Theory and practice

Considering how to communicate your research or engage others with the latest science, social science or humanities research? This book explores new and emerging approaches to engaging people with research, placing these in the wider context of research communication. Split into three sections, Creative Research Communication explores the historical routes and current drivers for public engagement, before moving on to explore practical approaches and finally discussing ethical issues and the ways in which research communication can contribute to research impact.

Starting from the premise that researchers can and ought to participate in the public sphere, this book provides practical guidance and advice on contributing to political discourse and policymaking, as well as engaging the public where they are (whether that is at the theatre, at a music festival or on social media). By considering the plurality of publics and their diverse needs and interests, it is quite possible to find a communications niche that neither offers up bite-sized chunks of research, nor conceptualises the public as lacking the capacity to consider the myriad of issues raised by research, but explains and considers thoughtfully the value of research endeavours and their potential benefits to society.

It’s time for researchers to move away from one-size fits all, and embrace opportunities for creative approaches to research communication. This book argues for a move away from metrics and tick box approaches and towards approaches that work for you, as an individual researcher, in the context of your own discipline and interests.

This handbook is written for patients and members of the public who want to understand more about the approaches, methods and language used by health-services researchers. Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research is now a requirement of most major health-research programmes, and this book is designed to equip these individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for meaningful participation. Edited by award-winning mental-health researchers, the book has been produced in partnership with mental-health-service users and carers with experience of research involvement. It includes personal reflections from these individuals alongside detailed information on quantitative, qualitative and health-economics research methods, and comprehensively covers all the basics needed for large-scale health research projects: systematic reviews; research design and analysis using both qualitative and quantitative approaches; health economics; research ethics; impact and dissemination. This book was developed during a five-year research programme funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) called Enhancing the Quality of User Involved Care Planning in Mental Health Services (EQUIP). The handbook clearly outlines research practices, and gives an insight into how public and patient representatives can be involved in them and shape decisions. Each chapter ends with a reflective exercise, and there are also some suggested sources of additional reading. People who get involved in health research as experts from experience now have a textbook to support their research involvement journey.

Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp

This chapter explores opportunities for publics to participate in the research process (as researchers rather than as the subjects of research or in the governance of research). The chapter examines the growing field of what is sometimes described as citizen science, but also called crowd-sourced research, amongst other terms. Because the terms citizen science and DIY science have become current, they are used here, but the approaches should not be seen as exclusive to the natural sciences (see, for example, Dufau et al. , 2011 and Dunn and Hedges

in Creative research communication
Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp

Internationally, public engagement and communication has become an important aspect of research and policymaking, allowing research establishments, and their researchers, to explore public perspectives on their work as well as providing access to research findings to wider publics. Alongside this, a considerable research communication and public engagement community has emerged, who are interested not only in the design, techniques and methods for research communication and engagement but also approaches to communicating creatively and evaluating the

in Creative research communication
Helen Brooks and Penny Bee

Research dissemination and impact Helen Brooks and Penny Bee Chapter overview Research activity does not finish when data analysis is complete. Once research findings are available, researchers still have obligations to fulfil. These obligations include sharing the findings with different audiences and ensuring maximum impact from the study. A Research Handbook for Patient and Public Involvement Researchers Chapter 10: The process of sharing research learning with others can be an enjoyable but challenging one. Often it is referred to as dissemination, but

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Owen Price and Lauren Walker

Principles of Ethical Research Owen Price and Lauren Walker Chapter overview By definition, research seeks to explore something that is unknown. This uncertainty means there is always the possibility of harm arising from research. There are many examples in both near and distant history of serious harm to participants as a consequence of research, including permanent disability and death. This is why it is of great importance that research projects are informed by sound ethics, properly planned, approved by an independent ethical board and rigorously monitored

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Owen Price and Karina Lovell

Chapter 3: Quantitative research design Owen Price and Karina Lovell Chapter overview Quantitative research uses large samples and, as such, the findings of well-conducted studies can often be generalised to larger populations. However, it is important that studies are well-designed to avoid errors in their interpretation and/or the reporting of inaccurate results. Misleading results from quantitative studies can have serious negative implications such as wasting public money on flawed policies and subjecting service users to ineffective or harmful treatments

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Helen Brooks, Penny Bee and Anne Rogers

A Research Handbook for Patient and Public Involvement Researchers Chapter 7: Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods Helen Brooks, Penny Bee and Anne Rogers Chapter overview The term ‘qualitative research’ encompasses a wide range of different methods. What underpins these is a shared aim of understanding the meaning people attribute to experiences in their lives. It has been defined as an ‘interpretive approach concerned with understanding the meanings which people attach to actions, decisions, beliefs, values within their social world’ (Ritchie and

in A research handbook for patient and public involvement researchers
Looking for Bosnia

Developed through a series of encounters with a Bosnian Serb soldier Stojan Sokolović, this book is a meditation on the possibilities and limitations of responding to the extreme violence of the Bosnian war. It explores the ethics of confronting the war criminal and investigates the possibility of responsibility not just to victims of war and war crimes, but also to the perpetrators of violence. The book explains how Stojan Sokolović attenuated the author to the fact that he was responsible, to everyone, all the time, and for everything. It exposes the complexity of the categories of good and evil. Silence is also the herald of violence, or its co-conspirator. The author and Stojan Sokolović were trapped in violence, discursive and material, and discursive that leads to material, and material that emanates from and leads back to discursive. Two years after beginning his research into identity and the politics of conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo, the author got the opportunity to visit the region presented itself. According to the vast majority of the literature of the 1990s on Bosnia, it was clear that the biggest problem with nationalist violence and intolerance was to be found in Republika Srpska. The book is the author's discourse on a variety of experiences, including those of ethics, politics, disasters, technologies, fieldwork, adventure tourism, and dilemmas.

Maintaining trust
Heidi Mertes

11 The donation of embryos for research: maintaining trust Heidi Mertes Background There are few areas of research that are as contentious as research on human embryos. Even within Europe, very diverse policies have been developed in regard to embryo research. Some countries – such as Germany, Ireland and Poland – strictly prohibit the destruction of embryos in research, based on the argument that embryo research violates the dignity of human life and/or conflicts with religious teachings. Other countries – such as the UK, Sweden and Belgium – not only allow

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