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Societal and Scientific Impact of Policy Research: Insights from Altmetric and Overton

Core Concepts
The author explores the impact of policy research on society and policymaking, utilizing Altmetric and Overton data to identify key factors influencing policy citations.
The study investigates how scientific research influences policymaking by analyzing citations in policy documents. It reveals distinct citation patterns between policymakers and other stakeholders, emphasizing the role of news media and social media in bridging the gap between research and policy. The findings suggest a disconnect between academic citations and policy citations, highlighting the need for improved communication strategies.
News and blog mentions, social media engagement, and open access publications increase likelihood of research articles being cited in policy documents. Articles behind paywalls or fully open access have lower chances of being policy-cited. Publication year and policy type show no significant influence.
"The findings emphasize the crucial role of science communication channels like news media and social media in bridging the knowledge gap between academia and policy." "Academic citations hold a weaker influence on policy citations compared to news mentions." "This study offers valuable insights for researchers, policymakers, and science communicators seeking to optimize the translation of scientific knowledge into actionable policy decisions."

Key Insights Distilled From

by Pabl... at 03-12-2024
Societal and scientific impact of policy research

Deeper Inquiries

What are some potential limitations of relying on citation metrics to measure societal impact?

Citation metrics have several limitations when used as the sole measure of societal impact. Firstly, they may not capture the full extent of how research influences society beyond academia. For example, impactful research that leads to policy changes or social transformations may not always result in a high number of citations. Additionally, citation patterns can be influenced by factors like self-citations and disciplinary norms, which may not accurately reflect the broader societal significance of the research. Moreover, citation metrics often prioritize older and well-established work over newer innovative ideas, potentially overlooking emerging areas with significant societal impact.

How can researchers effectively engage with policymakers through different communication channels?

Researchers can effectively engage with policymakers through various communication channels by tailoring their messages to suit the needs and preferences of policymakers. One approach is to utilize traditional methods such as policy briefs and reports that present research findings in a concise and accessible manner for policymakers. Engaging in direct conversations or meetings with policymakers can also help build relationships and convey the relevance of research to policy decisions. In addition, leveraging digital platforms like social media can enhance visibility and reach among policymakers who are active online. By sharing key findings, insights, and recommendations on platforms frequented by policymakers, researchers can increase awareness about their work and its potential policy implications. Collaborating with intermediary organizations like think tanks or advocacy groups can also facilitate engagement with policymakers by providing avenues for translating complex research into actionable policy recommendations tailored to specific audiences.

How do societal values influence the dissemination of scientific knowledge through various platforms?

Societal values play a crucial role in shaping how scientific knowledge is disseminated across different platforms. Platforms like news media tend to prioritize sensationalized or controversial science topics that align with public interest or prevailing cultural narratives. This selective coverage based on societal values can influence which scientific information reaches wider audiences. On social media platforms, where user-generated content thrives, societal values shape discussions around scientific topics based on community beliefs, attitudes towards science, and perceptions of credibility. Scientific information that resonates with prevailing societal values is more likely to be shared widely and gain traction within online communities. Encyclopedic attention provided by sources like Wikipedia reflects collective efforts to democratize access to reliable scientific information while adhering to principles such as neutrality and verifiability shaped by broader societal norms around transparency and accuracy in knowledge dissemination. Overall, understanding how societal values intersect with different dissemination platforms helps researchers tailor their communication strategies effectively for maximum impact within diverse audience segments influenced by varying value systems.