The Research Exchange Index (REx) speaks to and expands on Rich Haswell’s call for replicable, aggregable, data-driven research and to our field’s need for more readily available research models and mentors. In addition, REx is a site for both well known and otherwise unpublished, local studies conducted over the last ten years: all those studies of tutors and writers for your training; those reports on users and the progress they make that you haven’t published; that study someone else did that you replicated. We want these and published studies entered into our simple check-the-box/short answer form in order to help researchers, teachers, and other writing stakeholders address a wide range of concerns:
- We have a standing need for access to research and researchers working on issues of shared concern.
- Many important, even exemplary projects go unpublished, especially projects conducted for local audiences by writing centers, writing programs, or workplace and community groups; these valuable projects can and should be “counted” and aggregated with other studies.
- Many useful studies by graduate and undergraduate students performed as part of internships, coursework, and thesis projects, are not collected as part of the data that informs our field.
- Research in schools (K-12) as well as research in different communities and workplaces is often neglected across communities, difficult to find.
- All research is “international”; we need to collect and connect our studies across borders.
In addressing these and other needs, REx is designed to be more comprehensive than a bibliography of previously published work. And data from studies that led to published work can be entered because REx only asks for quick summaries that will be searchable: you can even highlight your publication by providing a link to it. REx will serve as a combination roster of active researchers and treasure trove of information about what researchers are studying and why.
We are now soliciting research reports during an initial 18 month collection period, from November 2011 through May 1, 2013. After the collection period closes, REx editors will review contributors’ materials, check facts, and copyedit the database contents to ensure its content searchability. Ultimately, the database along with scholarly essays about its contents will be submitted to an online publisher for review and open access publication. And the next collection period will begin again.
Visit REx now <http://researchexchange.colostate.edu/> and enter at least one past, current, or on-going project!