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Exploring the intersections: Researchers and communication professionals' perspectives on the organizational role of science communication

Wilkinson, Clare; Koivumäki, Kaisu

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Authors

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Clare Wilkinson Clare.Wilkinson@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Science Communication

Kaisu Koivumäki



Abstract

Purpose: This paper reports on research exploring the intersections between researchers and communication professionals' perspectives on the objectives, funders and organizational influences on their science communication practices. Design/methodology/approach: Examining one context, the inter-organizational BCDC Energy Research project based at five different research organizations in Finland, this paper presents data from semi-structured interviews with 17 researchers and 15 communication professionals. Findings: The results suggest that performance-based funding policies that drive the proliferation of large-scale research projects can create challenges. In particular, a challenge arises in generating a shared sense of identity and purpose amongst researchers and communication professionals. This may have unintended negative impacts on the quality and cohesiveness of the science communication which occurs. Research limitations/implications: The study was exploratory in nature and focuses on one organizational and institutional environment. Further research with a wider number of projects, as well as funders, would be conducive to a greater understanding of the issues involved. Practical implications: On a practical level, this research suggests that the creation of clearer communications awareness and guidance may be helpful in some large-scale projects, particularly involving broad numbers of organizations, individual researchers and funders. Originality/value: This is one of the first studies examining the perspectives of both researchers and communication professionals working over one project, drawing together a range of different institutional and disciplinary perspectives. The results highlight the importance of the influences of funding on science communication aims, assumptions, cultures and structures. The article articulates the need for further research in this area.

Citation

Wilkinson, C., & Koivumäki, K. (2020). Exploring the intersections: Researchers and communication professionals' perspectives on the organizational role of science communication. Journal of Communication Management, 24(3), 207-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-05-2019-0072

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 24, 2020
Online Publication Date May 11, 2020
Publication Date May 7, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 18, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 12, 2020
Journal Journal of Communication Management
Print ISSN 1363-254X
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 207-226
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-05-2019-0072
Keywords Communication Practitioner; Digitalization; Organizational Communication; Public Relations; Social Media; Research; Communication Management; Strategic Communication
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/5452292

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode.








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