The new Friendly Guide Don’t let it Gather Dust was prompted by a discussion with Dr Jenny Preston about the number of high quality small research projects which never make it into the public domain. Our hope is that if  you have a completed piece of research which is gathering dust somewhere this guide will nudge you into making a commitment to sharing your findings with other people.

The topics covered in the guide include:

  • Quietening your inner critic (the voice telling you that your work isn’t good enough)
  • Reasons to go public
  • How do I know if my work is good enough to present or publish
  • How do I distill my dissertation
  • Exploring your options of written publications and conference presentations and posters
  • Communicating your work to a non-specialist audience
  • Adding to your communication toolbox by considering different approaches to communication
  • Dealing with rejections or a bad review.

To give you a taster of the guide here’s the introduction:

You’ve put the work in, completed your dissertation or small research project, goal achieved, course completed and now what?  A big sigh of relief, a sense of never wanting to see it again or a niggle that you need to do something more with it?

Many health professionals do great small research projects, the results of which deserve to be in the public domain and shared. But somehow it just doesn’t seem to happen. Life moves on, other things take priority or doubts creep in about whether or not it’s ‘good enough’ to share more widely. Will anyone be interested? What are my options? Is there any help out there? What if I’ve done something wrong?

Ok, so realistically any output from a small research project is unlikely to make it into the top 10 academic health journals. However, there are plenty of other options open to you and we are here to encourage you to take the next step.

Indeed, if you have involved other people in your project they probably took part on the assumption that they would be making a difference to people in similar positions to themselves. We’re sure helping you to complete your course was in their thinking somewhere but it wasn’t the only thing. They wanted/expected you to share your findings, to make a contribution to knowledge and perhaps, in some small way, to change practice in whatever field you were studying. This will not happen if you walk away from your project once you have achieved your qualification and do nothing with it or use the insights you obtained to support only your personal practice.

We know taking this step can be a challenge because we have each taken it and supported others in taking it too. Between us, we have a wide range of skills, expertise and perspectives to share with you. We have written everything from posters to papers, blogs to books, international presentations to award-winning feature films.

Our aim is to encourage you to see the value in the work that you have done, to think about the range of options that are open to you in terms of how you can share it with a wider audience and to cajole and champion you in taking that step and putting your work out there in the big wide world. This is why we have written this ‘Friendly Guide’.

Lynne, Rob and Jenny



Download your copy here: Don’t let it gather dust