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The CDI is piloting a reading discussion format for a publication we think will help a lot of us in our daily jobs.

The USGS Circular "Get Your Science Used -- Six Guidelines to Improve Your Products" by Perry et al., 2016, came out of a workshop between USGS scientists and experts in risk communication. The reading offers insights, tips, and strategies for making products that a targeted audience can understand and use.

Description: Discussion of the USGS Circular "Get Your Science Used -- Six Guidelines to Improve Your Products" by Perry et al., 2016. 

The one-hour session will have a short summary of the guidelines, then a working session and discussion on how we can apply these guidelines to our own work. The session will be led by Leslie Hsu, your CDI coordinator.

When: Jul 25, 2018 3:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Download and read: Best results will be achieved if you read the publication beforehand, but there won't be any quizzes.

More information at:

Sign up here to stay updated and receive a reminder: The session is open to anyone interested.

Notes from the Discussion

In addition to what is on the slides, here are some questions, topics, and links that were shared by the participants:

  1. Interest-influence grids

    1. From “This is a useful map to help understand the need for communication and potential resistance to change. 'Interest' indicates their likely concern about change, whilst 'Influence' indicates their ability resist and hence stimulates your concern.”

    2. Also called Power/Interest Grid for Stakeholder Prioritization

    3. Google for more examples.

  2. We talked about how text analyzers for literacy level may be inaccurate, but they are still fun to play with, and can tell you if you are broadly off the mark.



  3. In “Define your goals,” identifying your audience is one of the items. Some of us found that thinking about what you want to communicate, before determining the audiences, might help you find new audiences.

  4. The USGS (and in general) peer review process seems to assume that the audience for a product is like us (the creator), but that may not be the case! Trying to get an “outside” reviewer that is more like your targeted audience may be quite useful.

  5. A few notes about asking for guidance from representatives of your audience... find people who will give you honest feedback. Too many professionals (teachers in particular) are so thrilled to be asked that they end up being 'rubber stampers' rather than providing well-thought through and helpful feedback.  Discussion: how do you know if they’ll give honest feedback? Answer: some people who are very engaged in asking questions in the creation process show that they have interest and could be good potential reviewers.

  6. Tip: Stop with the acronyms! Spell them out because there’s always the chance that someone comes along that does not know the acronym.

  7. The USGS has resources for Evaluation - The Office of Communications can help there, CDI will contact them to ask about resources we can share.

  8. How do we explain concepts like probability to people who aren’t familiar with it? There are ways to go about it, Anne Wein said that people could get in contact with her if they are interested in that topic.

  9. Plain writing example plea from the USGS:

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