects of falls and their prevention in older people

Research by Age UK estimates that falls amongst older people in the UK could be costing the NHS in excess of £4.6m a day, with up to one in three people over 65 falling each year. Falls account for over 50% of hospital admissions among the over 70s, with around 14,000 older people dying annually in the UK after a fall. Evidence suggests that if older people regularly take part in exercise specially designed to improve strength and balance then their risk of falls can be cut by up to 55%. Dr Samuel Nyman in the Psychology Research Group (DEC) undertakes research primarily focused on the psychosocial aspects of falls and their prevention in older people, and has a particular interest in helping older people become physically active to prevent falls. His work has focused on how internet-based falls prevention advice can be made more motivating and inspiring for older people, and he was invited as a guest speaker to present his research at Arthritis Research UK’s Musculoskeletal Educators Conference in June 2011.

Samuel is part of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, led by Prof Marcus Ormerod at the University of Salford, who have been awarded funding from the MRC-led cross-council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme to conduct a year-long pilot study called: “Go Far (Going Outdoors: Falls, Ageing and Resilience)”. Go Far starts in January 2012 and will investigate the role of the outdoor environment in shaping health inequalities, explore older people’s experiences of falling outdoors, develop and test tools and techniques to evaluate the relationship between at-risk people and the outdoor environment, and develop a clear road map for future cross-disciplinary research in this area. The project will also involve experts from Age UK, the UK Health and Safety Laboratory, and Toronto Rehab.

Working with Dr Claire Ballinger (University of Southampton) and Prof Judith Phillips (Swansea University), Samuel’s contribution will be to explore through focus groups older people’s perceptions of the key risk factors for falling in the outdoor environment. This aspect of the project will lead to an understanding of the environmental risk factors which have yet to be accounted for in the current evidence base. Overall, the project will develop a greater understanding of the many factors involved in outdoor falls and create practical tools which will significantly help older people’s health and wellbeing.

Prior to this project Samuel undertook a systematic review of older people’s participation in falls prevention interventions. Earlier this year Samuel presented this research at a symposium in Italy for the European Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, which he also co-chaired. He will also present this work as one of the six selected oral presentations at the forthcoming 12th International Conference on Falls and Postural Stability to be held in Manchester on 9 September 2011. The work has also been published as two journal articles in Age and Ageing, a leading international geriatrics journal:

Samuel is currently developing a website to use with older people later this year with the aim of identifying further (with the use of psychological theory) what are the best ways of communicating falls prevention advice to older people to facilitate their ability to continue to lead healthy, independent, and active lifestyles.

Launch of the BU Fusion Fund

This week BU is proud to launch the Fusion Fund to support staff innovation.  Details and the application process for the fund are set out in the attached documents and the fund forms part of BU’s Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) Strategy.  The idea is to support innovative ideas which lead to employer, business or industry engagement enhancing core BU activity of research and education.  Availability of funds are modest in the first year (although build in subsequent years) but the key is to provide an opportunity for staff to explore innovative ideas around Fusion.  Ideas for new courses, enterprise ventures, industry secondments, or employer engagements can all be explored by this fund.  It is designed to allow staff to develop new ideas and innovations! 

The deadline for the first call is the 1 November 2011 – good luck!

Available documents:

Funding success for Dr Lee Ann Fenge

Dr Lee-Ann Fenge, Associate Dean Postgraduate Students at Bournemouth University’s School of Health and Social Care has secured nearly £10K from the Big Lottery Fund for the project, ‘Developing Practice with Older Lesbians and Gay Men – A Method Deck’ . 

The project follows on directly from work accomplished in the ‘Gay and Pleasant Land? Research Project’ carried out at the School at Bournemouth over the past three years and led by Dr. Kip Jones in which Dr. Fenge acted as Community Organiser.

