Online Harassment as a Barrier to Research Communication

Online harassment and abuse constitute a significant barrier to research communication. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is becoming a more prevalent and consistent concern for researchers across sectors, from academia, to government, and industry, and a growing body of evidence suggests that research communicators from equity-deserving groups are disproportionately targeted and affected.  With these concerns in mind, this Insight Development Grant-funded project, lead by Dr. George Veletsianos and Dr. Jaigris Hodson, examines the needs for support of researchers and scholars who have been targeted with online abuse in the context of doing their work, as well as the extent to which institutions are prepared to protect and support their faculty and staff in the event of an online attack. Prioritizing the experiences of equity-deserving researchers and employing intersectional feminist analyses, this ongoing project’s objective is to assess and make recommendations for institutions to improve support for their faculty and staff.

We have mobilized our research efforts and results in diverse and multimodal ways for academic and non-academic audiences, including through peer-reviewed publications, presentations, op-eds, simulations, and research shorts.