In the Researchers Roundtable, the main point for discussion was the feasibility study for the Global Urban Research network. Issues brought up include the need to better define the network’s value added and develop a viable financing plan. It was pointed out that the network’s main beneficiaries (Southern Universities, civil society, urban professionals) were not adequately represented at the meeting. The ability of university researchers to contribute to the network was also questioned, given the existing model of university research which is driven by publishing requirements. However, it is moving beyond this ivory tower paradigm that produces research for research’s sake and instead – as one participant called it – connecting the producers, users and facilitators of research, which excited a good number of participants. A very concrete recommendation which received plenty of support at the roundtable was developing an open source online journal / facility, thought this was seen as a challenge by others who pointing out that the peer review process ensured quality and that minimum ethical standards were adhered to.
More information of the background to the Global Urban Research Network can be found here