Research is a long-term endeavour, punctuated with publications – markers at a point in time where sufficient insight and evidence has been gathered to show a step forwards in knowledge. Giant leaps happen rarely, and even then, are built on the work of others over many decades.
Publications are the currency of science communication within the academic community. Peer-reviewed journal articles and books the mechanisms by which academic careers are made. And yet, these generally come at the end of a long process of research, usually wrapped up into a research project – which comprises a question to be answered, a problem to be solved, or an idea to be verified.
The importance of communicating early-stage research
If publications are a marker in time, then research projects are the arc within which new knowledge is developed and tested. This is perhaps the most exciting phase of the research process, when creativity, objectivity and rigorous methodology combine to create something new or validate the work of others. Countless studies have shown that research is made more useful and has greater impact (particularly outside of academia, in the so-called ‘real world’) when it is communicated about from the earliest stages of the research process. This is particularly the case for potential beneficiaries of research, whose early awareness of and involvement with the research process can greatly accelerate subsequent uptake.
And yet, unlike publications, limited attention is given to sharing information about research projects. While some university websites will feature selected projects, and funders such as UKRI and NIH publish project summaries on their websites – these are rarely optimized for discovery and engagement ongoing, particularly with audiences outside of academia.
Who benefits from early-stage research communication?
There are sensitivities to publicly sharing information that has not yet been peer-reviewed and published. ResearchGate recently announced that they would be retiring Projects from their platform by the end of this month, citing such sensitivities, and also suggesting a lack of incentives for researchers to communicate work-in-progress. But around the world research funders are moving more strongly towards encouraging and even mandating more attention on early-stage research communication.
This apparent disconnect arises from the fact that ResearchGate is primarily a platform for peer-to-peer communication for academics – who through conferences, societies and networking already have good access to information on “research in progress”. The gap that still needs filling is for research stakeholders, beneficiaries, and other audiences outside academia. These audiences do not attend academic conferences and do not have access to "research in progress", but funders recognize the importance of involving these groups early in the research process and the potential for early engagement to make research more useful in the real world, more quickly.
A vital part of the scientific landscape: research-in-progress updates
At Kudos, we believe communications about ongoing research projects are a vital part of the scientific landscape. We’ve developed our platform so that information about research projects can be summarized and shared in beautiful and accessible showcases, designed to engage a much broader audience with the work of researchers all over the world. Of course, sensitive information need not be shared; our focus is on enabling you to explain what your research is about and why it is important, and share updates and outputs that encourage awareness and participation – from your project abstract through to presentations, posters, videos and preprints. All this activity can have a home on our platform, and we will share it with the world, enabling you to collect critical evidence on your reach and influence for reporting to your funder and institution – and building the early engagement with key stakeholders and other potential beneficiaries of your research.
It's quick and easy to create stylish project pages like these with Kudos Premium for Project
How to transfer your project from ResearchGate to Kudos
If you want to keep showcasing your projects and would like our help to build an engaged audience for your research, it’s easy to transfer projects from ResearchGate to Kudos:
- Sign up for Kudos premium for projects – there's a special offer for ResearchGate users here
- From your 'premium' tab in your hub, "create a new Story"
- Copy your goal, hypothesis, findings and / or update text from your ResearchGate project and paste it into the "Your Story" section of your project in Kudos
- Choose an image to brighten up your page
- Use the "Outputs" section in your Kudos project to link to any slides, data, posters, code or other outputs you have shared around as your project progresses.
Further information and a special offer for our premium edition (valid until the ResearchGate project close date of 31st March) can be found here.