Extending the reach of research: Establishing and sustaining a culture of accessible summaries of language-related research

Wednesday 20 June 2018, 12.00PM to 1.00 pm

Speaker(s): Emma Marsden (Centre for Research in Language Learning and Use) and collaborators

Airing concerns about relations between research and those outside academia is a path well-trodden across many disciplines. Complex issues are involved such as different priorities in academia and practice (Marsden & Kasprowicz, 2017), different conceptualisations of the purpose and nature of research–practice relations, and inherent tensions between theoretically-motivated research and more applied questions (Marsden, 2007). A path less well-trodden, the focus of this presentation, is a concrete initiative to improve the reach of research on an international, systematic, and sustainable scale (Open Accessible Summaries in Language Studies, OASIS).

The OASIS initiative represents one step towards addressing concerns about the poor physical and conceptual access to, specifically, journal publications – the most heavily incentivised academic undertaking, yet largely held behind paywalls and written in highly technical language (Marsden & Kasprowicz, 2017; Nassaji, 2012). I will present the case for establishing a culture of making short non-technical summaries of language-related research openly accessible. The presentation will cover some of the benefits, challenges, and unique features of OASIS, and report on progress made so far on the four main phases of the project:

1)      creating a critical mass of summaries;

2)      developing a searchable interface;

3)      establishing an international cross-journal initiative to ensure sustainable and systematic effort;

4)      developing sample ‘engagement’ activities.  


Marsden, E. (2007). Can educational experiments both test a theory and inform practice? British Educational Research Journal33(4), 565-588. DOI: 10.1080/01411920701434094

Marsden, E. J., & Kasprowicz, R. E. (2017). Foreign Language Educators’ Exposure to Research: Reported Experiences, Exposure Via Citations, and a Proposal for Action. The Modern Language Journal101(4), 613–642. DOI: 10.1111/modl.12426

Nassaji, H. (2012) The relationship between SLA research and language pedagogy: Teachers’ perspectives 16 (3) 337-365 https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168812436903

Location: D/N/056, Derwent College