Tagged / dissemination

research*eu: July issue highlights

The European Commission publishes a monthly round-up of research project results – research*eu

The July feature is – The Grand Plan for Carbon Capture

This month the highlights pertinent to BU include:

If you have an EU funded project coming to an end, with results to share, why not think about sharing this? Get in touch with the editorial team to request an article, free of charge, as part of the European Commission’s support for dissemination and exploitation of research results.

Copies of this magazine are placed in the Talbot Campus Staff Centre  – for reference only, as copies are limited.

 

Celebrate International Open Access Week – the GREEN route!

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceThis week is International Open Access Week.  Now in its 6th year, this global awareness week aims to promote open access as a new norm for scholarship and research.  Research shows that making your research freely available dramatically increases the number of citations and leads to more people downloading the research papers, this increasing the academic and societal impact of your research.

The green route to open access is where a version of the paper is self-archived in a repository, such as our institutional repository BURO.  This process relies on researchers uploading their own papers.  Repositories offer a number of benefits.  They increase the availability of some published journal works with restrictions on reprinting or text mining, and may enable work to be propogated across the internet and used for novel applications. Repositories also allow authors to keep track of who is downloading their data.

BU has had an institutional repository since 2007 which contains full-text versions of outputs by BU authors.  This provides an excellent showcase of our research outputs to our students as well as making them freely available to a global audience.  You can upload the full-text of your output via BRIAN:

1. Log into your account and find the paper.

2. One of the tabs is ‘full text’.

3. If you click into this tab you will see a link near the Sherpa-Romeo logo to check your ‘publisher’s policy’.

4. Click on this and you will see the archiving policy for this particular journal, clearly stating which version of the paper can be uploaded.

5. Click ‘back’ and then click on the ‘full text’ tab again and you will see a link (in a blue box) to ‘upload new file for this publication’.

6. Upload the file and follow the onscreen instructions.

7. Your full text will then automatically feed through to BURO and be available open access in the next few days.

Find out about the GOLD route to open access publishing here: Gold route

Celebrate International Open Access Week – the GOLD route!

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceThis week is International Open Access Week.  Now in its 6th year, this global awareness week aims to promote open access as a new norm for scholarship and research.  Research shows that making your research freely available dramatically increases the number of citations and leads to more people downloading the research papers, this increasing the academic and societal impact of your research.

The gold route to open access is considered at the moment to be the most sustainable method in the long term, and was recommended by the Finch report.  It involves publishing in a fully open access journal or website, or in a hybrid journal (i.e. the paper appears in the traditional print journal and is freely available online).  Authors usually need to pay for their work to be published via this route.

BU has operated a central dedicated budget for open access payments via the gold route since April 2011.  The fund is open to all BU academics and PGRs, and you can find out how to apply here: BU Open Access Fund

Find out about the GREEN route to open access publishing tomorrow!

KTP associate attends conferences to promote her research

Dr Celia Beckett, Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) research associate at BU and Five Rivers Child Care Ltd attended the KTP Associates’ Conference at Brighton University on 13th June. She presented a paper on the pilot stage of her project “Improving the care of children in residential units: assessment and interventions”. The conference, which is a Brighton University initiative supported by the Centre for Collaboration and Partnership, was well attended and there were 10 paper presentations and 8 posters. Topics ranged from roller blinds to leak repair additives for coolant systems! A recurring theme at the conference was the role of the KTP in working to effect change in organisations that result in improved commercial outcomes as well as the challenges and rewards of this role.

There are c. 800 KTP associates currently working on projects throughout the UK, ensuring that there is an exchange of knowledge between Universities and private / public companies, making a real difference to all those organisations involved in KTPs. It is one of the largest graduate schemes in the UK. More information about BU’s KTPs can be found at the newly relaunched Business Pages.

Celia will also be presenting a poster at the forthcoming  Recovery-focused conference: Engagement in Life: Promoting Wellbeing and Mental Health, hosted by BU on 6th September 2013.

Twitter – what’s the point?

