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Agricultural researchers look for better communication tools

Aug 13, 2012

Agricultural researchers in developing countries are keen to communicate their research to non-experts, but often feel hampered by institutional barriers and a lack of support, according to a survey published in the current issue of Agricultural Information Worldwide.

The results are based on responses from 1,500 researchers, the majority working in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and will be presented at the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) in Uruguay this October.

Some 80 per cent of respondents in all regions considered "contributing to alleviating hunger and poverty" to be a key driving factor for communication, and there was an overwhelming preference for open access, no- or low-cost routes for research publishing.

Yet almost 85 per cent of respondents cited a perceived lack of institutional support and resources as the biggest impediment to communication.  

In developing countries, particularly French-speaking ones, traditional channels — including journals, books and conferences — were still the most widely used platforms for disseminating research findings.

However researchers also expressed a desire for training in the use of digital communication platforms and social media, citing a "lack of workplace incentives" as the main reason for the low uptake of digital platforms.

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Source : SciDev
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