This document will make it possible to assess the dissemination work of the Spanish scientific community in view of the pilot project for evaluating the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation activity recently started by the Government. In the proposed list up to 17 types of activities appear ranging from more traditional actions, such as the publication of books, chapters of books or articles of dissemination or the design of informative resources, to other more widespread formats such as dissemination through blogs, social networks, shows or interactive activities.
The European Charter for Researchers emphasises the importance of scientific activities being made known to society in general in such a way that they can be understood by non-specialists, thus improving their understanding of Science. This direct engagement of researchers with the public will in turn help researchers to better understand the interests of the public and what concerns them. However, despite the importance of scientific dissemination, to date there have been no specific indicators to evaluate it correctly. Now, the publication of the Guide for the Evaluation of the Scientific Dissemination Activity of the Teaching and Research Staff designed by Crue Universidades Españolas association and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) will allow us to assess the informative work of the Spanish scientific community.
The Guide aims to be a useful tool for the evaluation processes of research staff in which it is deemed appropriate to take into account the disseminator’s work and therefore offers, in addition to the description of each activity, a series of quality indicators that allow those who evaluate the curricula to score according to the relevance of the merit provided. The first test for this new tool will be the pilot project of evaluation of the activity of Knowledge Transfer and innovation opened by the Government that replaces “Field 0” of the Resolution of November 23, 2010 and in which for the first time dissemination is mentioned as a meritorious activity.
In the proposed list up to 17 types of activities appear ranging from more traditional actions, such as the publication of books, chapters of books or articles of dissemination or the design of informative resources, to other more widespread formats such as disclosure through blogs, social networks, shows or interactive activities (exhibitions and workshops). While waiting to see how this pilot experience is developed, which will make it possible to assess the transfer work of the university teaching staff and to know if it really leads to reinforce the social dissemination of knowledge, Crue Universidades Españolas has made the Guide available to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
Five years of work
The idea of assessing the dissemination merits in the research curriculum started from the proposal transferred to Crue I + D + i by the University of Córdoba and the Spanish Association of Scientific Communication in 2014, after the celebration of the First Conference on Scientific Dissemination «Beyond papers», co-organised by both institutions in 2013. Led by the new Scientific Dissemination and Culture Work Group, known as Red Divulga and formed by the Scientific Culture Units and dissemination structures of the Spanish Universities, the Guide collects the initial purposes set out in the document «Valuing Scientific Disclosure. 5 proposals for action», and it broadens them through the concretion in a tool available to be used in any evaluation process.
Both the FECYT technical team and the representatives of the Universities of Navarra, the Basque Country, Córdoba, Murcia, Menéndez Pelayo International, Central de Catalunya-Vic, the Public of Navarre and Instituto de Empresa en la Red Divulga have worked on the design of the Guide.