NORDP 2017 Conference Notes: What’s Your Story? Helping Faculty Communicate the Value and Impact of Research

What’s Your Story? Helping Faculty Communicate the Value and Impact of Research

Presenter: Jill Jividen, Assistant Director for Research Development, University of Michigan Medical School Office of Research

Thanks to our session note-taker, Karen Fletcher!

Key points from the session. We learned:

  • Why Communicate?
    1. Research is largely taxpayer funded.
    2. It is a University’s public mission.
    3. It helps faculty increase their competitiveness.
  • The 3M’s to construct your message: Message should be Miniature, Meaningful, and Memorable (adapted from AAAS).
  • Communicating Science Seminar Series. (Leverage your existing expertise and use in-house speakers from the library, faculty, etc.) Could include information on:
    • PR – Consider the audience and science literacy: 80% of people are interested in scientific discoveries yet 50% of them read below an 8th grade reading level.
    • Social Media – if you wouldn’t say it in an elevator, don’t say it online. Write for the web. Readers’ eyes trace an “F” format and the top left is typically what gets read.
    • Scholarly Communication – use the library expertise: include data management, public and open access, publishing, measuring impact.
    • Plain Language – Plain Language Act of 2010 – it’s a law! – if working with the government, you must write/communicate in plain language. Strategies could include simplifying language and using analogies (just avoid clichés). Consider a workshop where faculty submit an abstract and during the workshop you re-write it in plain language.
    • Data Visualization – introduce this concept: visualization landscape, design principles, interpretation, campus resources.
  • Include Science Activism and related ethics in Communication course material.
  • Include information on Visual Abstract as visual abstract increase article dissemination.

What did you hear at this presentation that surprised you? Alt metric scores are affecting NIH impact scores.

What resources did you discover at this presentation? This slide show is online with active links to some of the presentation material in the Communicating Science Seminar Series mentioned above.


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