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Writing in plain English

It is very important to use clear language when writing for the public.

Further guidance is available from the Plain English Campaign. NIHR have produced a glossary of terms and acronyms that it may be helpful to consult. You may also wish to share it with your public contributors.

It may also be necessary to translate adverts into languages other than English for those who are not fluent English speaker, or to write in Easy Read for people with low literacy levels or learning disabilities, or to use British Sign Language interpreters for D/Deaf contributors (D refers to those people who are sign language users and Deaf refers to those who are hard of hearing but who have English as their first language and may lip-read and/or use hearing aids).

Social Media

Social media platforms are used daily and extensively by groups of people and organisations worldwide. Social media enables inexpensive information sharing and interactions with large numbers of people across many geographical locations. 

Research study findings benefit patients, the public and other researchers and  need to be shared widely with these audiences. The NIHR also encourages an open access policy for research findings. Social media offers unique opportunities to share knowledge and involve many people. There are a variety of platforms able to reach a range of audiences.

Each platform currently reaches a different audience: 

  • Facebook is predominantly used by those aged 35+
  • LinkedIn targets professionals, jobseekers, entrepreneurs, and others who want to create professional networks
  • Twitter has over 15 million registered users in the UK alone with 33% of those aged 15- 24 years 
  • YouTube has more than 35 million users in the UK, the most active users are 25 – 44 year olds
  • The number of UK TikTok users is expected to reach 10 million by 2021 with over a quarter of those users being female aged18-24

Social Media platforms

Social media platforms used by the organisations who produced this Guidance are:

Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)

Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Applied Research Centre (ARC)

Medical Sciences Division (MSD)

Support sharing PPI information and research-related work across Social Media

The communication contacts below provide support to researchers who want to share PPI opportunities or other research-related information across social media networks.

Not all departmental contacts are listed here as each department has their own staff and roles. Please make direct contact with the communications team for the department required.


NIHR Oxford Health BRC

Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

NIHR Applied Research Centre

Medical Sciences Division