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Research that looks outward

The normal path for many academics is to ignore the wider uses of their research:

“I saw a number of studies [at an academic conference] this weekend that working journalists would find fascinating and helpful. Yet they’re not available in forms I’d feel comfortable sending around the newsroom. In fact, I’ve never seen scholarship cited in the newsroom that wasn’t accompanied by a readable narrative translation of its findings. I understand that most scholarship is pointed at the academy rather than the industry. But that shouldn’t preclude industry-relevant conclusions from being written up in industry-readable language.”

Quoting Matt Thompson, who is “currently undertaking a year-long research fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, previously the deputy Web editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.” Newsless.org

  1. April 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    What is comfortable for one generation of academics seems to be passed down to the next, citing it as “the way” the do their work. And any sort of talk about breaking this tradition gets met with resistance – perhaps because it simply goes against the grain, but perhaps because it would be more work.

    There are some industries that try and break this mold though, Technical Communication being one of them. They seem to to have found a way to break through the clutter of academic speak and bring their research to the forefront of practitioners.

    This is a really good topic to discuss. Thanks for posting it!

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