A Method deck consists of a range of colourful playing cards which include exercises, suggestions for activities and brain-storming ideas for practitioners and their clients.  The Method Deck will develop, produce and distribute this educational training tool to promote understanding of the needs and experiences of older lesbians and gay men amongst their peers, communities and service providers within UK society. The deck of cards will include information and activities to promote good practice with older people from minority sexual groups. The deck of cards will be designed to inspire and empower local communities, community organizations and health and social care practitioners to review and develop their practice with such groups. This will encourage an inclusive approach to practice, promoting recognition of the diversity within the ageing population.

The content of the Method Deck will be particularly informed by the findings from two recent research projects at HSC: The Gay and Grey Project (2006) funded by Big Lottery led by Dr. Fenge and The Gay and Pleasant Land? Project (2009-2012), funded by the UK Research Councils under the umbrella of the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme. The Method Deck will support practitioners to reflect on their own practice, the agency context and the wider structural issues which influence the experiences of older lesbians and gay men in their local communities. Development of the deck will begin shortly with the input of the project’s community partners.

Thanks to the Social Innovation Lab for Kent for their earlier advice on their project and the use of their Method Deck in this photo.

The Holburne Museum, Bath

The mrg is currently completing a research project for the Holburne Museum in Bath (managed by N Pretty), a project that extends back to 2006 and builds on earlier museum studies conducted since 1998.

During 2002 a methodology was developed for research at the V&A Museum in London which was to inform the redevelopment and arrangement of the British Galleries and then later the Sculpture and Ceramics collections. The research was extended to include an evaluation of the representation of Black and Ethnic History at the V&A.  The methodology developed for this research was based on a number of previous studies but notably the work of Eilean Hooper-Greenhill who has published widely on the topic of art and interpretation including ‘Changing Values in the Art Museum: rethinking communication and learning’ (2000), a particularly influential paper.

In 2006 The Holburne Museum commissioned the mrg to conduct research to inform the development of their galleries and collection of mainly 18th century art. This research offered the opportunity to refine the methodology developed for the V&A and other museums. The work was completed in 2011 and the mrg is currently undertaking a review study, to test some of the assumptions and recommendations of the earlier research.

An interesting connection has developed from this research with the countryside research portfolio developed by the mrg over the past 15 years. The Holburne Museum is about to present an exhibition of Gainsborough paintings from which the museum wishes to gain a better understanding of the emotional response to the English countryside or how people imagine it. This has been  a key theme of the mrg’s countryside research and the subject of a recent book ‘Visions of England‘ by Roy Strong.

This work will form the basis of an AHRC bid this Autumn to fund a research project that ties together the key themes of art, countryside and leisure currently supported by a number of museums and collections.

Your Project Budget


We would really appreciate your feedback on the new budget screen that we are designing for RED. 

With this screen you will be able to go in and view the project expenditure against your budget.  This should enable you to keep track of the spending on the project.

We would really like some input on what budget headings you would find useful.  We want to keep it simple so that you can have a quick overview of the project.   You will be able to query any figures with your CRE Ops Officer and obtain a more detailed breakdown on request if necessary. 

Currently the headings are:

  • Total
  • Academic Staff
  • Consultants
  • Part time hourly paid staff
  • Travel and subsistence
  • Consumables

Click on this link to view the example RED Budget Screen.

If you have any thoughts on what should be included please add a comment below or email me.


BU research themes – volunteers wanted!

In May/June this year there was a lot of discussion on the Research Themes section of the blog about the shape, scope and structure of the emerging BU research themes. Thank you to everyone who contributed to these discussions – your input to date is hugely appreciated.

Based on the feedback and comments received it is proposed to reduce the number of themes from 10 to 8, with the themes of Ageing and Learning and Public Engagement becoming part the other 8 themes.

Summaries of the 10 themes, including all of the comments received, are available here:

Your research themes need you! – we are now looking for a volunteer(s) for each theme to be responsible for coordinating the discussions and developing a definitive description of the theme by early September.

If you are interested in leading one of the themes please could you let me know by email as soon as possible.

