the potential to reach large and diverse audiences, but in practice getting noticed is not so easy. Few of us will be as lucky as @LegoAcademics to attract 14,000 Twitter followers in less than a week (Cramb, 2014 ); despite the marketing hype, going viral is not easy to achieve, and most researchers will have to work hard to secure an online audience. However, if you have a clearly defined group you wish to reach (such as a local community or specific interest group), then the narrowcasting that is possible online can help you reach those people most likely to be
taking place for over a hundred years in the United States with the annual Christmas bird count. Archaeology, astronomy and natural history have strong traditions of involving volunteers in research and/or existing communities with significant interests and research skills – communities which have sometimes been termed ‘amateur’ scientists. However, the value of citizen contributions to formal research is increasingly recognised, and a large number of projects are springing up around the world that include contributions from interested amateurs and local communities
interested in and require a different type or
level of knowledge. For examples, study participants often want to know the
results of the study to which they contributed their data. The general public
may be less interested in the results per se and more concerned with what
they mean for their own future health care decisions or care needs. Policy
makers and service commissioners may be interested in what the results
tell them about improving population health outcomes, as well as the cost of
providing new or improved services to local and national communities. We
minority views held by those with greater levels of expertise, particularly in political eras of sound bite and celebrity (Held, 2006 ). In other words, providing people with information, and the time to consider it, seeks to allow more considered decision making, which can include decision making on scientific, social and research-based issues. Deliberation also provides opportunities to explore issues that are more personalised and local in nature, contributing to political decision making that can be defended on its basis within the contexts to which it is relevant
team, this kind
of involvement can be achieved through holding focus groups,
discussions or local and national stakeholder events.
BEE (RESEARCH) PRINT.indd 13
Designing the study
Having developed a research question, it is important to decide which
methods might be the best to answer it. Research generally falls into two
types: quantitative research and qualitative research. Quantitative generates
numerical data, often through the use of large studies, using methods such
as questionnaires and surveys. We will learn more about how to collect
can allow you to be more creative or experimental. Investigate national or local organisations that might be looking for researchers to speak to them; for example, community groups like the University of the Third Age, the Women’s Institute or groups aimed at young people, like Guides and Scouts, offer good settings to try out face-to-face communication for the first time.
Within formal education there are also many opportunities to deliver your research ideas or experiences; presentations, workshops, clubs or school visits can all provide a
began, doctors could only prescribe first
generation drugs. However local psychiatrists and service users wanted the
newer second generation drugs to be made available, as there was some
evidence that they were safe to use and were effective in reducing the
symptoms of schizophrenia, with less troublesome side-effects.
BEE (RESEARCH) PRINT.indd 75
However there was a big cost difference; the newer SGA drugs cost the NHS
around £1500-£2000 per person per year of treatment, compared to around
£100 a year for the FGA.
The research trial aimed to
reflects the modern use of the term. An audience would originally have comprised small groups of local spectators capable of responding to and interacting with a public display, presentation or performance; it was only the advent of the modern mass media which saw a depiction of a far larger audience, dispersed consumers, often in their private home environment, which cultivated the depiction of audiences as having a relatively passive role (McQuail, 1997 ).
Though the communication environment has been changing, with increased opportunities for audiences to be
artists at work; and the National Museums of Liverpool, which has proactively sought through Positive Images, a programme designed to explore local heritage, to engage those groups who would not normally consider taking part in a museum experience. When it comes to developing new works of art to be sited in public spaces, artists may now meet with members of the local community as well as the art establishment with a view to creating artworks that both are inviting spaces for the local community and also provide aesthetic interest. Such approaches might also serve to
Measure (or PROM)
– a questionnaire, completed by a service user, to measure quality involvement
in care planning. We met as a group to draft the questions and discuss how they
should be worded.
As PPI representatives and researchers, we used our existing networks, including social
media and our contacts with local service user and carer groups, to get as many people
as possible to complete our new questionnaire. This gave us lots of data and meant
that we could validate the measure properly.
We have been able to develop a short 14-item questionnaire that is valid and