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ECAF: Untangling a COBWEB - What's it like to turn research

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Nicola Osborne

on 30 November 2016

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Transcript of ECAF: Untangling a COBWEB - What's it like to turn research

Untangling a COBWEB
Nicola Osborne, EDINA (nicola.osborne@ed.ac.uk)
@suchprettyeyes

https://cobwebproject.eu/ @cobwebfp7 #cobwebfp7
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 308513.
We are a
4
year project running from 2012-2016 (we've just finished our funded period).

We have been developing citizen science tools for environmental projects, particularly focused on UNESCO Biospheres
There are
13
project partners in 5 countries.

Around
89
people have been working on the project - academics, researchers, developers and computer scientists, environmental sciences, designers, NGOs, SMEs...
There have been
9
Work packages - discreet sub projects...
We worked with over
1000
volunteers in
7
co-design projects and trials across
3
countries.
We were supported by
€8.5 million
of funding from the European Union's Framework 7

initiative (EU FP7)...

And we have created
6
different components available on GitHub as Open Source code. We want them to have a long and productive life beyond our project...
Sounds great, what is a UNESCO Biosphere?
What a project meeting looks like...
And each one of these produces lots of "deliverables"...
But this is just one (important) part of our work...
That's a lot of money for a lot of work - we really need to be able to explain what we did...
But how can we tell people about them and how they came about?
How did this start?
Why did we
want
to turn our research into a comic?
It's a really exciting project...
We wanted a way to make an Impact... build excitement... explain what we'd done...
As one of
5
Citizens' Observatory projects
(But it is really hard to explain...)
NON-FICTION COMICS SEEMED LIKE A BRILLIANT, PLAYFUL, RICH MEDIUM...
What we learned...
1. Plan ahead - we left it pretty late so we are still blown away that this was possible at all. It only was because of luck and lots of fast hard work.

2. Be honest about timelines and talk about costs and formats right up front.

3. Have a clear idea of your audience and what they need to know about your research - what is the purpose of the comic? Who is it for?

4. Think about the story and key messages - what will your comic cover? What doesn't need to be there?

5. Think about what will be interesting, fun, important. What information can you provide your collaborators? What do you need to explain?

6. Trust your the comics experts! Give them the space to make something wonderful.

7. Do give clear and honest feedback and be available to check in, to discuss, to clarify.

8. Comics are awesome (ok, we knew that) and really engaging. Initial feedback has been fantastic!
Found through Happy accident
The process started with...

1. A meeting and long very open chat...
About the idea & timeline.
Was it possible to do?
How this would this work?
What it would cost?
What next?
Then...
2. Outlining & Structure
3. Scripting & review
4. Storyboarding & art
And gradually...
5. Finalising Pages
6. Colour!
7. Lettering
almost there...
Hang on... Do we have Title?!
8. title, cover, glossary, final details
9. Digital & Print distribution
ENORMOUS THANKS TO...
Sha Nazir and Kirsty Hunter


Clare Forrest

Kirk Kristofferson
Jack Lothian

And all at BHP Comics.

And all my COBWEB colleagues and collaborators who were part of this.
Also...
Lots of skype calls, emails, check ins, drafts...
Questions?
Plus.... Lots of information
What's it like to turn research into comics?
Full transcript