The research ‘problem’
Research reports often tell a misleadingly straightforward story.
It simplifies the messiness, complexity, blind alleys and failures that are common in real research. Whilst this can make research reports more persuasive for assessment or future use, it can also be misleading or exclude alternative perspectives.
Over-valuing persuasive narrative forms by authors, editors, reviewers and others is leaving out large and valuable elements of the research story.
As a problem it is particularly tricky, because authors, journals, publishers and funders may not agree the problem:
- even exists
- how to define it
- or what solutions might look like.
This could make this particular problem, a ‘wicked’ one, that is impossible to solve completely. That doesn’t mean it is a problem to ignore.
Exploring the problem with ‘Story’
UKRN is working with the AHRC StoryArcs programme at Bath Spa University. Together we have tasked our Story Associate, Anna Ploszajski, to use Story Skills to change the narrative.
- How can centering the ‘Story’, prompt creative possible solutions?
- How can looking at the problem through the stories told, help us to share, test and develop new approaches?
Read Anna’s first thoughts on the problem:
…and, watch this space, to keep track of how our Story Associate is going to use Story Skills to explore the problem of persuasion in academic research.
UKRN Story Associate
As a presenter, writer and broadcaster, Anna has worked in academic research and public engagement for a decade, using storytelling techniques to engage both public and academic audiences. She has also run her own business teaching storytelling to researchers to help them make their research resonate better with their target audiences.