Recapping the Top Five Most Viewed Posts of 2013 / Résumé des 5 billets les plus lus de 2013

The Mobilize This! blog had a total of over 17,000 views in 2013. In this post, we recap the top five most viewed blog stories of 2013.

Le blogue Mobilize This! a reçu plus de 17 000 visiteurs en 2013. Revoici les cinq billets qui vous ont le plus intéressés.

#5 with 177 views

Communities of Practice and Communities of Definition / Communautés de pratique et communautés de définition

First published on March 14, 2013

What happens when a diverse group of academics and government staff get together to discuss the role of the knowledge broker in the research to action cycle?  Lots of different opinions of course!  And this is exactly what happened at a recent meeting of the Guelph Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) Community of Practice. But perhaps, the more we differ, the more we might actually have in common.

Que se passe-t-il lorsqu’un groupe hétérogène formé de chercheurs et de travailleurs de la fonction publique se réunit afin de discuter du rôle de courtier de connaissances dans le cycle recherche-action. Un foule d’opinions diverses, évidemment! Et c’est exactement ce qui s’est produit lors d’une récente rencontre de la Communauté de pratique sur le circulation et le transfert des connaissances de Guelph. Peut-être qu’en fait, plus grandes sont les différences, plus le potentiel d’avoir quelque chose en commun est grand.

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I'm a researcher, why do I blog? post#4 with 181 views

I’m a Researcher, Why Do I Blog? / Je suis un chercheur, qu’est-ce que je fais ici à bloguer?

First published on August 7, 2013

This week’s blog post is a guest post from Dr. Will Gage. Dr. Gage is the Associate Dean, Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Health at York University the owner of the blog Don’t Fall, which shares on falls prevention research and expertise.

Le billet de cette semaine est signé par un blogueur invité, le docteur Will Gage. M. Gage est vice-doyen à la recherche et à l’innovation à la Faculté des soins de santé de l’Université York. Son cybercarnet intitulé Don’t Fall aborde des questions de recherche et d’expertise dans le domaine de la prévention des chutes.

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#3 with 200 views

Valorization / Valorisation

First published on January 29, 2013

Valorization is a term that was recently used to describe social innovation. I think it describes what some seek to accomplish in knowledge mobilization quite well. Trouble is the term “valorization” is no easier to understand than the term “knowledge mobilization”.

La valorisation est un terme qui a été utilisé récemment pour décrire l’innovation sociale. Je crois que cela décrit ce que certains tentent d’accomplir par la mobilisation des connaissances également. Le problème est que le terme « valorisation » n’est pas plus facile à comprendre que celui de « mobilisation des connaissances».

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#2 with 232 views

The International School of Research Impact Assessment, Barcelona, September 15-19

First published on May 22, 2013

The International School of Research Impact Assessment was held in Barcelona, Spain, on September 15-19, 2013. Kathryn Graham, a co-organizer of the five day school, shares some information about this exciting event in this guest post.

La première rencontre de « l’École internationale d’évaluation de l’impact de la recherche » a eu lieu à Barcelone, en Espagne, du 15 au 19 septembre 2013. Notre blogueuse invitée, Kathryn Graham, coorganisatrice de l’événement, nous renseigne ici sur cet atelier de cinq jours qui s’est avéré très stimulant.

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Top post of 2013#1 with 476 views

2013 York KMb Learning Events / Les activités d’apprentissage offertes par York MdC en 2013

First published on January 15, 2013

York KMb is offering sessions for researchers, staff and graduate students to help make their research relevant to professional practice and policy development.

York MdC offre des séances de formation à l’attention des professeurs, du personnel et des étudiants gradués afin de les aider à accroître la pertinence de leurs recherches sur le plan de la pratique professionnelle et du développement de politiques.

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I’m a researcher, why do I blog? / Je suis un chercheur, qu’est-ce que je fais ici à bloguer?

Will Gage, Associate Dean, Research & Innovation, Faculty of Health, York University

This week’s blog post is a guest post from Dr. Will Gage. Dr. Gage is the Associate Dean, Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Health at York University the owner of the blog Don’t Fall, which shares on falls prevention research and expertise.

