How Data Visualisation Enhances the Impact and Visibility of Science

Nikola Sander, Vienna Institute of Demography
Ramon Bauer, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU) and University of Vienna

Most funding bodies demand research findings to be made publicly available, but the public is not the target audience of scientific literature. Translating complex ideas and findings into a comprehensible, jargon-free language is generally left to the media. However, researchers tend to be fearful of misrepresentation and loss of control over how journalists portray their work. We argue that interactive online data visualisation is a powerful tool for effectively communicating research directly to the public, and for increasing the visibility and citation record of research output. With more and more open-source data visualisation tools available, it has become much easier for researchers to create visual representations of their work that allows direct dialogue with peers, policy makers and the wider public, while keeping control over how science is portrayed. We draw on our own experiences to demonstrate how data visualisation can create mutual benefits for science and the public.

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Presented in Session 63: Visualizing Demographic Data