Conducting experiments, working in a lab, writing and rewriting — all the iconic activities we associate with researchers are just the beginning of the story. Until research is shared, discussed, and challenged, its impact is limited.
Long before the journal article review process, researchers engage with their peers through poster sessions, meeting presentations, and other opportunities to explain the early stages of their work. For early-career researchers especially, this dissemination aids in building reputation, personal brand, and network growth.
And yet, physical conferences are over-crammed and over-scheduled, often with too many concurrent sessions and potential activities. Attendees cannot possibly see every presentation or poster of interest, and engagement is severely limited as a result. While some conferences capture and re-broadcast keynote presentations, poster sessions and smaller presentations are completely walled-off to those unable to attend in person.
The limitations of the current model are brought even more into focus with the COVID-19 global pandemic. The rapid dissemination of early stage research and free flow of ideas is imperative. But with the long list of shuttered scientific meetings, the vulnerability of relying on traditional mechanisms for engagement and networking are clear. And what of early-career researchers during this crisis? How can they continue to build upon their work and make critical connections with peers during this time?
Digitizing and disseminating poster sessions and presentations for the benefit of early-career researchers is a critical part of a virtual conference solution. But in better times, they will still be a critical complement to any conference — deepening the impact of this content before, during, and after the event. The significance of tagging a poster, assigning a DOI, and associating it with a researcher’s ORCID ID is that it dramatically expands the reach of that work. Instead of engaging with 20 or 30 dedicated conference attendees, the researcher is connected with a much larger global audience of potential mentors, collaborators, and employers.
Morressier is proud to collaborate with partners across the scholarly ecosystem — in both the best and worst of times — to ensure that early-stage research is readily disseminated, and early-career researchers are given the platform that they deserve.