Le billet de cette semaine est signé par un blogueur invité, le docteur Will Gage. M. Gage est vice-doyen à la recherche et à l’innovation à la Faculté des soins de santé de l’Université York. Son cybercarnet intitulé Don’t Fall aborde des questions de recherche et d’expertise dans le domaine de la prévention des chutes.

Dr. Will Gage

Dr. Will Gage

Six months ago I really didn’t even know what “blogging” was. I’d never read a blog. I knew only one person who blogged – my friend Matt, a photographer who was taking pictures of and writing about the Grand River in Kitchener-Waterloo. I recall from last summer a conversation with Matt about social media. What is this? Why do you “tweet”? Isn’t this a waste of time? He looked at me like I was crazy. I didn’t understand, I didn’t get social media, and from my perspective he was the crazy one. How things for me have changed.

Almost two years ago, I took up my current academic appointment as Associate Dean Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Health at York University. At that time I set about trying to have conversations with people across campus, about innovation. I’m a researcher myself, so the “research” part of the title was self-evident. But innovation, this was going to be a challenge. In my conversations, and in my reading on the topic (as any academic would, I attempted to gain a theoretical mastery of the topic while garnering no actual practical ability), I quickly realized that no two people had the same definition of “innovation”. Then I realized that no two industries seem to have the same definition of innovation. But this is a topic of conversation for another day. In these conversations and readings I kept coming across “social media” as an opportunity for academics to share the gospel of their research. Is that how researchers see their work? As gospel? So it was time for me to learn more. Maybe I was the crazy one, not Matt.

David and Michael really introduced me to the idea of academics blogging about their work for the sake of knowledge mobilization. They opened my eyes to the possibilities afforded by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress. I realized that this is innovation, at least by one definition of innovation. Academics can tell the story of their research and share their knowledge with everyone. Okay, it can be done. But why would anyone do this? People are more often than we’d like to believe guided by WIIFM – what’s in it for me? I don’t believe that the answer is self-evident to most researchers. But having said that, the research funding agencies want to know that we can, and do, translate our knowledge and disseminate it for public consumption, so maybe at the very least writing a blog helps a researcher to hone those lesser used skills around lay writing. But in my opinion this is not a compelling reason to write a blog.

I believe that a more compelling reason to write a blog is money. The Benjamins. (Do we Canadians say “The Bordens”? I’ve never heard that phrase used in bank heist movie). Not personal wealth, though that’s not off the table. No, I’m talking about research funding. I’m talking a little bit about peer-reviewed research funding – the Tri-councils and so on – but I’m mostly talking about donor funding. This is a conversation that I’m having with the Advancement Officer in Faculty of Health – can the stories that I’m writing on my blog be useful for informing potential donors about the value of my work, and the work of my colleagues in the field, such that it might make it easier to separate the donor from their dollars?

Dontfall.caWhat I’m writing on my blog are indeed stories. If I’m writing about knee replacement surgery and how the patient demographics are shifting and patients are getting younger and younger around the world (this is actually the topic of the blog post that I’m writing currently), well this can be intensely personal for the reader with severe knee arthritis who thinks she’ll have to live for the next 15 years with excruciating pain because she’s only 50 years right now. Who doesn’t know an older person who has fallen in the past year? If you have anyone over 65 years of age in your life, you probably do, even if you don’t realize it and they haven’t told you. Can this be an effective means to tell the public about our work? Can the material we write for our blogs prove valuable in the constant campaign to raise funding to support research? I think it can. I’m building a library of accessible material that can be repurposed for any number of reasons, one of which may be fundraising efforts.

I’ve come to learn that there are many reasons to adopt a social media strategy for disseminating your research. Thought-leaders like David and Michael have known this for years, I know. And one at a time, they’re converting people like me. I hope that you can take away from this article some ideas and rationale for dedicating some of your time to, perhaps, blogging about your work.

One last thought … as researchers we’re often confronted with collegial (and sometimes not so collegial) criticism pertaining to our work. My blog audience is grateful for the time I take and effort I devote. Their feedback is amazing. Invigorating. And when it follows on the heels of excoriating reviewer responses to my latest journal submission, it’s reinvigorating.