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December 19th, 2019

2019 In Review: Communicating your research

1 comment | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes


December 19th, 2019

2019 In Review: Communicating your research

1 comment | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

From formal academic papers, to the use of emojis in social media, communicating your research can take many forms. This post brings together some of the top posts on research communication featured on the LSE Impact Blog in 2019.

The Art of Connection – To deliver a good research seminar you need to connect with an audience at a pragmatic, intellectual and emotional level

Academic research is an international undertaking that requires researchers to present their findings in any number of different cultural contexts. In contrast, research presentations normally adhere to a universalist principle, assuming that all audiences are alike in their interest in any given subject. In this post, Zehra Waheed outlines how successful presentations do not simply convey information, but are ones in which the presenter is able to genuinely engage with the audience.

Emojis in Scholarly Communication: 🔥 or 💩?

Do you speak emoji? Emojis, have become an ubiquitous feature of online communication. However, their use by academics is, as yet, limited. In this post Alice Fleerackers discusses Stefanie Haustein’s research at the ScholCommLab, which uses Altmetric data to explore how academics speak the language of emoji.


Four reasons to graphically illustrate your research

Academic writing is often criticised for being overly complicated and impenetrable to anyone outside of a small circle of experts. In this post Gemma Sou reflects on how communicating her research in the form of a graphic novel transformed her research practice. Not only making her research more representative and accessible to those involved, but also through reshaping her research and teaching practices and stimulating a creative dialogue between herself as the author of the text and the illustrator.

Embracing multilingualism to enhance complexity sensitive research

Academics who engage with local stakeholders to develop their research processes often find themselves spanning between the local language in which the research process takes place and English, the undisputed lingua franca in academia. In this post, Patricia Canto, Susana Franco and Miren Larrea argue that embracing the coexistence of different languages in all the stages of the research cycle fosters inclusion and pluralism, helping to develop complexity sensitive research.

Publication is not enough, to generate impact you need to campaign

Being able to demonstrate the impacts of research outside of academia has become a standard requirement of a range of research funders. In this post, Toby Green draws on a recent case study of his own published research, to demonstrate how an approach to impact that regards publication as only one part of a long-term and cumulative communication campaign is integral to achieving impact, and argues that to do this engagement has to become a central feature of academic routines.

How will the emerging generation of scholars transform scholarly communication?

Presenting evidence from the Harbingers Study, a three-year longitudinal study of Early Career Researchers (ECRs), David Nicholas assesses the extent to which the new wave of researchers are driving changes in scholarly practices. Finding that innovative practices are often constrained by institutional structures and precarious employment, he suggests that the pace of change in these areas is always going to be slower than might be expected.

Inclusive conferences? We can and must do better – here’s how.

As social media accounts and hashtags, such as #manelwatch, demonstrate academic conferences often fail to represent the diversity that exists in academia. In this post, Alice Chautard reflects on how conferences can be planned ensure/promote diversity of attendance and inclusivity of participation and presents 10 insights from the best practice guide she co-authored after implementing these inclusive planning principles at the annual REACH conference.

“If you use social media then you are not working” – How do social scientists perceive altmetrics and online forms of scholarly communication?

Altmetrics – web-based measures of research usage – have existed for a decade. However, a significant proportion of social science research fails to register any online attention at all. This impairs the usefulness of altmetrics as a tool to understand the relevance of social science research and also suggests social researchers are less inclined to engage in online arenas. In this post, Steffen LemkeIsabella Peters and Athanasios Mazarakis explore the attitudes of social scientists towards engaging in the online communication of their research, finding a research culture that often closes down opportunities for social researchers to engage in online fora.

If we have to endure plenary + panel conferences, how can we make them better?

The default format for most academic conferences is that of a plenary presentation followed by panel presentations. In this post Duncan Green argues that if we can’t revolutionise conference design, we can at least strive to make standard conferences and presentations better and suggests seven ways in which academic presentations could be improved.

#ScientistsWhoSelfie – How sharing selfies can build trust in science

Academic research is most often represented in abstract depersonalised formats, such as written articles and books, tables of evidence, infographics etc. Whereas these media have developed to convey information, they are less well suited to developing trust in readers outside of academic circles. In this post, Becky Carmichael explores the effects personalising research, by showing the faces of researchers, has on public perception of researchers and the work that they undertake.

Time to flip your presentation format

Conference presentations often follow a simple narrative format leading to a conclusion and a summation of the findings and implications of the research. However, as anyone who has been to an academic conference can attest, presentations run over time and conclusions are often raced through before moderators call a halt. In this post, Pat Thomson discusses the benefits of adopting a less linear narrative structure and how doing so can create space for discussing the key messages in a research presentation.

Don’t be a giraffe – How to avoid trolls on academic social media

Social media has acquired a reputation for being a highly polarised and argumentative public sphere. Whereas, the vast majority of academic social media is generally good natured, it can also be plagued by bad actors. In this post, Andy Tattersall shares a number of simple measures and tips on how to deal with the dark side of social media.


Note: This article gives the views of the authors, and not the position of the LSE Impact Blog, nor of the London School of Economics. Please review our comments policy if you have any concerns on posting a comment below.

Featured Image Credit adapted from, Jason Rosewell via Unsplash (CC0 1.0)

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Posted In: Academic communication | Annual review | Research communication | Social Media