Reconsidering the role of participatory media in nursing research and knowledge dissemination

Haigh, Carol and Costa, Cristina (2012) Reconsidering the role of participatory media in nursing research and knowledge dissemination. Journal of Research in Nursing, 17 (6). pp. 598-607. (

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This theoretically focused and discursive paper explores the role that participatory media can play in the field of nursing research and subsequent knowledge dissemination. Being able to gather information, sieve through it, access the latest developments in the field, and produce new information is a core part of the academic researcher’s role. Moreover, it could even be argued that for centuries it has been knowledge workers’ main tangible work currency. Indeed, the information age is not exclusive of the networked society. Haigh (2010) has noted that the information gathering and sharing opportunities, referred to as participatory media, offered by the second generation of web design that allow for information sharing – known as web 2.0 – have expanded our horizons beyond academia to the whole of the global research and education community. If we accept the premise that the use of social networks in the development of ideas is one that has a long and distinguished pedigree, then it can be seen that the role of participatory media is the latest iteration in its evolution. What makes this development such a challenge for nursing research in particular is that whilst nursing academia generally remains suspicious of the advantages offered by technology, this paper argues that the next 10–15 years will see an increase in the chasm between the existing research community and the next generation of researchers. This has been attributed to the difference between the two groups in their approach and attitude to technology.