MRG project news

The mrg recently completed a complex and controversial research project for the Dorset Library Service which informed policy for the retention or closure of library services in the county. The feedback from the Library Service included the following comment:

Thank you to you and your team for your help and support with the consultation work. You have been extremely responsive in meeting our requirements and in particular being adaptable to meeting the deadlines. This is much appreciated as it enabled me to prepare the necessary reports for members, of which the consultation information was an important part. You (Lisa S) and Jon (H) have been very willing to meet our expanding requests for information and support and the youth focus groups are an example of that’.

The mrg has also recently been awarded a contract to conduct research for the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership. This is a survey of residents to investigate quality of life metrics and satisfaction with public services in the area.

Further new research includes a study to investigate the decision protocols of 6th form students choosing their post ‘A’ level courses in the tertiary sector and data analysis for the Tank Museum at Bovington.

This year the mrg has been conducting a major research project investigating the drivers of visitor enjoyment and satisfaction at heritage attractions and countryside locations. A series of reports and presentations have already been submitted and 2 weeks ago a model of visitor satisfaction using structural equation modelling SEM) was submitted and has provided the basis for the next stage in the development of the research and the organisation’s strategic response.

Members of the mrg team have attended development programmes to improve their capability in causal modelling techniques including SEM in recent months.

Does anybody read this blog?

Referencing Dutch, Flemish & German names in the Harvard System

For academics writing and citing in the English language there is often confusion and misunderstanding about how to reference my name when quoting one of my scientific papers.  More generally, there is considerable confusion about quoting and referencing Germanic names with particles or prefix, especially since the Flemish, Dutch and German ways of doing it differ from each other.  In addition emigrants from these countries to English-speaking countries such as Canada and the United States often reference to names of Germanic origin differently again. This particularly the case when one uses the Harvard System of referencing; which is where authors are briefly cited within the text (e.g. Bennett et al. 2009; Smith & Jones 1999), and then given in full at the end of the paper or chapter in a reference list.  A few years I published a short piece about referencing Dutch, Flemish and German names for Medical Sociology News (Van Teijlingen 2004).  This current version is an update and expansion of it. 

German names – Starting with the biggest group of authors, names in German can be preceded by the particle ‘von’ or ‘von der’ or occasionally ‘van’ (in a family of Dutch descent), for example the First World War general Paul von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg (better known as Paul van Hindenburg), the nineteenth century explorer Karl Klaus von der Decken or the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven.  The general advice to quoting these names in English is: “As a rule, when the surname is cited alone in English, the particle is dropped” (Trask 2002: 135).  Thus in the general media one would expect to read about Hindenburg’s victory or Beethoven’s Sixth symphony.   Under the Harvard System these particles or prefixes follow the author’s initials (Bett 1953: 17); something which is also advised by the widely used publication manual of the APA (American Psychological Association / ).  For an English-language audience it is often easier or more obvious to keep the family name and particle together (see Box 2).

Dutch and Belgium names – Dutch names can have a range of different particles, the most common one is ‘van’.  Also possible are, for example: ‘de’, ‘van der’, ‘van den’, ‘van het’, ‘op het’, or their  abbreviated forms such as: ‘van ’t’, ‘op ’t’ or ‘v/d’.  In the Netherlands, the particles take no capital letter, for example in de name of the former Manchester United goal keeper: Edwin van der Sar.  According to Trask (2002: 106) in Flemish-speaking Belgium (and South Africa) it is more usual to capitalize particles, for example: Paul Van Look.   

