Who is academic podcasting for? Bella´s Research Results


Academic podcasting is enjoying a steady increase in engagement across all fields. But who is it for? Bella investigated how academic podcasting is perceived and received by audiences.


Perhaps you remember Bella from an earlier episode (Calling our listeners) in which we asked you to participate in her research project on Academic podcasting. Maybe you even participated in her survey. Listen to this episode if you want to find out what Bella found. Bella´s project was made possible through the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Scheme (SURE).


Who is academic podcasting for? My study investigates this and delves into sub-questions like “when is a podcast academic enough?” as well as issues relating to accessibility. Using a 12-question qualitative survey followed by interviews, I investigated how academic podcasting is perceived and received by audiences.

My findings are based on 40 survey responses (80% of respondents were affiliated with academia) and 7 interviews with a mix of non-academics, postgraduate and undergraduate students, and experts from the field of academic podcasting. Each interview was 10-20 minutes long.
My findings were interesting and at times contradicting:
-85% of respondents had used and were familiar with academic podcasting (and they knew of The IMISCOE Migration Podcast). They used this medium for research and leisure. Some had appeared in episodes. Despite listening to podcasts, about 25% were not comfortable using podcasts to showcase their own work.
- 96% thought it was a more accessible medium to communicate academic research.
-More than once, interviewees described academic podcasts as a ‘liberating and fun’ approach
- based on the interviews, it seems that academic podcasting is suited for a broad audience
- In an expert interview, critique was voiced regarding the need to further develop the practice of academic podcasting, and to think of possibilities for the podcast to be more interactive rather than unidirectional.

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