You’re used to reading about York’s KM Unit and ResearchImpact in this blog as well as on Twitter @researchimpact. Occasionally we get some press that we don’t have to write like the article on KM in Canada done by University Affairs (April 7, 2008). Now we’ve passed peer review. In the August 2009 edition of Evidence & Policy, David Phipps and Stan Shapson published “Knowledge mobilisation builds local research collaborations for social innovation”. Read the abstract here. The paper positions York’s KM Unit amongst other initiatives to link research to practice including the ubiquitous technology transfer office but also offices such as the University of Brighton’s Community University Partnership Program (shout out to Angie Hart for her wonderful work). We ground our work in Lavis’ KTE methods of producer push, user pull and knowledge exchange [J. Health Serv. Res. Policy (2003) 8(3):165] and we extend those to include the co-production of knowledge.
From the paper, key lessons learned (ok, learning) include:
- Developing an institutional capacity to support KT (as institutions support technology commercialization) results in benefits to the institution, researchers, graduate students and research users
- It takes time to break down community–university barriers and develop trust. Care must be taken to manage expectations on both sides.
- The use of broadband technology to connect stakeholders over distance and over time can facilitate research utilization over a large geographical area
- Community/government partners are earlier adopters of the services of the KT unit than faculty
- Decision-maker partners must be engaged throughout the planning, funding, delivery and evaluation of the KT Unit
We are delighted that Evidence & Policy agreed to receive our article and that its peer reviewers recommended it for publication. Evidence & Policy is an important journal for KM. “Evidence & Policy is the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to comprehensive and critical assessment of the relationship between research evidence and the concerns of policy makers and practitioners, as well as researchers” (Read more here). We are delighted because our work is hitting a wider audience. We’re delighted because of the validation this provides to our work. And I am delighted because this is my first peer reviewed publication in 12 years but I remain grounded because I recognize that recognition of peers is nice but the continued validation provided by partners is more valuable. As Kathleen Bloom wisely points out, “impact is determined by the user” not by academic peers.