In contrast to German, Dutch particles are always included when the name is used in the text.  So, for example, Vincent van Gogh is referred to as Van Gogh.  Note that ‘van’ is without a capital when the first name is used and with a capital when the first name is not included, i.e. ‘Van’ is the start of the name.  Thus we would expect to read, for example, two Dutch football players: ‘Van Nistelrooij and Van der Vaart celebrated the second goal ..’ but if the first name is included we would use ‘Rafael van der Vaart and Edwin van der Sar celebrated ..’    In the reference list similar to German “particles are ignored when placing names in alphabetical order” (Trask 2002: 106).  However, the Dutch would not lose the particle, but place it after the initial.  For example, in a Dutch scientific article on the socio-linguistic study of city dialects, Roeland van Hout (1992) quotes two of his own articles as listed in Box 1.

Box 1   Example Dutch reference style of author with ‘van in the surname


1980 De studie van stadsdialect: van dialektologie, empirische linguistiek en sociolinguistiek.

Toegepaste Taalkunde in Artikelen 8, 143-162.


1989 De structuur van taalvariatie. Een sociolinguïstisch onderzoek naar het stadsdialect

van Nijmegen. Dordrecht: Foris Publications.

If the Dutch football players mentioned above had each written something in a newspaper last week they would be found in the reference list of a paper by a sport psychologist or media studies researcher as:

Nistelrooij, R. van (2011)           

Sar, E. van der (2011)

Vaart, R. van der (2011)

Meijer (2009: 67) noted that in Belgium, where many people speak Flemish, a variant of Dutch, “it is customary to alphabetize under “V” anyway”.  Thus the action-film hero Jean-Claude Van Damme from Brussels (Belgium) whose real name is Jean-Claude Van Varenberg would always be listed in a reference list based on the Harvard under ‘V’.

Surnames of immigrants in English-speaking countries – Family names of Dutch emigrants often changed to suit the local style.  So in the United States we find medical sociologist Ray DeVries, the cyclist Christian Vande Velde, Gloria Vanderbilt and in France the French golfer Jean Van de Velde.  These ‘foreign’ names would be listed under the particle.  So alphabetically Vande Velde is listed after Vanderbuilt (Box 2).
Box 2  Examples of referencing Flemish, Dutch and German authors in English

German names Beethoven, L. van (1817) etc. etc.Beethoven van, L. (1817) etc.
Dutch / Belgium names Gogh, Vincent, van (1891) etc. etc.Van Damme, Jean-Claude (2002) etc.

Or keeping the family name and particle together:

van* Gogh, Vincent (1891) etc.

Van Damme, Jean-Claude (2002) etc.

North-American names Vanderbuilt, G. (1998) etc.Vande Velde, C. (2010) etc.

Legend: * note no capital for ‘v’.

Often academic journals will list all names in alphabetical order of the particle, in the same way the UK telephone directory does.  Thus van Teijlingen is listed under ‘V’. One final piece of advice for academic authors is the reminder to always check the author instructions of the journal you are targeting for its reference style. 

Edwin van Teijlingen

Bournemouth University



Bett, W.R., 1953, The preparation and writing of medical papers for publication, London: Menley & James.

Hout, R. van, 1992, Het sociolinguïstisch onderzoek van taalvariatie in stadsdialecten (In Dutch: Socio-linguistic research into language variations in city dialects), Taal en Tongval Special Issue 5: 48-65 (available at: ). 

Meijer, E., 2009 The apacite package: Citation and reference list with LATEX and BibTEX according to the rules of the American Psychological Association, available at:

Teijlingen, E. van, 2004, Referencing Dutch, German and Flemish names in English, Medical Sociology News 30(1): 42-44 (copy is available from BURO at:

Trask, R.L., 2002, Mind the Gaffe: The Penguin Guide to Common Errors in English, London: Penguin.

Research by Prof Colin Pritchard featured in The Guardian

Prof Colin Pritchard’s study comparing the effectiveness of the NHS with health services in 16 other western countries is published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, and was featured in The Guardian today. You can read the full story on The Guardian website  – ‘NHS among developed world’s most efficient health systems, says study’

The research also features on a number of websites, most notably: website –

GP Online website –

UTV (Ulster – Northern Ireland) –

You can access the full-text of Colin’s paper here: