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28 April 2015
Defining the Field Quality assessment and assurance: Sound evidence for sound policy-making

A natural concern for university administrators, university stakeholders as well as funding agencies is the assessment and assurance of research-quality. They need to ensure that the evidence that is presented is academically sound.Trust in the research community to a large extent depends on sound quality assurance and assessment processes. Such activities inform funding decisions for projects, teams or even universities, the appointment of researchers, career advancement of researchers and crucially - what is published and disseminated.   And when the research evidence is specifically directed toward influencing policy it has to be properly contextualised, relevant and accessible,  in order to have the research findings taken up.

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Defining the Field Linking Research to Policy and Practice: assessing the strength of evidence

The focus of Research Uptake is on ensuring that research is taken up in policy or practice. The quality of research is therefore very important, as is the extent to which the research is grounded in and contributes to the broader body of evidence in a particular area. The cost (human and financial) of making policy or practice recommendations that are not supported by the overall body of evidence can be high.

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It`s Happening Here Deciding on a research topic to communicate for uptake is a daunting task

An important part of any university Research Uptake strategy is choosing which research to feature. To maximise the chances for uptake to be successful the topic covered by the research needs to be relevant to broader societal needs. Johannes Selepe from the University of Limpopo gives us a glimpse into how they selects topics as outlined in their UL2020 Research Strategy document, and the key dissemination outlets they publish in.

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It`s Happening Here How KNUST makes strategic choices about which research to feature for uptake and utilisation

Deciding which research to focus on to communicate solutions that could be taken up and utilized is now undertaken strategically.  Courage Julius Logah from KNUST discusses how the university chooses which research to focus on and some of the challenges that communications practitioners face in discovering research that fits the criteria for uptake.

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Framing the Discourse Institutional Repositories and Open access: key tools for Research Uptake

Open access means unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed scholarly research. It encompasses not only open access journals but also hybrid journals that provide open access only to articles for which the authors (or more often their institution or funder) have paid an open access publishing fee. Authors can also arrange to archive a pre-version (after it has been accepted for publication but before it has been reviewed) or post-version of the article (after it has been reviewed but before it has been published) on their own websites, or the institutional repositories of their university.

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