We’ve written a lot about Twitter in previous blog posts and the benefits of using it to support and enhance your research (you can read more here: Twitter posts). Academics across the world are using Twitter to support their research through, for example, sharing papers and research findings, asking questions and providing advice and guidance, networking and establishing links, keeping up to date with what is being discussed by peers in areas of interest, and undertaking research. Twitter provides a free and easy to use platform from which you can do all of these things from your office, using a laptop, or even using you tablet/phone, and it is an excellent way of making connections and expanding your awareness of research being undertaken in your field, as well as enhacing the impact of your own research in your field. In this post I’m going to look at two ways Twitter can seriously improve your research and your experience as a researcher through 1) using Twitter to garner opinions and obtain guidance and, 2) using Twitter to enhance your publication impact.

Using Twitter to garner opinions / obtain guidance – Twitter can be used to crowd-source advice quickly and effectively on an important topic. A recent post on this topic featured on The Contemplative Mammoth blog (post: Crowd-Sourced Advice for Writing your #firstgrant) in which the author, Jacquelyn Gill, created a hashtag, #firstgrant, and asked for advice from her Twitter followers on how to write a first grant application. Within a couple of days, she was inundated with useful comments, guidance and advice from peers around the world, showing how powerful Twitter can be in obtaining opinions and advice on important topics, and especially in getting views from peers outside of your institution and country (you can read the original tweets here if you’d like).

Enhancing publication impact – Twitter is also an effective tool for sharing research papers and findings and enhancing publication impact. Research indicates that highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles. Top-cited articles can be predicted from top-tweeted articles, with 93% specificity and 75% sensitivity (Eysenbach, 2011). The LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog featured a post about this earlier this year (post: Who Gives a Tweet? After 24 Hours and 860 Downloads, we Think Quite a Few Actually do) which reported on the amazing success of a research paper released on Twitter by the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). Within 24 hours of being uploaded to Twitter the paper was retweeted 10 times to over 5,000 followers and shared 135 times (using tools such as email, microblogging, social bookmarking, social networking, etc) on the NCRM website. The result was 861 downloads within 24 hours. As the paper was not publicised anywhere else at this time it is safe to say this was a result of releasing it via Twitter. Over a period of two months the paper was downloaded 3,936 times and shared 518 times using social sharing tools.

Help with using Twitter – If you’re interested in trying Twitter to see how it can benefit you and your research then give it a go! It is free to sign up and you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Advice in-house can be provided by Paul Hughes, Marketing & Communications, and also Rebecca Edwards, RKE Development and Operations. There are also a number of helpful online guides available:

The ENORMOUS benefits of open access publishing

open access logo, Public Library of ScienceThe BU Open Access Publication Fund is 12 months old! Over the past year we have funded the publication of 18 papers authored by BU staff in open access, peer-reviewed outlets such as PLoS ONE.

Open access publishing turns the traditional publishing route (readers paying subscriptions to publishers) on its head as researchers pay a fee to the publisher to publish their research and in turn the publisher makes the article available free of charge to readers immediately on publication.

For researchers, open access publishing increases visibility, usage and impact or research, and institutions enjoy the same benefits in aggregated form.  Society as a whole benefits because research is more efficient, effective and more easily accessible, and delivers better and faster outcomes for us all. In addition there is increasingly evidence to show that countries also benefit because open access publishing increases the impact of the research in which they invest public money and therefore there is a better return on investment.

One of the UK’s major supporters of open access publishing, the Wellcome Trust, states that it “supports unrestricted access to the published output of research as a fundamental part of its charitable mission and a public benefit to be encouraged wherever possible.” The European Commission are also one of the major supporters of the open access movement and have recently announced plans to publish a proposal to increase open access to research result in the EU. It is anticipated that the plans will reflext the EC’s decision to  make all outputs from research funded under Horizon 2020 (due to replace the current FP7 programme) openly accessible. Previous research by the EC demonstrates that the broad dissemination of research findings can accelerate scientific progress and has significant benefits to both the scientific community and to society.

Despite all of this growing evidence to demonstrate the benefits to individual researchers, institutions and countries, few UK universities operate open-access funds for their staff. Recent research conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham found that only 13% of the 52 UK universities who responded to their survey have a dedicated fund to pay fees for open access publishing. Of the remaining institutions who said they didn’t have such a fund, only 10% said they were likely to create one in the next 12 months.

We are very lucky at BU to have access to a dedicated central fund for open access publishing, clearly demonstrating BU’s commitment to supporting academic staff to publish and make their research findings freely available.

