The competition closed a while ago, just adding some details for the database.
British Library & Europe PubMed Central
Access to Understanding (science writing competition)
This was a competition, jointly organised by Europe PubMed Central and the British Library, in which PhD students and early career post-docs were required to submit a piece of no more than 800 words that summarised ‘a cutting-edge research article for a non-specialist audience’ (ie a lay summary).
The source articles were from PubMed Central (all freely accessible) and the articles were assessed according to these criteria:
- Does the entry explain the research correctly and in a way that is easy to understand?
- Does the entry explain why the research was done?
- Does the entry explain why the research is important?
More details, including links to the winner and runners-up, podcasts and mini bios of the judges at Science-writing Competition – Europe PubMed Central.
Patients Participate! – a conceptually similar project in which medical research charities involve patients and carers in creating lay summaries from health research papers. I went along to this one day event on 17 June 2011.
Science outreach: plain-language summaries for all research papers – a blog post about scientists writing lay summaries as part of their publicly-funded research work. I was particularly interested in the comment from @KellyMike about the fact that some research papers (and lay summaries) are going to need more context than what is available within the paper, something I’ve touched on myself in this blog posts: Patients and health research findings: accessing, discovering, understanding and putting them in context.
Then I wondered if the increase in diversity of readership that might accompany an increase in the open access-ness of papers would result in authors accommodating audiences other than their immediate peers when drafting papers: Might #AcademicSpring change the way in which journal articles (esp medical) are written?