Going Digital

CCRI Senior Research Fellow, Matt Reed, is a regular blogger writing on food, community and politics at his blog, ‘the ruralist’.  Matt’s latest post, ‘Going Digital’, reflects on how the CCRI is addressing the challenge of getting its latest research findings out in the public domain as quickly as possible.

Matt Reed
Matt Reed

Going Digital

Recently I was reflecting on why a speaker was making a point that was clearly not supported by the new data, and I realised that it was because they weren’t party to the discussions that happen in the CCRI kitchen. There is always a lag between what is known in a research institute and what we are discussing publicly. This is not the product of anything sinister but the lag caused by report writing, the peer review process and sometimes clients thinking through findings before sharing them more widely.

That gap can be a long time, a recent book chapter took 5 years between the time I wrote the copy and it being published. If you multiply that across the volume of publications that come from an active research centre such as the CCRI then quite a bit of information is stuck in the publication process. To try to shorten aspects of that loop we have been working on ways of sharing our research more quickly.

The other problem that we are acutely aware of is the chilling impact of the paywalls that still surround a lot of academic work. Thanks to several initiatives we are overcoming that problem but unless you know how to then it can be frustrating to be asked for €xx to access a paper.

To get around that we have set up the following,

1 – Slideshare – With over 120 presentations and documents.

2 – The University of Gloucestershire Repository – Our recent papers and reports can be found here.

3 – The Blog – Updates from the team, commenting on the ideas we are developing. In the future, you will see a lot more about our projects here.

4 – Project Websites – All of the EU projects we work on have project websites, which often contain updates and reports.

5 – Twitter – One social media to bind them all. For updates on what is happening and signposting to all of the above, this is our your daily, if not hourly update.

6 – CCRI website – Recently re-launched and the gateway to signing up for our monthly newsletter.