If you are interested in applying to the BU Open Access Publication Fund, click here for further information: BU Open Access Publication Fund

Get tweeting: using Twitter for research projects

Back in August, Susan added a post to the Blog on using Twitter (Get tweeing: how to make an impact with Twitter) which listed a number of excellent tips for using Twitter to make an impact in academia. Following on from this, the LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences Blog has listed a number of things you can do when using Twitter to promote your research.

1. Tweet about each new publication, website update or new blog that the project completes. To gauge feedback, you could send a tweet that links to your research blog and ask your followers for their feedback and comments.

2. For tweeting to work well, always make sure that an open-web full version or summary of every publication, conference presentation or talk at an event is available online. Summarize every article published in closed-web journal on a blog, or lodge a  full-text version or an extended summary on BURO, our institutional repository. In addition, sites like www.scribd.com are useful for depositing open web versions.

3. Tweet about new developments of interest from the project’s point of view, for instance, relevant government policy changes, think tank reports, or journal articles.

4. Use hashtags (#) to make your materials more visible – e.g. #phdchat. Don’t be afraid to start your own.

5. Use your tweets to cover developments at other related research sites, retweeting interesting new material that they produce. This may appear to some as ‘helping the competition’, but in most research areas the key problem is to get more attention for the area as a whole. Building up a Twitter network of reciprocating research projects can help everyone to keep up to date more easily, improve the standard and pace of debate, and so attract more attention (and funding) into the research area.

6. Twitter provides many opportunities for ‘crowd sourcing’ research activities across the sciences, social sciences, history and literature – by getting people to help with gathering information, making observations, undertaking data analysis, transcribing and editing documents – all done just for the love of it. Some researchers have also used Twitter to help ‘crowdsource’ research funding from interested public bodies.

7. Reaching out to external audiences is something that Twitter is exceptionally good for. Making links with practitioners in business, government, and public policy can happen easily. Twitter’s brevity, accessibility and immediacy are all very appealing to non-academics. At the end of each month, Twitter can be used as a painless metric to assess how your tweeting is working for you and your project.

8. Showing the growth in your followers and the number of people who read your research blog can also be helpful for funding applications. You could make short notes on the following:

• The number of followers you have

• The names of those who could be useful for future collaboration

• Invitations to write blog posts or speak at events, which have come via Twitter

• Number of hits to your own blog posts via Twitter

For more tips on academic tweeting, download this short guide to using Twitter in university research, teaching, and impact activities – Top Twitter Tips for Academics

Get tweeting: how to make an impact with Twitter

Researchers, Mark Reed and Anna Evely from one of the LWEC accredited Rural Economy and Land Use projects have produced a clear  “top tips” guide to twitter for academic staff.  Although based on their own experiences on the Sustainable Learning and Uplands Project and intended to help other academics to disseminate their work, the “Twitter Tips” guide could be used by anyone.

A Twitter account set up for specific research projects can be an excellent way to disseminate your research findings further afield than just the academic community, however using twitter well is a skill that needs to be developed.  This is a really simple 12 page guide to using Twitter in an effective way. 

Some suggestions from the guide:

  • Every time you do a conference/workshop/seminar presentation, put your slides online (e.g. using SlideShare) and tweet them.
  • Contact relevant people with large followings to ask if they can re-tweet key messages you’ve sent – tweet or Direct Message them via Twitter.
  • Ensure the majority of your tweets have hyperlinks to further information
  • If someone gave you the information credit him or her with it, either by using @person1 (if they are a twitter user) or as a quote in text.
  • Get to know when your followers are most likely to read your tweets – most academics who use Twitter for work purposes only tweet 8-5 pm Monday-Friday.

 

  

BU research reported in Times Higher Education today

The BU research-based film we previously reported on has been highlighted today by Times Higher Education UK. Rufus Stone is part of the New Dynamics of Ageing programme and will tell the story of being gay and growing older in the British countryside. Using research findings in this way is a great way of engaging the public, creating and impact and raising the overall profile of BU.  Shooting should begin in mid-July so we will have to wait to see the final result but congratularuons again to Kip Jones and the rest of the team involved.

