Making your research accessible

Reaching out for research communicators

By 20 August 2009

DFID funds a number of different organisations who are trying to help researchers communicate their work more effectively. This week we feature resources from two of them, SciDev.net and INASP’s AuthorAid project.

Through their website SciDev.net gives policymakers, researchers, the media and civil society both information and a platform on which to explore how science and technology can reduce poverty, improve health, and raise standards of living around the world. They also build developing countries’ capacity for communicating science and technology through regional networks of committed individuals and organisations, practical guidance, and specialist workshops.

For those who cannot attend or set up a SciDev workshop, a great place to start is SciDev.Net’s series of practical guides. The latest guide, ‘How researchers can stand up for science’ looks at how the media reports science and gives researchers pointers on how to fight poor science coverage. Other guides include ‘Communicating statistics and risk’, and ‘Planning and writing a science story’.

AuthorAid aims to bring people together to share problems and solutions, and is setting up a mentoring project that will give those with experience a chance to share what they’ve learned with colleagues who are just starting out. AuthorAid are encouraging potential mentors to register with them, in particular experienced researchers with track records of publishing, people who are diplomatic and can encourage and support
early-career researchers in developing countries, and who are committed, enthusiastic and not looking for academic gain.

Developing country researchers looking for mentors should also register, and then can search the list of people offering to mentor and contact them.