Why what you’re publishing matters.
As academicians, one of our primary duties is to produce new knowledge through our research and scholarship activities. It is a core function of what we are as faculty members because this novel knowledge generated from our research enhances the uptake of evidence into routine clinical practice and policy making. It also can help our students because we are able to impart this recently developed evidence to better inform them for the workplace or their continued educational training.
This generation of new knowledge can take on several forms. For instance, you may have tested a new pedagogical approach in your classroom and contributed to new knowledge in the realm of the scholarship of teaching. These types of publications are imperative as well. However, at present, it seems there is a disconnect when it comes to the importance of pedagogy as it relates to research. We need to see the definition of “research” as more fluid than we have in the past.
So how do we best exemplify our achievements as information generating machines? I personally am a big proponent not only of publishing in reputable peer-reviewed journals, but also disseminating our new findings from these publications to peers, students and other knowledge seekers through internal and external outlets.
“Why?” you may ask. Not only does it vindicate your hard work as a leader in your respective academic discipline, but it helps establish the quality of instruction provided in our college. Your successes are a reflection of the excellence of HPS, as well as the quality of education at the University of North Texas as a whole. Despite the numerous advances made in health and public service research over the past few decades, discontinuity still exists in the dissemination of the research findings into the clinical setting or in changing relevant policies. Thus, we have an opportunity to avert this disconnection. Without effective dissemination of knowledge, however, our efforts as researchers are somewhat limited.
We all have to play an active role in making sure that our publications are known and that our scholarly works become resources for others in not only higher ed, but for society as a whole. Yes, I know you enter your publication information into our Faculty Information System, but I’m charging you with more – I want you to provide information on your current and recent publications so that we can broadcast these educational developments through internal and external e-newsletters, annual reports, website articles, social media posts and other forms of digital media. We have so many great outputs generated by faculty in HPS and letting us know about your publications can have many benefits for you. Many studies have shown that there is a statistically significant correlation between social media mentions and ultimate citation counts of published studies.
We have created a convenient online form for you to complete to let us know about your publications so Courtney Taylor, our assistant director of communications and marketing, can strategically place them in line with the marketing plan I sent out last semester. Here’s a link to the form: https://hps.unt.edu/publications. Once you complete the form, Courtney will review and contact you about a possible press release or related dissemination effort.
Your publications are an investment of your time, expertise and dedication to teaching and research and the creation of new knowledge is paramount to a Tier One research university. I know that you’re already generating and publishing the information – now we all just need to take action and work together to ensure the dissemination of your hard work.