Friday, 21 September 2012

Researcher participation: a clever strategy from UWS

At the Metadata Stores roundtable in Sydney on the 31st August 2012, Susan Robbins (University of Western Sydney) outlined a clever strategy for getting researcher participation. Susan has kindly agreed to share:

'Our Research office selected about 30 key UWS researchers, from a range of subject areas, who had recently completed ARC or NHMRC grants (with possible data). To the spreadsheet, they added grant details and attached an associated publication. They sent this to me for information and to our DVC Research. The DVC emailed the researchers outlining the project, reasons why they should participate (and strongly urged them to do so) and said I would be in touch to discuss details.

I emailed the researchers the next day with some more information, including the specific grants identified by the Research Office and attaching the publication. About half the researchers emailed me back within a few days. About half of the rest had out of office messages and most have since been in touch and the rest didn’t ever respond. I made appointments to ring or visit the respondents (with a colleague) to discuss the project in more detail and what their participation would involve. Every single one agreed to participate.

The Library has access to a lot of the information required for the questionnaire, so we pre-populated it as much as possible. It was then emailed back to the researcher with the option to either complete and return or ring us to fill in the missing information. Most chose to do it themselves and send it back to us. There was usually a couple of emails/calls back and forth. This proved a popular way to participate as it meant less disruption for the researcher.'

Thank you Susan. If you need more details, you can contact her at:


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