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Digital Knowledge Exchange and the KEU: what works?

The Knowledge Exchange Unit is always keen to enhance its practice to ensure that the best available research evidence is able to feed into Parliament and that Parliament is able to hear from diverse researcher voices.

As part of this, during 2020-2021 we worked with Dr Sandra Messenger (Cranfield University), who was our Digital Knowledge Exchange Parliamentary Academic Fellow.

Sandra's project comprised engaging with the relevant literature, reviewing our current practices, and analysing current digital KE behaviours in the higher education sector. From this work, Sandra shared insights with us, which are informing the ongoing evolution of our practices.


Digital communication preferences of knowledge brokers and researchers

As part of her fellowship, at the end of 2020 Sandra undertook a survey to explore the digital communication preferences of knowledge brokers and researchers in the context of enhancing and diversifying Knowledge Exchange (KE) between Parliament and the research community.

Key findings include:

  • 94% of participants report that an e-newsletter from UK Parliament's Knowledge Exchange Unit is their preferred digital form of receiving engagement opportunities.
  • The most popular social media platforms are Twitter and LinkedIn.  However these ranked 6th and 9th respectively out of 13 digital communication methods as a preferred means of receiving opportunities.
  • On average, knowledge brokers feel they only reach 40% of the researcher community they are responsible for reaching.

An overview of the survey results is presented in a downloadable briefing here.  In addition, the accompanying diversity monitoring data can be viewed here.