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Friday, June 7 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Promoting Research Online: Dispatches from a Research Center -C11

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Two Penn State staff members from the Methodology Center discuss how they overhauled their center’s website to improve the user experience including usability, content layout, and content quality. In one year, they increased Center web traffic by 100% and the number of the site’s registered users by 60%. Topics SETTING GOALS AND FOSTERING BUY-IN FROM RESEARCHERS. The Methodology Center created a comprehensive dissemination plan based on two theoretical models to guide all online dissemination. The two models, Diffusion of Innovation (Dearing, 2009) and Stages of Change (Prochaska, Di Clemente, & Norcross, 1992), will be discussed as well as how these models led to buy-in at the Center. We will then discuss how to work with a diverse group of researchers based on their personality and personal style. CREATING AND ORGANIZING CONTENT. We will discuss how usability testing 1) allows user experience to guide site design 2) challenges preconceived notions of the project team 3) provides data that can help remove obstacles created by ego or reluctance to listen to people without PhDs. (How to do usability testing will not be the focus.) Also discussed, the difference between science writing and scientific writing and where each should appear on the website. PROMOTING CONTENT. The pros, cons, and applications of online tools are discussed including email newsletters, Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts, and giveaways/contests. Emphasis on calling an audience to action. ANALYTICS. The use and organization of Facebook statistics and Google analytics will be discussed for tracking impact.


Stef Seasholtz

Multimedia Specialist, The Methodology Center (college of HHD, Penn State)

Aaron Wagner

Science Writer, The Methodology Center (college of HHD, Penn State)

Friday June 7, 2013 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Room 206
  • Session Code C11

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