1. Introduction

Dr Stuart Lee

There is an increasing drive across Higher Education to demonstrate the importance of the various activities Universities undertake, in particular in research, teaching, and learning. This is, of course, tied up with the rather contentious issue of ‘impact’ – both academic and public – and it seems clear that in whatever form it takes, Universities will be encouraged to undertake activities that engage with, and are of benefit to, other academics, students, the public, and the economy.

The aims of this guide therefore are to outline one area that might assist Oxford academics who are seeking to explore new ways of engagement, namely the use of various IT tools which are now readily available. These can help in creating communities, disseminating outputs, engaging the public in research activities, and so on. In present terminology these can also be of use when preparing a 'pathways to impact' plan.

We have divided this guide into two sections. The first looks at various IT tools and facilities researchers, faculties, and divisions could consider using. The second details specific activities that Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS) have engaged in as examples of potential outreach activities. In both sections we have sought direction from the current Research Councils UK (RCUK) guidelines, and the University's own recent publications on public and business engagement - and the University's publication A Vital Partnership which was designed to engage the public and business.

We hope you find this information of use.

Dr Stuart Lee signature

Dr Stuart D Lee

Director, Computing Systems and Services

Oxford University Computing Services

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