Sharing Science: From the Lab to the World

Researchers face growing pressure to communicate their work beyond academia, despite the time constraints and potential anxieties. The article explores both the challenges and benefits of broader scientific engagement.

Updated on June 26, 2024

AJE Graphical Abstract_Muometric positioning system

It seems with each new conversation about how to serve readers of academic research, researchers are asked to develop new skills sets. From open data to research communication, researchers are the ones being asked to figure out how to fit that new activity into their already overflowing plate.  

This isn’t to say that any of these activities are bad, either. Communicating with broader audiences is an objectively good thing. More people directly benefiting from published scientific articles means that science has a greater impact on the world.  

While communicating with a wider audience is positive for science's impact, researchers already have many demands on their time. Additionally, many lack the training to effectively communicate complex topics to the public. 

I spend a lot of time speaking with researchers, and the most common observation I have of researchers, as a group, is that they just want to make the world a better place and they want to do that with science.  

Both the pressure and the desire to communicate with broader audiences and increase the impact of research has been growing in recent years. And the challenges of growing that skill are not insignificant; simply, many researchers are just not taught how to communicate with a broader audience.  

There are significant advantages for both researchers and the public when scientific research is communicated effectively. Public trust in science can increase, and science can better inform policy and public discourse. 

This article, published in Nature, describes the growing emphasis on external communications by researchers to affect policy, attitudes, and to fight against misinformation.  

The article describes several effective ways for researchers to engage more broadly, including social media strategies and participation with organizations that enable broader dissemination and connection to desired stakeholders.  

The Challenges of Sharing Research  

Regardless of the ways that researchers can participate in a broader conversation about their work, none are without increased time commitments, costs to the researcher or lab, or other drawbacks researchers might be trying to avoid.  

The author of the above article, Nancy Baron, also mentions some additional drawbacks and fears with broader communication that causes reticence among researchers, particularly those early in their careers:  

  • Judgement from peers  
  • Government retaliation  
  • Risk of under attention paid to career incentives  

The Benefits of Sharing Research 

Despite the increased time commitments and fears that researchers may have in talking about their work to a broader audience, there are quantifiable and tangible benefits to both the researcher and the global population.  

To name a few, authors Klemen Kappel and Sebastian Jon Holmen of a 2019 Frontiers in Communication article, outline a taxonomy of goals and benefits for science communication, including:  

  • Improving the population's beliefs about science 
  • Increasing the public’s trust in science  
  • Include the public in the overall scientific discourse  
  • Generating political support for science and informing policy  
  • Encourage members of the public to further engage with science  

How AJE Can Help 

AJE offers services to help researchers share their work more effectively, including creating video summaries and graphical abstracts. These tools can save researchers time and effort while effectively communicating their research to a broader audience.  

At AJE, we believe science should be faster, fairer, and more useful. Part of that means being a trusted partner for researchers in helping them reach their goals – including reaching broader audiences. We know that researchers want audiences to know about their work. We know how important it is to share with broader audiences, and we know how to do it well.  

Since 2017, we have been developing a suite of research communication services that not only help communicate the key findings of your research to the audience that can gain the most from it, but also help leverage some of the most powerful ways to spread the word about your work – without investing hours on Twitter.  Our team of Ph.D. trained science writers and illustrators are ideal partners in helping put your science into digestible and engaging video bytes and graphical abstracts.  

AJE offers both Video Bytes and Graphical Abstracts – to address many of the most common communication needs of researchers.  

Note: when ordering, select “tell my research story” on the first page of the order form.   

Video Bytes 

https://vimeo.com/378768887

https://vimeo.com/378768887

Video Bytes are 1-2 minute videos that explain the key insights of your manuscript with a script, images, animations, and music. Perfect for sharing on social media or at conferences, your video byte can be made to address a general audience or one closer to your field of study.  

Video Bytes are also: 

  • posted to the Research Square preprint platform and linked to your article’s version of record, regardless of whether your article has a posted preprint.  
  • Included in APC payment platform for many of Springer Nature’s journal titles so that you can get a video byte right at time your article is being published.  
  • Instrumented to help you communicate with your institution or organization’s Public Information Officer (PIO) so that a communication’s profession can do the communicating for you. We will handle sending the deliverable to your PIO and communicating with them throughout the process, just give us their email address.  

Graphical Abstracts 

AJE Graphical Abstract_nanoscale magnetic domain Illustration

Graphical Abstracts are static illustrations that describe the key insight of your paper in an engaging and professional way. Whether to share on social media, in conference presentations, or to submit to a journal, graphical abstracts are the perfect portable way to share your work. 

Graphical Abstracts are also:  

  • Included in APC payment platform for many of Springer Nature’s journal titles so that you can get a graphical abstract right at time your article is being published.  
  • Instrumented to help you communicate with your institution or organization’s Public Information Officer (PIO) so that a communication’s profession can do the communicating for you. We will handle sending the deliverable to your PIO and communicating with them throughout the process, just give us their email address. 

We’re excited to help you tell your research story. Like you, we know how important it is to get the word out – your research matters to the world, and we agree. We are looking forward to helping you tell your research story and getting it seen.  

Have questions? Contact us.

Contributors
Tag
Promoting Your WorkPromoting your researchVideo abstractsSharing Your Research
Table of contents
Share+
FacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy linkEmail
Join the newsletter
Sign up for early access to AJE Scholar articles, discounts on AJE services, and more

See our "Privacy Policy"

AJE 20 YEARS OF SERVICE LOGO

Professional

Solutions

Formatting services

Funding services

Automated tools


© 2024 Research Square Company. All rights reserved.

Language and region -