The project OPEN aims to investigate the central communication function at academic institutions, i.e. the PR/Communications offices in Portugal, the UK, Germany, Italy and Turkey and relationships with the meso-level, i.e. with the RIs that they host.
This innovative study moves beyond previous ones given the new type of data collected, its scale and comparability. Firstly, it will map the central communication activities across countries and produce cross-national data. It is particularly important to understand whether differences exist across countries and research systems. Secondly, the data collected will allow for multi-level modelling by using complementary indicators at cluster level of universities.
This timely project will allow for building a more complete picture of the institutional PE that is needed for defining key PE indicators, our ultimate goal. The partner countries have different S&T systems, histories and practice of public engagement, making possible a comprehensive comparison which is also necessary to define indicators.
These indicators can then be applied to other contexts and used to generate longitudinal data for assessing the evolution of institutional PE responding to policy demands for methodologies to access societal impact. Moreover, it will produce evidence that can be used to inform government and institutional practices and policies in PE to better engage society in research.