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Open Access #WhyWeDoResearch: Raising research awareness and opportunities for patients, public and staff through Twitter

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The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was set up in 2014 and was originally planned to run locally, in Norfolk, at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPUH) for 12 days in December. Within four days, the campaign was being utilized nationally by other trusts and charities. By the New Year of 2015 it became international and had reached Australia and Canada. The intended audience for the campaign is broad and includes: patients, the general public, all staff working in health care and/or research including (but not limited to) National Health Service (NHS), commercial companies, charities and schools. The campaign has become a community where patients, staff and public alike can share their voices about health research on an equal playing field. Each year, to coincide with International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) on 20 May, a #WhyWeDoResearch 'Tweetfest' is hosted. This includes a number of 'tweetchats' at set times throughout the Tweetfest. Tweetchats are hosted by experts in particular diseases or other areas. Patients and patient groups are included in this group of experts. This article uses the #WhyWeDoResearch campaign annual Tweetfest to demonstrate how social media can be utilized to raise awareness of health research around the world.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

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    Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    Research for All is supporting the 16th International conference for Public Communication of Science and Technology being held in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, 26–28 May 2020. Authors of contributions presented at the conference are invited subsequently to submit papers to Research for All for a special feature on Public Communication of Science and Technology.

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