It can be difficult when you’re in the thick of frontline work or local activism to find time to read, think, formulate ideas and link day-to-day work to social policy or political theory.
But free access to academic research is one small step to help with new ideas and boost the links between theory and practice. (And at least it’s a better use of resources to open up academic research than to open up our public services to private sector sharks.)
The report, ‘Benefits of Open Access to Scholarly Research for Voluntary and Charitable Sector Organisations’ highlights a couple of free research tools that are worth checking out:
- The Knowledge Portal is an online database created by the Third Sector Research Centre and the British Library that brings together research information on voluntary organisations, community activity and social enterprise. http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/Research/KnowledgePortal/tabid/840/Default.aspx
- Welfare Reform on the Web gives access to research information on social welfare issues. http://www.bl.uk/welfarereform/ (Information currently available here will soon transfer to a new Social Welfare at the British Library portal to make it easier to access the full range of research.)
If open access to scholarly research is your thing, you can read the full report here: