The lay summary may need to be presented in a style and structure that is different to that normally used in applications for funding or when writing for journals and conferences. The Stroke Association reported that survivors and carers would require different information from that in the traditional application form. The lay summary must answer the questions that lay people have about the research. For example patients trying to decide whether to join a clinical trial may want information about the number of hospital visits required from participants. Templates and forms with directed questions can help to make sure that the questions of interest to the lay reader are answered. One example is provided by The Stroke Association, where the questions that guide the lay summary writing focus on the involvement of stroke survivors.
Two methods are commonly suggested to lay summary writers to check the appropriateness of lay summaries. These are to read the text aloud to yourself, and to ask someone else who is not the domain expert, and preferably from the intended audience, to read and comment on it. There are reports in the literature that reading aloud helps to detect errors, although there is a lack of information on the specific task of using this method for lay summary checking. Studies do suggest that finding errors in in texts written by others is easier than finding errors in one’s own text. However some questions remain about the specific skills needed and how they can be taught. Error detection through reading is quite complex and does depend on who is doing the reading. Further research into both these methods for checking lay summaries would be useful, for example to suggest some effective guidelines for proof-reading of lay summaries.
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In this assignment, you will read and summarize a current research paperfrom an established journal, such as the IEEE Transactions on Computers*.
Lay Summaries are one form of writing intended to help communicate research to a non-specialist audience. They describe research in non-specialist language and are meant for people who are not the immediate peers of the researcher. They can be required as part of grant conditions, either during the funding application process, or at the stage when research results are disseminated. Lay summaries are often written by researchers themselves, although some charities employ specialist writers for the purpose (see the CancerHelp UK case study on p.7 for an example). Lay summaries are useful to the lay public but can also make research accessible to professionals in nearby fields. The next sections of this guide provide a definition of lay summaries, describe some ways in which lay summaries are used, present an overview of guidelines for writing lay summaries, and consider some challenges in lay summary writing.
While most OWL resources recommend a longer writing process (start early, revise often, conduct thorough research, etc.), sometimes you just have to write quickly in test situations. However, these exam essays can be no less important pieces of writing than research papers because they can influence final grades for courses, and/or they can mean the difference between getting into an academic program (GED, SAT, GRE). To that end, this resource will help you prepare and write essays for exams.
Some charities use lay involvement to develop their research strategies and to ensure that they fund research that is responsive to the needs of their members. Lay members help them to define research priority areas. The charities also need to communicate research progress effectively. The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign provides an example of a charity with an aim of making complex research more accessible and understandable. It has involved a focus group in the work of its research communications staff, providing easy-to-understand versions of complex research advancements, through a weekly news service on the website and a yearly research magazine. The involvement of was reported as being a and Lay summaries are one of the tools that help to achieve these aims.
The University of Manchester runs a training programme for graduates through its eProg Development Programme. Half day interactive workshops are held with small group discussions in which examples of lay summaries are deconstructed including samples of the participants’ draft summaries, with feedback provided. The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences also publishes two resources for Graduates and Researchers: a tip sheet and a summary of guidance from research funders.
For researchers to commit the time and effort to learn the skills and write good summaries, they need to believe that public engagement is one possible approach to improving the quality, relevance and impact of their work. Not everyone will buy in to this argument, and the anticipated benefits and processes may need to be spelled out. Until researchers see the benefits for themselves, writing lay summaries can be perceived as a burden. Positive examples from other fields may be a useful tool to demonstrate benefits.
One issue with forms for submission of lay summaries is that sometimes conflicting guidelines may be encountered. For example the requirement to write in paragraphs is in tension with the need to fit text within the confined space of a form. Similarly, adding medical terms alongside plain English words for conditions will use up words within a tight word limit count. There is also variation in the word count that is considered suitable for a lay summary. Smith found that Research Councils UK allow up to 4000 characters, but the limits set by charities can vary between 100 to 1000 words.
Organisations may need to justify allocating resource and effort to the writing of lay summaries. Organisations and individuals need to collect information about the impact of their lay summaries as examples of good practice and to be able to demonstrate effectiveness. They may also be able to share examples with the wider community. Individuals may be able to use the impact of lay summaries as evidence for the benefits of their research, to justify further funding into the research area. Furthermore, evidence of the use of lay summaries for the intended purposes would help make the case to researchers.
Wakefield was accused of lying
An English High Court judge, , hammered Wakefield for using lawsuits for "public relations purposes" and in an effort to "close down discussion and debate over an important public issue"
sent to Deer by Wakefield's lawyers to cover the costs of defending this website, after the research cheat abandoned three baseless "gagging writ" libel actions which he used to threaten others
See how in 2004 reported Deer's early interview with a Wakefield ally, Rosemary Kessick, which transformed a routine news assignment into a major public interest investigation
is the tabulation, obtained by Deer under the freedom of information act, revealing the enormous secret payments from lawyers to Wakefield, which began two years before the 1998 Lancet paper
The General Medical Council panel's May 2010 , summarising Wakefield's dishonesty and misconduct, and ordering him to be erased from the UK medical register