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Understanding academic and commercial exploitation

Research Skills required by PhD students B7: Understanding academic and commercial exploitation....

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4 March 2010

B7: Understand the process of academic or commercial exploitation of research results

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By the time students complete a PhD, they should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to most of these questions.

  • Do you know what to do with your results once you have some?
  • Can you identify ways in which your results can be helped to reach those who might benefit from it, including those in academia, in industry, and in the public?
  • Can you name researchers in academia or industry who are likely to be interested in your results, and can you identify three ways to convey the results to them?
  • Can you name the important conferences and journals in your domain? Of those, can you identify the three that are most likely to be interested in your findings?
  • Can you prioritise the important conferences and journals in terms of their reputation and influence in your domain?
  • Can you explain the difference between un-refereed, reviewed, and refereed publications?
  • Can you explain a typical refereeing process? Have you read referees’ reports? Have you refereed submissions for conferences or journals?
  • Have you considered how your results might be applied to practical problems or issues (e.g., used to develop new tools, to improve practice, to solve a specific problem, to address an information need)?
  • Have you considered systematically whether any aspects of your work (e.g., a technique, a tool, a process, a material) might have commercial application? Do you know who in the university handles intellectual property issues and exploitation?

Evidence of this skill

These are examples of documents you can collect. Each implies a piece or work, which may be a good way for you to develop this skill.

  • A publication plan, specifying paper content and target publication forum.
  • Academic publications.
  • A plan for other dissemination (e.g., workshops, seminars, correspondence, web sites, practical applications).
  • A mailing list of researchers with complementary interests.
  • An analysis of where a 'role model' in the domain publishes.
  • A record of commercial experience.
  • A patent application.
  • A licensing agreement.

This cloud is based upon material produced by The Open University’s research school to support doctoral students.

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