R4J Publish First Journal Article & Offer Repository Demos

Happy New Year to you all. We hope you enjoyed the festivities! To start the new year off we have a few exciting announcements to make …

Firstly, the Research4Justice founders have published their first journal article on the development of their Research Database as a novel pre-print server for international justice systems. As founders of an open access platform, we try to ensure that any of our publications are free and accessible to all, and we thank Forensic Science International: Synergy‘s Editor-in-Chief for helping us make this happen.

To accompany this announcement, we have also updated our Justice Toolkit,
and list of international resources. New resources include a link to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), which we hope will help you find other high quality, open access journals that contain published research articles of relevance to the justice system and beyond.

“Thank you so much for sharing such a useful resource … I have found incredible insight for different subjects in your posts.”
[JOURNALIST, OCT 2019]

Secondly, we now have a working demo of our Research Repository! In December we started showcasing our demo to a number of UK academics, student researchers and policing professionals, gaining some great feedback.

If you would like to arrange a demonstration and/or discuss how our Research Repository and wider Research4Justice platform could be used by you and those in your organisation, please get in touch with us. Dr Rachel Bolton-King would be happy to talk to you about the platform, how you could implement it within your organisation and consider the appropriate methods for training users moving forward.

Rachel continues to work with Jisc to develop their Open Research Hub for our application, and when the next phase of development is complete a further update will be provided. We hope that you enjoy reading our article to learn more about our new subject-specific resource and look forward to receiving your comments and feedback.

Research4Justice is a not-for-profit initiative for the benefit of global society. To achieve its full potential for all users in the community we will require human support and annual sponsorship. If you and/or your organisation would like to support the development of Research4Justice in any way, then please contact Rachel directly and we look forward to you joining us on this exciting journey.

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The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust: A vital source of support for advancing emergency services and criminal justice practices in the UK

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Over the years, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has been a significant source of support for practitioners and academics seeking to improve public services in UK society.

Each year, up to 150 Travelling Fellowships are awarded to any UK citizen who is over 18 and proposes a project that will provide a significant impact on our society. The project can be in any field of interest to the applicant and a list of topics can be seen on their website.

In our context, the Trust supports projects that investigate international approaches and enable the sharing of best practice within emergency service provision, forensic science, legal services and prison reform, for example.

In March, the Trust announced those who were successfully awarded 2019 Churchill Travelling Fellowships, including:

If you are interested in any of these projects, click on their name to get in touch with them and click on the topic of their project to access their blog.

Previous Churchill Fellows have covered a wide variety of topics of relevance to the Research4Justice community, including prisoner rehabilitation, challenges in policing, improvements to sexual offence reporting, mental health support and suicide prevention intitiatives.

The reports from some Fellowships can be accessed online and download for reading. You can search the Trust’s report library using specific keywords, categories and even countries of interest to see the full range of projects that the Trust has supported over the years. Some downloadable examples include:

By searching the Trust’s Directory of Fellows you will also discover more about the 2018 Fellows who have just completed their travels. Obviously, due to the nature of our research, you may need to contact a Fellow directly to gain access to their findings if their reports were unsuitable for sharing online.

Have you been inspired to apply for a Fellowship yourself? Then please read the application section of their website where you can register to be informed when applications open on 16 May 2019 for 2020 Fellowships. The categories to which you can apply are extensive and there is also an open category, so your project really can be about anything.

Lots of time left to get your ideas going and good luck with your applications!

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EAFS 2018

Last week saw the launch of Research4Justice at the 8th European Academy of Forensic Sciences (EAFS) conference in Lyon, France. The event was attended by over 800 delegates from 57 countries specialising across forensic disciplines with lawyers, police officers and scientists in attendance.

The abstract submitted to EAFS 2018 can be accessed here and our e-poster will be made available through the Staffordshire University Online Repository.

This was our first opportunity to reach such a global audience and some excellent conversations were had; keen interest was shown from both academic researchers and practitioners across Europe who could see the value of our initiative. With the dissemination of our cards, our Twitter followers have now reached over 200, with practitioner followers reaching as far as Abu Dhabi and USA. This shows the great job everyone in the community is doing to help us slowly spread the word across the globe!

In August, the website activity rose again, with visitors from over 11 countries. Three more international universities have shown support for adding students’ research outputs into the database once launched. We are due to meet with Jisc for an update on database developments later in September, so keep watching this space and we will let you know as soon as we have more information! Thank you for your support and patience so far.

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Research4Justice Community & Justice Toolkit Launch

Monday 11th June saw the formal launch of the online Research4Justice community at the first FIT-IN Research Symposium hosted by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences in Birmingham.

“The event was fully booked with a superb mix of delegates. Enthusiastic research discussions could be heard throughout the day between academics, student researchers, forensic and policing practitioners; it is a really exciting time!”

Associate Professor Rachel Bolton-King, one of the Research4Justice founders and project lead, demonstrated the Justice Toolkit, a continuously developing resource for international researchers and practitioners. The founders asked attendees to review the toolkit and provide feedback to ensure relevant and inclusive content for justice-related research across all relevant disciplines. As a growing community, we also asked for users to inform us of any existing, changing or emerging resources for inclusion in the multi-disciplinary toolkit.

Delegates were updated with the development of the Research4Justice research database, which is being developed by Jisc and will be launched online later in 2018. Due to the launch of the Research4Justice online community, future database users can now access a wealth of information about the repository, how to prepare content and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, for example.

An online space for FIT-IN was also demonstrated, with details for how users can contact FIT-IN and provide them with valuable feedback for the network’s future development. Please see the live Twitter feed from the event using #FIT_INetwork to see an overview of the topics presented and the range of police-academia research that is already underway.

“We urge our current community to help us spread the word about Research4Justice through their professional connections, using social media (@Res4Just), websites, blogs and verbal communication.”

Dr Rachel Bolton-King, Staffordshire University

To secure the future of the community from August 2019 Research4Justice are seeking sponsorship from organisations who will benefit from the toolkit, repository and provision of online networking.

We therefore have 12 months to extensively grow our international community, demonstrate impact and prove the value of this resource to ensure the content remains free to all individual users.

The feeling from delegates after the event was really positive. There seemed to be some real motivation and forward-thinking actions resulting from the discussions initiated during this event. We would like to thank all the event organisers, presenters and delegates for making this event so memorable and creating a valuable opportunity for us all to share latest developments in research across academia and industry.

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