socialmedia for research communication. We define socialmedia as those internet-based tools and platforms that allow individuals to create content, some of which also facilitate conversations and networking between individuals. Socialmedia offer the potential of many-to-many communication, though in practice we also see both few-to-many (for example high-profile Twitter or YouTube accounts that have many followers) and few-to-few (for example, some LinkedIn Groups have only a few hundred members, but many of these members post regularly and comment on each other
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.
summarised for the public in 140 characters or less, though academics might use Twitter to promote more substantial blog contributions. Digital and socialmedia have had an impact on researchers’ professional practices in a broad variety of ways, from access to the latest literature, to research collaborations across continents and changes in how data can be accessed or manipulated, as well as the introduction of new research methods. The sheer proliferation of available information is perhaps the most obvious ramification for researchers’ professional communication; for
be disseminated in
different ways. For example, an overview of the findings may be posted on
study websites or socialmedia pages. Participants can then be signposted to
such locations by including a link within the questionnaire, along with the date
when the lay summary will be made available. Hard copy lay summaries may be
distributed through the organisations that have been involved in recruitment
for the study, including for example healthcare trusts and/or local and national
voluntary and community organisations.
Increasingly, researchers are also considering
Include details of the methods and tools used to collect data. If possible, include the original tools (e.g. questionnaires) in an appendix.
If you aren’t able to submit your report to one of these types of site, then do consider how you can highlight its existence through other means, which might include lodging it on a project website. Once you have made your report available, talk about it on relevant socialmedia and consider how your digital profile might link to it. You might also send out invitations to look at it to relevant individuals
that may not have existed before, for instance by tweeting a journalist, submitting their photographs or videos to a news channel or directly contacting a researcher through their socialmedia presence.
Significantly, in some settings it may then be more appropriate to refer to someone as a participant than as an audience member. This is particularly the case in the context of certain public engagement approaches where people may go beyond listening to or seeking out some form of communication activity, to additionally being directly involved in contributing
help you think about the tools you might use to engage audiences with your research (and the tools you might personally prefer to avoid). It is primarily about communication and engagement rather than participation, which is covered in Chapters 8 and 9 . The decision on what to include in this chapter, and what to leave to the socialmedia chapter, is, to an extent, arbitrary and there is inevitably some overlap between the chapters. There are also many digital projects and approaches which we simply did not have the space to cover; in the world of Web 2.0 your
give out the study packs and assist people in completing the survey
where needed. We also utilised our existing networks, including socialmedia
and our contacts with local service user and carer groups, to publicise the
study. Together, these activities help the study team to collect all the data that
BEE (RESEARCH) PRINT.indd 81
Think of a healthcare technology and imagine that you
are designing an economic evaluation for that technology.
• What would it be compared to?
costs would you include in the
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 socialmedia 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
, digital forum discussions,
socialmedia posts and video recordings. For example, when interviewing
participants about their experience of living with a chronic condition,
you may want to ask them to capture their experience using photographs.
These can be treated as a unit of data and analysed thematically in addition
to the transcripts from interviews, and presented to support interpretations.
BEE (RESEARCH) PRINT.indd 112
A Research Handbook for Patient and Public Involvement Researchers
Figure 27 Example of photographic data