Engaging Academic Social Scientists in Government Policy-Making and Delivery

Prof Martin Kretschmer, Professor of Information Jurisprudence and Research Centre Director for CIPPM in the Business School, recently attended a meeting organised by the British Academy and the ESRC on Engaging Academic Social Scientists in Government Policy-Making and Delivery. Here he provides an overview of the issues discussed at the event…

Making research relevant to policy is on the agenda of all Research Councils, as reflected in the Impact measure of REF 2014. The event was co-sponsored by the Government Heads of the Analytical Professions: Government Economic Service, Government Operational Research Service, Government Science & Engineering, Social Science in Government, and the Government Statistical Service. The programme and list of attendees is available here: British Academy event programme and delegate list

Some of the issues raised, and questions asked of the attendees included:

Q1: What do you think government should be doing more of to increase the influence of your research and expertise on government policy making and delivery?

Q2: What do you think the academic social science community should be doing more of to have a direct influence on government policy making and delivery?

Q3: What might encourage you to consider an advisory role to government, for example, as a social scientist on one of the government’s Scientific Advisory Committees?

I assume I was invited because I am just coming to the end of an ESRC Public Sector Fellowship in the UK Intellectual Property Office (within BIS). I also sit on the government’s Copyright Advisory Expert Group, and speak frequently on policy issues, for example last week (1 June) at a Hearing in the European Parliament on The Future of Copyright in the Digital Era

Below, I summarise a few points from the meeting that may be useful for the wider BU research community.

Prof Nick Pidgeon (Professor of Environmental Psychology, University of Cardiff, and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group) offered 4 routes to influencing government:

  • Government contract research, including small review contracts.
  • RCUK (or similar) funding in policy relevant area.
  • Advisory Committees.
  • Indirectly, via dissemination through Royal Society, RSA, or similar.

Paul Johnson (Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies): “Don’t expect to change government policy if your evidence points in a different direction.” There are two choices: EITHER Focus on points of detail within the policy direction given by government, OR Set agenda for 5 years hence.

Sir John Beddington (Government Chief Scientific Advisor) stressed the tightrope walk between advice that is a “challenge” and being labelled “unhelpful” (in Sir Humphries language). Academics should risk “challenge” even if it turns out to be “unhelpful”.

Prof Philip Lowe (Professor of Rural Economy, University of Newcastle, and Director of the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme): There is a paradox – How can a government department become a sophisticated consumer of research? Commissioning good research requires being able to know what you don’t know. Hard for civil servants and politicians. Important to build and sustains links over many years.

Prof Helen Roberts (Professor, General Adolescent and Paediatrics Unit, University College London, and non-executive director of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence NICE): Public sector placements are very useful, both for academic and government, but governance of these grants can be cumbersome. [I can confirm that from my own secondment experience. At some point, there were suggestions that detailed delivery contracts would have to be drawn up between ESRC and BU, ESRC and BIS/IPO, BIS/IPO and BU. In the end, I was simply shown the Official Secrets Act, and the Code of Conduct for Civil Servants, and that was it.]

Importance of human dimension: “Most implementation comes though good relationships, not good research.”

Sharon Witherspoon (Deputy Director of the Nuffield Foundation, and in charge of research in social science and social policy): Most policy advisors double in “empirically informed counterfactuals”, and are normally grateful if offered help with: “What would happen if…” But academics can often make the most telling contribution by more radical reflection: “I wouldn’t start from here”. Governments are less likely to be open to that kind of challenge. Select Committees are becoming more independent of government (now have elected chairs). They can be a route to influence.

Paul Doyle (CEO, ESRC): The ESRC is building a database of government policy leads/contacts. Often it is impossible from government websites to identify the civil servants and special advisors dealing with specific policy issues. Government scientists should be encouraged to become members of Learned Societies.

 Key points from the open discussion:

  • Importance to keep independence by constructing portfolio of funders.
  • Economists are a separate breed in government. They have little concept of wider social research.
  • Responding to consultations is often a good first step to engagement.
  • Academics should use less jargon, shorter sentences.
  • Visual representation of research findings matters greatly.
  • Often it is useful to invite policy makers to academic events. They enjoy coming out of the office, and are less partisan/circumspect in a neutral environment.
  • There is an important corrective function for social scientists in assessing the presentation of data.
  • Difficulty in presenting the audit trail required for REF Impact. Government does have no interest in revealing the sources of its ideas, or it may be politically inconvenient to do so.