“Research should be a public good,” says 2016 IDRC Research Award recipient Erika Malich. “No matter how rigorous it is, and no matter how important the findings, research does not speak for itself.”
Malich came to this conclusion after asking researchers, communicators, and policymakers in Peru what they thought made research accessible. “I found that research accessibility is a multi-dimensional concept,” she says. “We need to think about how the research is communicated to various audiences, and ways of involving beneficiaries throughout the process to increase understanding and use.”
Through this research, Malich became “more aware of how important the role of any researcher is.” She found, for example, that university researchers in northern Peru had difficulty accessing research because of the cost. “This reminds me that we can all make our work more accessible,” she says. One way is through publishing open access and using different kinds of platforms, such as blogs.
During her year at IDRC Malich feels that she has “grown both as a researcher and a professional. I feel this knowledge and experience greatly positions me for my future career, no matter where it may take me.”