R2R Online Gains Positive Feedback

Participant feedback for the 2021 Researcher to Reader Conference, delivered online on 23-24 February, shows continued high levels of satisfaction with the event, with delegates rating both the varied sessions and the event overall very positively.

The survey, completed by over 70 participants, showed over 98% of respondents agreeing that the Conference was Relevant to them professionally and Valuable use of their time.  These sentiments are very similar to the results in the 2020 and 2019 feedback, demonstrating that the online version of R2R was as satisfying to the participants as the previous physical events.

The plenary sessions at the online Conference also received a highly positive response across the board. All sessions received an average rating of 3.1 to 3.5 out of 4 (2020 was 2.1 to 3.6; 2019 was 2.8 to 3.5). This consistent range of high scores shows that the vigorous curation of the programme is highly effective in ensuring all sessions are of high quality and are valued by the vast majority of participants.   

The interactive workshops were also generally highly rated, with two of the five workshop options receiving 100% favourable responses, and even the lowest-ranking workshop having 40% of the respondents saying it was ‘Great’.

The new lightning poster sessions, offered during the Conference breaks, were each attended by around 20-40 people. These sessions also received generally positive feedback, with average scores ranging from 2.8 to 3.2 (out of 4).

The overall content and structure of the Conference was positively reviewed, with almost all respondents giving very positive scores and comments on both the sessions and the overall timetable. The online ‘venues’ – the main event platform, the virtual rooms and the video-conference environment – were also rated highly, although a few people reported having problems using the online resources and struggled to switch between different online environments.  The event administration, which usually gets outstanding ratings, was marked down in 2021, primarily by people commenting that there had been too many emails from the organisers, announcing new initiatives (such as the pre-conference and lightning poster sessions) and selling the online features of the event.

A key proposition of the online version of R2R was that it would be the same quality, at the same cost, and the same price, as a normal physical event. The relatively high score for value-for-money of 3.1 (similar to the 2020 and 2019 figures) gives some encouragement that the promise was fulfilled, although some respondents still expressed concern about registration prices.

Participant comments in the survey were generally very positive, with responses that included:

great range of topics
fascinating speakers and perspectives
I appreciated the variation in presentation styles
the degree of interactivity was truly surprising
a true sense of community and contribution
thoroughly enjoyed the networking
the production was very professional
good use of technology
the platforms really helped, and were easy to use
this was a fantastic effort by all concerned
this was by far the best conference experience since COVID-19
almost as good as meeting in person

I would be keen to attend again

Overall, the survey results showed a continuing trend of positive feedback for the event, and strong agreement that Researcher to Reader was able to deliver a successful conference experience online. We also received many useful suggestions for improvements and innovations for 2022.

Mark Carden
26 March 2020

R2R Delivered Successfully Online

The Researcher to Reader Conference took place on 23-24 February in an online format, but delivering on the promise of a fully-live and highly-interactive event.  The revised timetable, online technology and professional audio-visual team all contributed to delivering not just informative content, but also a venue for conversation for the participants, who joined in from over 20 countries.

Registrations for R2R 2021 were higher than for any previous year, and the turnout for the event was over 97% of those registered, which may be a record for an online conference. The participants included a large cohort of people working in publishing (45%) while over half were people from other parts of the ecosystem, including numerous librarians and academics.

The initial feedback from participants has been very positive, and R2R will, as usual, publish detailed results from the participant surveys.  Participant comments have included:

a triumphant success
loving the online collaborative sessions
a rich and rewarding conference experience
setting the new standard in virtual conferencing
the work put into creating a real live event really paid off
had a great time at the virtual Researcher to Reader this year
a good example of how the online experience has moved on recently
by far the best organized online conference I’ve “been” to
not all online conferences have to be death by Zoom
impressed at how engaging and interactive it was
an impressive attempt to defeat the lockdown
a really engaging program and format
a really good conference
brilliant job

The Conference was enabled by an online event platform, OnAir, which provided timeline management, a delivery environment for the plenary sessions, text chat, participant information, one-to-one text or video meetings, and a sponsor information venue.

The event used a professional audio-visual provider, Giggabox, to set up the platform and manage the studio, in order to ensure effective and high-quality broadcast of the plenary sessions. 

