Disseminate your research to a wider audience

Research can sometimes also be of interest to those outside the scientific community. The Faculty has several channels, and Communications officers who are glad to help with this. However, a first draft of a popular-science summary is needed from you.

Umeå University has as one of its missions to collaborate (interact and engage) with society. This means, amongst other things, communicating research results in a popular-scientific way, in order to reach interested parties even outside of the scientific community. The Faculty of Medicine works to reach different target groups via several channels, such as Vetenskapsluncher, umu.se, Kunskapsveckan and press releases.

Criteria
The first question is whether the results of your research may be of interest to others, besides researchers in the discipline.
There are some criteria for newsworthiness:

  • Consequences – many people are affected.
  • Proximity – geographically, temporally, or culturally closely associated.
  • Deviation – results that are unusual, unexpected or dramatic
  • Exclusivity – we are the first with the news or that it is in very highly ranked magazine.
  • Timeliness – the news is related to a current issue.
  • Visuality - is there unique imagery?
  • Public interest – can the news provide guidance in people's everyday lives?

Get started
If you find that your research result matches any of the criteria above, the next step is to write a popular-science summary. It should be of one A4 page, that is, about 2,500 characters (in Swedish, Danish or Norwegian). Non-scandinavian speaking researchers can of course write in English.
A popular-science summary should primarily focus on results and possible applications. Ask yourself what the most important news is to convey to the outside world? Feel free to add some personal reflections, for example on interpretation and how to proceed. However, you need not add any references or references. Try to limit, or simplify, the amount of trade jargon so the text is accessible to all, even those in the discipline. A word or expression cannot be expressed accurately in Swedish/English? Then it's perfectly fine to substitute with your own new creative expression.

Coordinate
The next step is to check with the Communications Officer if it is suitable for dissemination externally, and if so how. You send your draft, for assessment to medfak-info@umu.se. You should do this in advance, when possible, allowing for processing in a timely manner.

You should also review your personal page on umu.se and ensure that you have a presentation of yourself and a few words about your research, a good picture and contact information. A professional portrait is a good investment that can be used in different ways over many years. A portrait picture can be ordered via inhousebyran@umu.se.

The Communications Officer will then, in consultation with you, assess whether and in which way the research will be disseminated. If there is to be an external news or press release, the Officer will create draft, that can be published, after your approval. You don't have to worry about something being published without your approval.

 

Wasif Ali
6/4/2020