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Does public outreach impede research performance? Exploring the ‘researcher’s dilemma’ in a sustainability research center


Kassab, Omar (2019). Does public outreach impede research performance? Exploring the ‘researcher’s dilemma’ in a sustainability research center. Science and Public Policy, 46(5):710-720.

Abstract

Researchers and universities are increasingly urged to communicate their findings to the general public. Despite the broad consensus about the necessity of this task, researchers are still reluctant to engage in public outreach activities. One major reason is that while being somewhat time consuming, engagement in public outreach is not adequately reflected in the metrics that are relevant for career advancement. The study at hand examines to what extent this dilemma is empirically justified. A series of statistical analyses are carried out on the basis of data from a sustainability science research center in Switzerland. The study comes to the conclusion that research performance is overall positively associated to engagement in public outreach activities. This insight has implications for the academic incentive and evaluation system.

Abstract

Researchers and universities are increasingly urged to communicate their findings to the general public. Despite the broad consensus about the necessity of this task, researchers are still reluctant to engage in public outreach activities. One major reason is that while being somewhat time consuming, engagement in public outreach is not adequately reflected in the metrics that are relevant for career advancement. The study at hand examines to what extent this dilemma is empirically justified. A series of statistical analyses are carried out on the basis of data from a sustainability science research center in Switzerland. The study comes to the conclusion that research performance is overall positively associated to engagement in public outreach activities. This insight has implications for the academic incentive and evaluation system.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Public Administration
Physical Sciences > Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Geography, Planning and Development, Public Administration, Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Language:English
Date:1 October 2019
Deposited On:18 Dec 2019 09:47
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 12:27
Publisher:Beech Tree Publishing
ISSN:0302-3427
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scz024

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