Research Cooperative Review (Issue 9, 14th February 2011)
Update: We now have several country focus groups for members who live in each country, and for members seeking contact with each country. See My country .
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Review: Developing country focus groups inside the Research Cooperative addresses a basic problem: our network benefits from having a global coverage, with more than 3200 members in more than 150 countries, but the coverage is very thin. Most members do not yet personally know other members. Our efforts to promote the network need to be more strongly focused on specific locations or institutions, so that there is a better chance for at least some members to find people they already know. This will help to change the dynamics of our network, and perhaps lead to more interaction between members overall.
For some very large countries, it would be good take this approach to the city level. For example, we could promote the Research Cooperative intensively in particular cities and countries that have large university populations (Moscow in Russia, Paris in France, London in the UK, Madrid in Spain, New York in the USA, Tokyo in Japan, and Shanghai in China for example).
We do not have significant funds for such work. Volunteers are needed. In the near future, I expect to have a new print run of color leaflets that can be physically distributed on campuses or by mail to university libraries and publication offices.
If anyone would like to volunteer to distribute a folded, two-sided A4 flier, please contact me (Peter, Admin., researchcooperative at gmail dot com). Please tell me how many copies you would like to distribute.
Announcement: Recently I noticed among our members a student in Ghana who has studied publishing, and who was wanting work. I wrote to him, and with his help, we are now seeking to expand Co-op membership intensively inside Ghana (see Ning Profile Search , using Ghana as location keyword) Since there are few cities with large universities in Ghana, this will effectively be an effort that targets Accra and one or two other large cities.
We hope that the new members in Ghana will discover people they already know personally, from their own university, city, and country, and that they will find ways to help each other - through our forums and focus groups.
The initial results indicate that many undergraduate and graduate students in Ghana are interested in our network, although most of them are not yet writing research papers for publication. This is not a problem. We need to attract a large base of younger members in order to provide a foundation for the long-term development of our network.
Our network has been created in the hope that younger and older members will find each other, and develop useful inter-generational working relationships - in Ghana, and elsewhere.
Conclusion: I wish all members best wishes for a year of effective communication, in all areas of your work, and I hope that you can meet some real friends here too.
Dr P. J. Matthews (Admin., Japan)