Over 6 hours of structured workshops and informal networking took place, primarily in a virtual rooms environment, Spatial Chat, which had been set up to simulate being at the usual venue, BMA House in London. Some workshops also used a virtual whiteboard application, Miro, to aid collaboration.

The 10-minute Lightning Poster sessions, delivered in the familiar Zoom environment, were particularly well-attended, with around 25-45 participants in each. These sessions covered a wide range of topics from blue-sky inventiveness to commercial presentations (permitted under this format).

Recordings of the plenary sessions have been made available to registered participants at R2R through the online event platform.  Recordings and slides will be made available via the R2R website within a few weeks following the conference, as usual.

The online platform also included an area to meet sponsors and to view sponsor materials including videos, PDF leaflets and a freely-downloadable ebook. We are grateful for the support from our sponsors, without whom the Conference would not be possible.

Planning for R2R in 2022, possibly as a hybrid event, is now underway!

Mark Carden
3 March 2021

Platform Build for R2R Completed

The main online event platforms for the Researcher to Reader Conference have now been built and are in final testing. The live interactive online event will be taking place on 23-24 February 2021.

To deliver the interactive online event, R2R will be using four main components:

  • An online event platform (OnAIR)
    For timeline management, plenary session presentation text chat, participant information, one-to-one text or video meetings, and sponsor information.
  • A professional AV studio (Giggabox)
    To manage the plenary sessions, which include a debate, interviews, panels and presentations.
  • A virtual rooms networking platform (Spatial Chat)
    For face-to-face video networking and the interactive workshops.
  • A video-conferencing platform (Zoom)
    For the Orientation meetings and for the Lightning Poster sessions.

The online event platform (OnAir) build is now complete, with the timeline and other components set up to support effective navigation around the whole Conference. Final testing of this robust global online event solution is almost complete.

The Conference moderators and speakers have been briefed by the professional studio production team and are fully prepared to deliver their live and interactive sessions.

The virtual rooms networking environment (SpatialChat) has also been built and tested, and is ready for use both for informal networking, and for the interactive workshops. The workshops will also be supported by other online tools such as Miro and Mentimeter. A backup networking environment, using another platform, has also been prepared as a ‘warm standby’ solution, in case of unforeseen problems.

The Zoom meetings have been set up and tested ready to deliver pre-conference orientation for those participants who want to drop in, and the Lightning Poster sessions that are offered during the breaks in the main programme.

R2R Online is ready to go! Registration for this fully-live and highly interactive online event, with face-to-face online networking, will remain open until the morning of Monday 22 February. https://r2rconf.com/r2r-registration/

Mark Carden
19 February 2021

TrendMD becomes R2R Silver Sponsor

We are delighted to announce that TrendMD has become a Silver Sponsor of the 2021 Researcher to Reader Conference. TrendMD is a brand new sponsor for R2R, and we welcome them to our sponsorship family.

TrendMD is an article discovery platform that generates related articles on journals, blogs, and other sites that academics, doctors, and researchers use in their day-to-day work. Scholarly publishers, authors, and funders use TrendMD to increase site traffic, reach their target audiences, and drive article impact.

The Researcher to Reader Conference is on 23-24 February 2021, and will be a fully-live and highly interactive online event, with face-to-face online networking. Registration is open here: https://r2rconf.com/r2r-registration/

Mark Carden
18 February 2021

Over 100 at R2R Pre-Conference

Over 100 different people registered to join the R2R Pre-Conference sessions that were held over the past three weeks. These were free online sessions, giving the opportunity for registered and potential participants in the Researcher to Reader Conference to meet some of the presenters and discuss their planned topic with them. Each session began with a brief overview of the planned topic, followed by a general discussion amongst those participating the meeting.

Amongst the people registered to attend these sessions were people affiliated with the following organisations: Accucoms, ALPSP, BMJ, Bristol University, British Institute of Radiology, Cabells, Cactus Global, Cambridge University Press, Centers for Disease Control, Company of Biologists, Copyright Clearance Center, Elsevier, Harrassowitz, Imperial College, London, JISC, Karger Publishers, Liverpool University, London School of Economics, National Institutes of Health, Northumbria University, PLOS, Rockefeller University, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, The Open University, The Royal Society, University of Ottawa, University of Pittsburgh, University of Sussex and Wiley.

