Publishing open access (OA) means anyone, anywhere is able to read your research, creating potential for OA articles to have an impact beyond academia and be ‘acted’ upon by key groups within society.
Whether by policy makers, practitioners, non-governmental organizations, the media, educators or clinicians (or anyone else), OA research can be used to inform real-life actions, day-to-day decisions, and policies that affect and influence our everyday lives.
But what do you need to consider if you would like your research to be picked up and used in this practical way? What can you do to help make your research actionable? What steps can you take to communicate research to audiences outside of academia?
Answering questions on driving wider engagement in research
This Open Access Week we hosted a live Twitter discussion on the topic of the moment: public engagement in research. We were joined by a panel of experts who offered their insights on why it’s important for groups outside of academia to engage in research, and gave tips for communicating research to the public.
Read the public engagement discussion
Read all the tweets gathered into one storify, with thoughts, reflections and practical tips on driving public engagement in research from our panel, as well as everyone else that joined us during the discussion on the day.
Meet our #tfresearchtoaction panel
Natalie Zimmelman, incoming CEO of South African Society of Anaesthesiologists: @NatZimmelman from @docanaesthetic, tweeting from South Africa.
Natalie Zimmelman has been working in the professional body arena since 2004, starting with SAICA as Project Director: Transformation and Growth and ending as the General Manager of AAT (SA), before joining the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists as its new CEO.
Zimmelman holds a BSc in Biological Life Sciences from Wits University, an MBA from the University of Pretoria (GIBS), a Paper and Boardmaking Diploma, a Higher Diploma in Corporate Law from the University of Johannesburg and a coaching qualification from the University of Cape Town’s centre for Coaching Excellence. She is a lifelong learner dedicated to the development of skills and professionalism in South Africa.
Steph is Campaigns and Policy Officer at Sense about Science. Steph has a PhD in immunology from the University of Oxford and also studied immunology for her undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow. During her PhD, Steph realized she really cared about evidence in public life more broadly and jumped the academic ship, joining Sense about Science in 2015. Steph does policy-related and responsive work, and coordinates Sense about Science’s continuing role in the Libel Reform Campaign.
Deborah Kahn, Publishing Director, Medicine and Open Access at Taylor & Francis: @deborahqoa, tweeting from the UK.
Deborah Kahn is Publishing Director, Medicine and Open Access at Taylor & Francis, and has spent most of the last decade working in Open Access, having previously been Executive Vice President of BioMed Central. She has served on the board of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), as a member of the EC-funded SOAP project, and an expert advisor to the European Science Foundation on Open Access. She has been responsible for a number of initiatives around open access, including developing and coordinating the Think, Check, Submit campaign, and the Open Access Africa series of conferences.