Keeping the Research Out of the Museum

Researchers may be experts in their fields but the users of the research are common people in the street. Thus the architects and potential users of research often do not share the same language. Too often researchers dress their work up so it sounds fancy and complicated.

THE GFAR BLOG

Smithsonian_American_Art_Museum_exterior_3

It is widely recognized that most research sits on shelves or is stored in computer databases rather than being disseminated and used.

The most common challenge in disseminating research is the language in which reports are prepared. Researchers may be experts in their fields but the users of the research are common people in the street. Thus the architects and potential users of research often do not share the same language. Too often researchers dress their work up so it sounds fancy and complicated, producing technical research reports of different sizes but all in the language of the expert.

Unfortunately, theirs is not the language of farmers, policymakers or extension officers, who find much of what is being presented less relevant than it should be. This is not because the subject matter of the research is not interesting but because the language is abstruse. Researchers lack the capacity to produce reports that will…

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