At a basic level, researchers and health care professionals are in the business of communication. Our target audiences (e.g., other researchers + students versus patients + families) may differ somewhat, and the way that information is shared (e.g., academic papers or seminars versus clinician-to-patient or family conversations) can vary; however, we share common goals in our work to inform and educate.
A number of factors impact the effectiveness of our communication. Take jargon, for instance. We’ve all had conversations or read a passage from a book when a word or acronym was unfamiliar. Sometimes this can occur when we work in more than one corporate culture, each with its own unique phrases, terms, and acronyms. Sometimes people will use more ‘sophisticated’ words (or even more words) when a simple word or phrase will be just as good…and even better understood.
I’ve read countless papers, theses, and research grants over the years. What separates the great ones from the less-than-great ones? Often, it’s the ease with which information is presented…understandable, easy to read…and free of jargon.