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Lay summaries are not just for researchers, they are for funders, too

Jayashree Rajagopalan | Nov 30, 2017 | 10,093 views
How funders can benefit from plain language summaries of research papers

But if we want to take the open agenda to its logical conclusion we must do more. It is not enough to give everyone access to every research paper and leave it at that: we have to make research open in other ways. We have to make an effort to communicate with readers outside the research community; we have to speak to pupils and teachers, to healthcare professionals and patients (and their families), to anyone and everyone who is interested in science and research. And we have to speak to them in their language, in the language of the news media and Wikipedia. We have to speak to them in plain language, not in the formal and formulaic prose found in most research papers; and we have to use verbs, not nouns, and to avoid words like characterization and facilitation that – while much loved and used by scientists – can stop a sentence or article dead in its tracks.

Peter Rodgers - Plain-language Summaries of Research: Writing for different readers

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