Call for CEDA Impact Stories: why this is essential and how you can help!

Posted by: CEDA Helpdesk 6 months, 2 weeks ago

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What are impact stories and why are they essential?

Firstly - let’s explain what we mean by ‘impact stories’. These ‘one-pagers’ are short case studies about how CEDA services have enabled you (our users) to complete your research projects. This may be because JASMIN helped you process vast amounts of climate data, the CEDA archive provided invaluable satellite data to aid your research, or maybe CEDA staff members provided you with expertise and guidance about data formatting.

But it’s not just about how CEDA helped you personally. We need to demonstrate how our services enable impactful science that benefits wider society. This is fast becoming an essential requirement from our funders - and without continued funding CEDA services would cease to exist.  

We will begin by collecting basic impact information from JASMIN users in early 2019. This is in response to the Phase 4 upgrade funding that we received in 2018. CEDA need to show outputs from this funding and we hope to do this by collecting a selection of impact stories from JASMIN users.

You can see examples of previous JASMIN impact stories in the document here.

How you can help

Submit a few sentences about your impactful research that relied on JASMIN (and/or other CEDA services) via the form here before Friday 15th February. This can either be pre-written text from other impact case studies you have produced, or fill in the basic questions on the form.

We are currently just focussing on JASMIN impact stories, however if you have anything else of relevance then feel free to fill in the form too.

The CEDA team will review submissions and contact users with relevant stories that we would like to follow up by 28th February. CEDA will then work with the chosen users in March to help write and develop the impact story.

Where the stories will be shared

Once we have collected the impact stories, predominantly they will be used within CEDA’s annual reports and in a use case document provided to our funders. We will also add them to our websites and link to them on our social media channels (predominantly Twitter -  @cedanews). They are also likely to be used by members of the CEDA team in oral presentations at conferences and meetings, both within the UK and globally.

In addition to this, our partner/host organisations (NERC, NCAS, NCEO, STFC) may wish to reuse relevant stories for their own purposes, similar to those mentioned above.

This will provide the individual researchers, research projects, and institutions to reach a wide audience of environmental scientists. All stories will be appropriately credited.

Why you should help!

  • Your stories will help CEDA to receive continued funding
  • Your research will receive more visibility with a wide range of environmental scientists (if appropriate)
  • You will be entered into a random draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher*

We’ve tried to make this process as easy, useful and quick as possible for all involved. It won’t take you long to complete, but the output will be helping CEDA services to continue to exist.  

Why are we asking you to report ‘yet another’ impact thing?

Most of the time we do not know what impactful science CEDA has enabled, unless you (our users) tell us about it - and as previously discussed, we increasingly need to provide this information to our funders.

Poppy Townsend, CEDA communications manager, recently undertook a MSc dissertation, with UWE Bristol, to investigate how CEDA could collect impact stories in the most efficient way. This consisted of a user survey (n = 520) and focus groups (n = 26). The findings are discussed below, and we have tried to adapt the collection process to be as close to your requests as possible.

The key findings showed that users would prefer CEDA to collect impact information via channels that they already submit information to. However, the data shows there are no universal existing processes that CEDA could use to harvest this information - which is why we need to use a webform.

Another key finding was that users did not want to waste time writing a story that may not be relevant or might not be used. We are therefore only asking you to submit very basic information - a few sentences at most - or pre-written text that you already have. It was also important to users that guidance be provided when writing and developing the impact stories - which is why we will be helping the chosen users throughout. 

The results also showed that users would prefer impact information to be collected at the end of their projects. However, it would be unfeasible for CEDA to track and contact thousands of different projects on different timescales; with many end dates changing or being extended. We will trial a yearly collection process, starting with a collection period between January-March. We believe this to be a ‘quieter’ time of year when teaching schedules, conferences and holidays are considered.

You can read Poppy’s MSc project report here.

If you have any questions about this work, please contact poppy.townsend@stfc.ac.uk

 

* The voucher winner will be chosen via a random number generator. Only appropriate and relevant submissions will be taken into the draw. There will be no cash alternative, but an alternative voucher vendor may be considered. The voucher will be provided to respondents at the discretion of STFC.   

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