The Conference topics covered in these pre-sessions included:

Interviews: China Research and Publishing (Nicko Goncharoff)
Panel: COVID-19 Rapid Review & Preprints (Sarah Greaves)
Panel: Inclusivity (Kim Eggleton)
Panel: Research Realities (Heather Staines)
Presentation: Funding OA Books (Martin Eve & Frances Pinter)
Workshop A: New OA Models (Tasha Mellins-Cohen & Stuart Taylor)
Workshop B: Academic Writing (Christine Tulley, Sara Rouhi & Anna Sharman)
Workshop C: Antiracist Framework (Jocelyn Dawson & Sabby Kaur)
Workshop D: Usage Metrics (Lorraine Estelle & Catriona MacCallum)
Workshop E: Peer Review (Iratxe Puebla & Chris Graf)

More information on each of these Conference topics can be found in our Programme. These simple pre-Conference conversations took place using the Zoom video conferencing application; the full R2R Conference will be using an online platform for the main event and a virtual room application for informal networking. Registration is still open for the Conference which will take place on 23-24 February. 

Mark Carden
15 February 2021

R2R Preview by Research Information

Research Information, the “essential link between publishers, librarians and researchers” has published an informative preview of the Researcher to Reader Conference, highlighting the compelling Programme and the event’s plans for online interactivity and networking. Research Information is a media partner of R2R, sharing a common goal to provide a forum for everyone in the scholarly communications ecosystem to communicate with each other.

The article can be accessed here: https://www.researchinformation.info/news/r2r-conversation-goes-online

The Researcher to Reader Conference will be a fully-live and highly interactive online event, with face-to-face online networking. Registration is open here: https://r2rconf.com/r2r-registration/

Mark Carden
12 February 2021

Antiracist Workshop at R2R

The Programme for the Researcher to Reader Conference on 23-24 February 2021 will feature a workshop on an Antiracist Framework for Scholarly Communications. This workshop will be previewed at a free online session on Wednesday 10 February.

The workshop participants will meet three times over the two-day Conference, to discuss how to confront racism and transform workplace culture. The workshop will be facilitated by Jocelyn Dawson and Sabby Kaur.

Registration for the free online preview session, that will discuss plans for this workshop on Wednesday 10 February (and for other Conference previews on other dates), is available via this page:
https://r2rconf.com/2021/01/21/r2r-pre-conference-session-registration-is-open/

The Researcher to Reader Conference will be a fully-live and highly interactive online event, and registration is open here: https://r2rconf.com/r2r-registration/

Mark Carden
9 February 2021

COVID & Preprints Panel at R2R

The Programme for the Researcher to Reader Conference on 23-24 February 2021 will feature a panel on COVID-19 and Preprints. This session will be previewed at a free online session on Thursday 4 February.

The panel will discuss with the Conference participants the COVID-19 Rapid Review initiative and the lessons learned.

Registration for the free online preview session, that will discuss plans for this panel on Thursday 4 February 2021 (and for other Conference previews on other dates) is available via this page:
https://r2rconf.com/2021/01/21/r2r-pre-conference-session-registration-is-open/

The Researcher to Reader Conference will be a fully-live and highly interactive online event, and registration is open here: https://r2rconf.com/r2r-registration/

Mark Carden
4 February 2021

Research4Life Participants Invited

Researcher to Reader partnered with Research4Life in January to offer complimentary invitations for 10 academics or librarians from any of its eligible countries to the R2R Conference on 23-24 February 2021.

The participants have now been selected and invited to join the Conference, and librarians, researchers and lecturers will be joining us online from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Their participation will be a great contribution to the international and cross-sectorial conversation that is the hallmark of this event.

Registration is still open for the fully-live and highly interactive online Conference which will take place on 23-24 February. 

Mark Carden
4 February 2021

New Funding Models at R2R

The Programme for the Researcher to Reader Conference on 23-24 February 2021 will feature a presentation on a new funding model for Open Access books. This workshop will be previewed at a free online session on Wednesday 3 February.

The presentation will describe a partnership between Central European University Press and COPIM to create an innovative business model for OA books.

Registration for the free online preview session, that will discuss plans for this presentation on Wednesday 3 February (and for other Conference previews on other dates) is available via this page:
https://r2rconf.com/2021/01/21/r2r-pre-conference-session-registration-is-open/

The Researcher to Reader Conference will be a fully-live and highly interactive online event, and registration is open here: https://r2rconf.com/r2r-registration/

Mark Carden
25 January 2021