3 years ago

Rethinking the Way We Do Research: The Benefits of Community-Engaged, Citizen Science Approaches and Nontraditional Collaborators

Rethinking the Way We Do Research: The Benefits of Community-Engaged, Citizen Science Approaches and Nontraditional Collaborators
Danielle M. Dick
There is tremendous opportunity for basic scientists to enhance the impact of our research by engaging more deeply with nontraditional partners and expanding the way we think about interdisciplinary research teams. These efforts can include more deeply engaging our participants, and the broader public, in our research; working with individuals from other fields to take a more active role in the dissemination and translation of our research; and working with collaborators from the arts and communication sciences to make our research more engaging and understandable. In this review, I provide an overview of our efforts along these lines in a project called Spit for Science (https://spit4science.vcu.edu/). This project draws from concepts central to community-engaged participatory research and citizen science. Although conducting research in this way involves a considerable time commitment, it has many potential benefits, including raising awareness about our research areas and findings; creating a public that is more connected to and aware of the importance of research, which can have potential implications for funding for science; creating new job opportunities for students; and increasing participation rates in our studies. By thinking creatively about how we conduct our research, and more broadly engaging diverse groups of individuals in the research process, we have the potential to significantly increase the reach and impact of our science. Researchers have the potential to significantly increase the impact of our science by more actively and creatively engaging our participants and the broader community in our research. This review provides an overview of our efforts to do this through the “Spit for Science” project (spit4science.vcu.edu). Making research more engaging and accessible has many potential benefits, from raising awareness about our research areas and findings, to creating a public that is more connected to and aware of the importance of research.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/acer.13492

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