These are just a few of the terms flying around when researching how to best explain your work. It can be quite confusing to know which approach is best, what information you should include and most importantly, which one will help your work get read by a wider audience.
Many different audiences can benefit from plain language explanations. As well as making work more comprehensible to the general public, taxpayers, the media and others outside academia, plain language explanations can help other people in your field (or in related fields) to quickly skim, scan and understand work so they know what is relevant enough for them to read in more detail.
In the Kudos toolkit, we have distilled the explanation of your publications in to two key areas:
- What is it about?
- Why is it important?
What is it about?
Imagine you are talking to a non-specialist – perhaps a family member – and keep in mind the language you would use and the depth you would go into when telling them about your work. Take a look at this example from Dr Michele Tobias:
Maria Chatzichristodoulou has attracted hundreds of new readers for her work with this simple statement:
Why is it important?
Has your work helped to progress the field? Has it perhaps corrected a past assumption? What will people gain from reading it? What were some of your key findings?
To learn about the benefits of explaining your publications, watch this short video:
Here are some sources of further guidance on explaining your work:
Feel free to share your own examples in the comments!
This blog post is the first of a new blog series created by Kudos. The aim is to guide authors through the toolkit available to them, in their Kudos account. We will regularly be posting ‘how to’ posts so you can effectively explain, share and measure the success of your publications. Don’t miss a post by subscribing to our blog in the sidebar.