Celebrating OA Week with your research stories

'Evidence of real social impact from the research'

Open Access Week has arrived, so to celebrate all things Open Access (OA) we asked some of the researchers who have published OA with us in the last few years to tell us about their research ‘story’ – why they choose to publish their work OA, what reception their article received, and how they found the experience.

R.FlechaTurning difficulties into possibilities: engaging Roma families and students in school through dialogic learning

Published in the Cambridge Journal of Education, July 2013

Article downloads: 13,994*           Altmetric score: 111*

‘Increasing the possibilities to expand scientific, political and social impacts’

We chose to publish OA following the recommendations of the European Commission for EU funded research. The results published in the article were part of the INCLUD-ED project, funded under Framework Programme 6th.

Marta SolerBesides, INCLUD-ED was the only research in social sciences highlighted by the European Commission among the list of ten success stories of the Framework Programme for its added value, which made us clearly decide for the OA option.

The article includes data from this project’s social impact, including increased school performance and creation of employment in an area of extreme poverty (see related impact data). Therefore, OA allowed for greater use and reuse of such data, increasing the possibilities to expand scientific, political and social impacts and, in the end, to improve lives of many families in extreme poverty worldwide.

‘It demonstrates the real improvement of peoples’ lives through presenting narratives about these extraordinary transformations’

The article shows evidence of real social impact from the research. It demonstrates the real improvement of peoples’ lives through presenting narratives about these extraordinary transformations. The social sciences and humanities have been questioned for not making clear contributions to society and policy, and this article is a way of making such a contribution. Further, the article was awarded the 2013 Best Paper Prize from the Cambridge Journal of Education. The attention gained from such a prize increased the attention focussed on the article, and in turn increased its readership.

The process was efficient and smooth, with easily accessible information, and intelligible and readily available indications. Once published, the article spread across the internet mainly through social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Initiated by the research centre, article shares rapidly spread and multiplied through many related networks.

Discover all OA articles from the Cambridge Journal of Education plus find out how to submit your research.

Browse OA articles in education and find out more about our Open Access Week offers this Open October Plus.


Ramon Flecha is Professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona, Doctor Honoris Causa from West University of Timişoara, and a renowned researcher in social sciences in Europe. His research stands out for its joint impact in the scientific, political and social domains, with projects like WORKALO (FP5) and INCLUD-ED (FP6). He is currently directing IMPACT-EV (FP7), which is being funded to develop a system and indicators to monitor the impacts from research in the Social Sciences and Humanities for the European Commission.

Marta Soler-Gallart, Harvard PhD, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona and Director of CREA (Community of Researchers on Excellence for All). She is editor of the journal International Sociology, and Member of the ORCID Board of Directors. She is also Member of the European Sociological Association Executive Committee. She participated in FP6 project INCLUD-ED and is currently directing the SOLIDUS research project (H2020, European Commission) to study solidarity in Europe during the crisis.

*Data recorded 14/10/2015