Academic research has traditionally been conducted within the confines of universities and research institutions, often inaccessible to the public. However, recent years have seen a growing recognition of the importance of making research accessible to the wider community. In this article, we will explore 10 exciting and new areas in the field of academic research that are worth investigating, while highlighting the significance of making research accessible to the public and providing actionable tips for researchers to achieve this effectively.
1. Citizen Science
Citizen science involves engaging members of the public in scientific research projects, providing them with opportunities to contribute to scientific knowledge. This approach can lead to more diverse and inclusive research outcomes, as well as increased public understanding and engagement with science.
2. Open Access Publishing
Open access publishing involves making academic research freely available online, removing paywalls and other barriers to access. This approach can increase the visibility and impact of research, making it more accessible to a wider audience.
3. Science Communication
Science communication involves translating complex scientific concepts into more accessible language for the general public. This approach can help bridge the gap between researchers and the wider community, promoting greater understanding and engagement with science.
4. Public Engagement with Research
Public engagement involves involving members of the public in the research process, providing them with opportunities to contribute to research design, implementation, and dissemination. This approach can lead to more socially relevant research outcomes and greater public trust in scientific research.
5. Visual and Creative Approaches to Research Communication
Visual and creative approaches to research communication involve using visual and artistic media to communicate scientific concepts. This approach can help make research more engaging and accessible to the wider public, as well as promote more diverse and creative ways of thinking about science.
6. Community-Based Participatory Research
Community-based participatory research involves engaging with communities as equal partners in the research process, recognizing their knowledge and expertise. This approach can lead to more relevant and impactful research outcomes, as well as greater community empowerment and ownership of research.
7. Multidisciplinary Research
Multidisciplinary research involves bringing together researchers from different disciplines to collaborate on a common research question. This approach can lead to more holistic and innovative research outcomes, as well as greater opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning and collaboration.
8. Research Data Management
Research data management involves the effective management and sharing of research data. This approach can lead to more transparent and reproducible research outcomes, as well as increased opportunities for collaboration and data-driven discoveries.
9. Digital and Online Research Methods
Digital and online research methods involve using digital and online tools to conduct research. This approach can lead to more efficient and cost-effective research outcomes, as well as greater opportunities for cross-border and cross-cultural collaborations.
10. Participatory Action Research
Participatory action research involves working with communities to identify and address social problems through research. This approach can lead to more socially relevant and impactful research outcomes, as well as greater community empowerment and ownership of research.
Breaking the ivory tower and making academic research accessible to the public is crucial for advancing knowledge and creating a positive impact on society. Researchers have a responsibility to share their findings in a clear and accessible manner to ensure that everyone can benefit from their work. By incorporating actionable tips such as utilizing social media, creating lay summaries, and engaging with communities, researchers can effectively communicate their work and increase public engagement with their research. As we continue to break down the barriers between academic research and the public, we can create a more informed and engaged society that values and benefits from the latest research in all fields.
Take a look at our toolkit of resources which will help during the whole process of your research to conduct it easily and painlessly!