Let’s face it, as a researcher nowadays you need to think about so much more than you used to when it comes to open access, research data management, and the REF. As library staff we were struggling to get the main messages across, and we weren’t sure that what we were saying was actually sticking.

So in addition to the more traditional methods of communication, we decided to take a completely different approach and invented a board game to make learning about these key topics as enjoyable as possible! The feedback we’ve had so far has been great. Players have had fun and have learnt from each other throughout the game as answering the questions has triggered a lot of discussion between players and library staff.

We have been amazed at how brilliant you all are – you know an awful lot and we hope this game can fill in a few gaps, or provide helpful tips that you can take back and use in your work. We’ve also learnt a lot about what you think about the library and our services, and this has been a totally unexpected benefit for us.

We are now on to the second version of the game and we’re really happy with it, although we’re sure we’ll keep developing it. It’s a simple game for up to four players or teams, based on board games that we’ve all played in the past where you move your counter (which is a tiny aeroplane, as we’re at Cranfield after all!) around the board, moving backwards or forwards depending upon your luck, knowledge, or research practice when answering questions. The player who reaches the end first wins!

If you fancy playing the game, contact Emma Turner who will be organising sessions soon. You can also drop by to join in or watch a game, or simply answer some of the questions for a quick version, at our research support stands in:

  • B52 Forum first Tuesday of the month, 11-1 pm;
  • B83 Forum first Wednesday of the month, 11-1 pm;
  • Slim Atrium first Thursday of the month, 12-2 pm.

Does your team like some friendly competition? Let us know and we’ll bring our game over.

If you don’t work at Cranfield but still want to join in the fun, we are creating a generic version of the game which will be available for purchase soon. Watch this space. In the meantime you can look at some photos and further information on the game in our Impact Game collection on figshare.

1