Completing the Circle: Community Access to Translational Research and Scholarly Works
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This paper documents the development and outcomes of an intra-campus partnership that has changed the culture of scholarship and dissemination at a university that values community-engaged and translational research. Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) was established by Chancellor Charles Bantz and Dr. Sandra Petronio in 2003 to identify, celebrate and promote translational research; research that uses generated knowledge to solve problems and make lives better. In addition to sponsoring awards and convening regular translational research showcases, TRIP started a website and invited faculty members to post descriptions of their translational research projects. In the process, these TRIP scholars provided a public-facing, web-based inventory of scholarship relevant to the community. ScholarWorks, an open access, web-based repository for posting faculty and student articles, theses, proceedings, posters and other creations, was launched in 2004 by the Dean of the University Library. As an open access repository, ScholarWorks gave the campus the ability to share research with a broad community of students, educators, health care workers, policy makers, citizens, and readers without worrying about subscription paywalls or limited access to printed materials. Recently, it became clear to both TRIP and to ScholarWorks that these efforts were complimentary and could be aligned in ways that would increase participation in both programs. In addition, by freely sharing access to the scholarly publications resulting from community-based and translational research projects, the TRIP-ScholarWorks partnership helps to complete the circle of benefits to community, student and research stakeholders. Similar partnerships could be pursued on many campuses.