Research reports and blogs

We know that evidence and insight are the bedrock of positive decision-making. We also know that sharing knowledge is the only way for communities to survive, let alone thrive.

Therefore, we are passionate about using our expertise to produce research reports and blogs that inform the sectors we serve, as well as our own market research community.

Public-facing research reports

Some of our work is confidential, as clients develop new products and services, while most is only used by their internal teams to inform strategy. However, we are proud that some of our research reports for clients have been made public, including those below.

UKRI – Research Culture in the UK

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) commissioned Shift – in collaboration with the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) – Vitae and the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) – to create a knowledge base of UK research culture initiatives. After the call for evidence identified 347 initiatives, we mapped these into a comprehensive framework for further analysis, before producing an overview of the current landscape and opportunities for the Good Practice Exchange.

Read the public-facing report on the UKRI website

    Logos for UKRI, CRAC-Vitae and UKRN

    Nature – Global postdoc survey 2023

    We have worked with Nature on many research projects over the years, including a global postdoc survey in 2023, from which they published two publicly available articles on their website:

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    A third article around postdoc career optimism post-COVID can be accessed via subscription.

    Springer Nature – The State of Open Data 2023

    The State of Open Data – run as a collaboration between Springer Nature, Figshare and Digital Science – is the longest-running longitudinal study into researchers’ attitudes towards open data. Shift managed development and initial analysis of the global survey, which received over 6,000 responses in 2023.

    Read the full report on the Digital Science website

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    Cengage – Student Voices 2023

    We conduct regular Student Voices research with Cengage, a global education and technology company. In 2023, the goal was to explore student needs and motivations, with the aim of identifying ways to help the HE community deliver improved study experiences and outcomes. We conducted desk research and an international student survey before compiling two reports. 

    Download the public report from the Cengage website

    Wellcome Global researcher interviews

    We supported the Reimagine Research campaign for Wellcome by conducting 90 cognitive interviews and a global survey of over 4,000 research professionals. The final report is available on the Wellcome site and you can read more about our research in this Shift Learning case study.

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    Free and independent research reports

    Alongside bespoke research designs that address client needs, we try to make time to produce our own publicly available research, sometimes in partnership with other sector experts, to inform and inspire organisations. For example, you can explore our Shift Sustainability reports, including around Afro-hair discrimination and climate action education.

    Market research method blogs

    We also believe in sharing knowledge with our own community to help us move forward together, so we hope you find the following reports and blogs useful.

    Incentive insights: boosting the appeal of research participation

    In this age of survey fatigue and data distrust, we’re often asked how to boost survey response rates. So we decided to explore – and then share – the impact and interactions of a few factors, including incentives and interest. We conducted a survey with over 1,000 participants, before using conjoint analysis to explore different scenarios and build a simulator to play what-if games. You can download this PDF report to discover what we found.

    Mobile ethnography: tapping into market research success

    We have a huge opportunity to combine increasing smartphone proficiency with traditional ethnography to explore respondents’ behaviours, attitudes and perspectives in real-time, at their own pace. We regularly use the Indeemo platform to conduct mobile ethnography and have partnered with them to blog about our approach, including case studies showing the benefits of this method.

    Stamping out survey sinners and cleaning up your data

    We created a survey exploring attitudes towards climate change and peppered it with a few tricks we’ve picked up (and are happy to share) in order to identify the bots, cheaters and disengaged respondents that produce poor-quality responses and hamper survey analysis. Which could you use to weed out survey sinners?

    You can find out about other research we have conducted for clients across our three specialisms by visiting:

    You can also visit our About area to explore who we are and our quality and values.