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Relative Priorities: a response to "Dissemination vs Public Engagement"

Johanna Martinsson's picture

A reader's comment to the blog post "Dissemination vs Public Engagement; in Other Words, Are You Serious?":

"Sina's point resonates well with my experience of working with researchers 
around the world. All of them want their research to become useful and used, 
and most of them would argue that communication is an important and necessary 
part of achieving this end.

But how important?

The incentives for researchers to communicate and engage with multiple 
audiences are perverse: they get points for peer-review journals and that's 
about where it stops. DFID have - to date - taken the lead in ensuring that 
researchers take communications seriously as part of the way that they plan 
and carry out their research. A proportion of DFID's funded programmes - 
around 15% - are required to develop a Communication and Engagement Strategy 
at the beginnning of their five-year life, and commit a minimum of 10% spend 
on these activities. Working with these consortiums as a DFID Communication 
Advisor for the last three years, I've seen real progress being made (see 
DFID's research portal  for more information). The Danes have recently followed suit with the 10% spend requirement across their research portfolio, and the Australians are looking at travelling down the same path.

At a time of virulent cutbacks and increased emphasis on showing 'value for 
money', it is perhaps timely for more emphasis - rather than less - to be 
placed on requiring research to systematically identify and engage with those 
who could and should make use of the knowledge."

Megan Lloyd-Laney