Community Based Research Inventory Enhances Access to Research in Toronto / Un inventaire de la recherche communautaire facilite l’accès à la recherche à Toronto

Michael Johnny, RIR – York

A new inventory of Community Based Research (CBR) released by the York University – TD Community Engagement Centre (CEC) will help support knowledge mobilization.

Un nouvel inventaire de la recherche communautaire lancé par York University – TD Community Engagement Centre (CEC) facilitera la mobilisation des connaissances.

Accessing research is a significant challenge for effective knowledge mobilization (KMb). Traditional research is disseminated via scholarly publication; but Community Based Research does not always get published, which leaves a gap. What projects have been undertaken, who are leaders in research in my community, and how can one access past research findings are all relevant questions which consume time and energy for researchers – both academics and community-based researchers, as well as community leaders.  The York University – TD Community Engagement Centre (CEC) has developed a new and innovative resource to help answer these questions within the Jane-Finch/Black Creek community of Toronto.  A new Community-Based Research (CBR) Inventory, an online resource, will support access and exchange of information on past and current projects, promote collaboration, and ultimately promote positive change and social equity in this community.

The CEC is committed to promoting knowledge that us useful and germane to the community—knowledge that the community has helped produce—while simultaneously acknowledging the expertise that exists outside the university structure. CBR involves the cooperation of many stakeholders and this inventory is part of the CEC’s efforts to showcase the efforts and results of past and current research so that researchers are able to build on what’s gone before and create initiatives based on what’s already been done; and so that the community is in a better position to see and evaluate the relevance to issues they’ve identified as important.

With this new resource being recently released there is excitement and anticipation that this CBR Inventory can help support the information sharing process which is critical for KMb.  As a knowledge broker at York University, I know first-hand of other communities and thematic disciplines which would welcome the chance to access such a resource.  Yet it is important at this stage to effectively pilot this tool, explore its operational functionality, enable the CEC to gauge its effectiveness and also explore how it would like to consider scaling this tool, so I will preach patience and help promote this as a significant opportunity for researchers, community leaders and decision makers to access resources and information that is important to them and their work.  Congratulations to the CEC on an impressive project which has far-reaching potential in supporting KMb!

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