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Alternative Communication Formats—Bridging the Last Mile

The original promise of an Open Access model of publishing was to make research outcomes available to the public who paid for the research to have taken place through publicly funded research grants. As a result, the movement toward OA publishing has taken on a life of its own as a commercial publishing strategy, driven by many factors. Yet, how are we actually doing in fulfilling one of the fundamental promises of OA—actually getting research findings into the hands of the public, policymakers, and practitioners in a usable format that actually affects change, rather than just making research findings more accessible to researchers? The two goals are quite different! This webinar will discuss motivations and models and present case studies about how to deliver on the promise to make research outcomes truly accessible and actionable. Addressing this “Last Mile” of research communication is critical to informing and empowering those who make policies and laws, which influence responsible corporate and personal behavior, and who help shape public perception.
Publication Date
2023 | Feb 23
webinar, alternative communication formats


The SSP webinar program delivers a series of highly informative, thought-provoking webinars designed to challenge and stimulate discussion. Covering timely topics and offered regularly throughout the year, our one-hour webinars are available for viewing 180 days after the live broadcast.

Alexa Colella


Product Manager - Professional Services, Research Square

Alexa Colella a Product Manager at Research Square Company. Professionally, she is interested in helping researchers improve their work and enable their success throughout the research communication timeline, particularly in how researchers reach lay audiences. Personally, she is committed to helping advance the humanities as a critical part of our broader discourse. She is interested in how scholarly communication initiatives can raise and support all disciplines in tandem.

Blythe Thomas


Initiative Director, 1,000 Days

Blythe is the Initiative Director at 1,000 Days, an Initiative of FHI Solutions, working to win support for investments in the nutrition and well-being of mothers, babies and toddlers in the U.S. and around the world. Blythe is focused on growing the organization’s influence and shaping the national dialogue with media, policymakers, partner organizations and parents. As the initiative director, she manages fundraising, strategic planning, business development and an amazing team of advocates on issues related to food, nutrition, maternal, infant and young child health and development in the first 1,000 days.

Chirag Jay Patel


Head of Sales, R Discovery Content Partnerships, and UNSDG lead, Cactus Communications

Chirag “Jay” Patel is a business development professional with Cactus Communications and specializes in working with publishers and professional societies on the implementation of AI solutions. He wants to improve the user experience by utilizing AI to better classify content, make content easier to discover and find, build custom content collections, simplify access, and personalize the content. He also leads the SDG initiative at Cactus Communications, which is a signatory of the SDG Publishers Compact. Before joining Cactus Communications, he advised various startups developing solutions for advertising, virtual conferences, producing video content, and journal publishing. When he is not working on AI solutions, he likes to goof around with his kids, read, listen to a podcast, spend time in the garden, or go for a walk.

Debra Rowe


President, Founder and Facilitator, US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

Among her many accomplishments and initiatives, Debra is the founder and facilitator of the SDG Publishers Compact Fellows program. President of the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and a professor of sustainable energies, Dr. Rowe is committed to aligning education and research with the Sustainable Development Goals and connecting practitioners with researchers and students for improved curricula, research, career advising and workforce development for the emerging green and sustainable economy. She recently co-authored the Global Guidance Document on Education for Green Jobs with UNEP-YEA and facilitates their Green Jobs Initiative.

Kara Mitzel


Director of Development, Annual Reviews

Kara Mitzel was appointed Annual Reviews’ first Director of Development in May 2020. Kara works with Annual Reviews’ staff, volunteer leadership, and stakeholders to increase philanthropic support for Annual Reviews’ mission to synthesize and integrate knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society. A professional working in the field for 20 years, she has passion for ensuring that researchers, students, and the general public can access and understand expert scientific knowledge.