A new way to spread your research: SciPod

Introduction of SciPod and its importance in research

Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash

Background

All of us understand the importance of research in all the fields. In the era of computational competition, it is very crucial to spread knowledge to the targetted audience. Further, the mode of spread is very crucial, if the new audience has to attract. For instance, I am working on a software that eases the prediction analysis with a simple user-friendly user-interface (UI), and a guy with a non-Computer Science background (say, economist, banker, doctor) can be benefited with such software. This guy can be benefited provided I spread the software description through a medium that is in the reach of the people other than the research background.

I am sure, many researchers will agree with me that people from non-research background face many problems while reading and understanding the research papers in their conventional forms. Certainly, this leads to a gap between research work and professionals from different backgrounds.

Recently, a great medium has been introduced on the internet to spread the research work in a very new and user-friendly format. Interestingly, many of researchers are not aware of this medium. Yes, it is SciPod, a 10-minute audiobook covering scientific research in a layman-friendly language. A SciPod is a new form of research communication, accessible plain-language summary produced into the modern communication format of an audiobook. Each SciPod is written and narrated by writers who work diligently to transform complex technical papers into a plain-language summary.

Why SciPod?

There are several benefits to using SciPod. Some of them are mentioned here (Most of these are claimed by the SciPod itself on their website and emails.):

  1. SciPod was developed to save the Time and provides support to researchers with very little of it
  2. With the experience of many groups and organizations around the world, it was found an important niche needed to be addressed — to help researchers transform and simplify the science, helping to communicate their work to a very broad and diverse audience beyond their specific scientific community. The SciPod supports traditional scholarly publishing and transforms science into something enjoyable, understandable, and impactful that everyone has a chance to be involved with.
  3. SciPod is an end-to-end production and dissemination service supporting researchers in communicating their work and reaching a much broader and diverse audience.
  4. SciPod publishes all material in an open barrier-free format — there are no paywalls or subscribe walls to view, download, or share any of the research material.
  5. SciPod is not proposed to change or challenge the traditional scholarly publishing format, but instead, it aims to complement this accepted form of dissemination and help enhance communication and impact.
  6. SciPod cared for visually impaired people. They have said:

With an estimated 285 million visually impaired people, and 700 million dyslexic people, we should also not underestimate the value that an audio service offers to a community who are often overlooked in academic publishing.

7. As per the SciPod team, the main motivation behind SciPod is to assists researchers all over the globe. In their words:

It is now widely accepted that broader science communication is a fundamental aspect of a scientist’s career. While many do recognize this, it can be a challenge to do it effectively. SciPod offers professional communication and dissemination services to support and enhance science. We make science understandable, enjoyable, accessible, and open.

The additional information about SciPod provided by itself is as follows:

Each SciPod is based on a single research paper, and our teamwork to present the research in the most accessible, understandable and enjoyable way. Listeners with varying levels of expertise and knowledge will be able to understand the significance and potential impact of the research. A SciPod is a 10-minute audiobook covering scientific research in a layman-friendly language and could be summarised as a ‘post-print’ form of communication, or a more in-depth and accessible plain-language summary produced into the modern communication format of an audiobook. Our dissemination team promotes each SciPod to our audience of 26,000 listeners (and growing). As well as promoting to our direct audience and through our social media channels, we publish through all major audio sites including iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, to name a few.

Each SciPod has a cost to enable us to produce and publish in an open format. We have done our utmost to deliver SciPod at the very reasonable cost of $600 USD — this is a total tax-free cost that covers the full production, distribution, and digital hosting and also allows us to pass the copyright of the SciPod back to you so that you may use independently.

Summary:

The research community has seen many new updates in the form of research communication. In earlier days, the Research Conferences were the most loved medium to spread, discuss and challenge the research findings. Then researchers have shown an inclination towards the Journal publishing. Then many factors such as the quality of the journal, impact factors, and several factors made researchers think and take care of. Then the time came for Open Access publishing in the journal. With this researchers enjoyed the huge spread of their research articles and work results. Then the time came for Social Media for researchers, such as ResearchGate, Academia, Twitter, etc. Some researchers started using archiving websites like arXiv to spread the research to everyone. Some researchers felt the importance of sharing research in layman language so that audiences from other backgrounds can understand it. So, they have started blogging and developing websites in a user-friendly way. In the same direction, the SciPod seems a stepping stone in spreading the research. Enjoy!

by

Dr. Neeraj Dhanraj Bokde

Researcher in Data Sciences

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