A Summer of Summaries / Un été en résumés

David Phipps (RIR- York)

The ResearchSnapshot clear language research summary database holds 170 summaries. Thanks to a summer of writing at York University and collaborations with ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche universities and other knowledge mobilization organizations this number is poised to triple over the next few months.

La banque de résumés en langage claire ResearchSnapshot contient désormais 170 items. Grâce au travail estival de l’université de York, en collaboration avec des universités du RéseauImpactRecherche – ResearchImpact ainsi qu’avec d’autres organisations de mobilisation des connaissances, ce nombre est amené à tripler dans les prochains mois.

School has begun and it’s time not only to look forward to planning for another academic year of knowledge mobilization services but to also look back on the work of the summer. We held a very successful KMb Expo introducing social innovation, the outcome of the process of knowledge mobilization. We travelled to CUExpo, CAURA and Congress where the most frequently heard question was “how can my university join ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche?”  We started the KMb journal club. We got two papers accepted in peer reviewed journals and were invited to write a chapter in a forthcoming book.

And we wrote in clear language. A lot.  Last year, we published 28 new ResearchSnapshot clear language research summaries. This year summer we completed 44 summaries that will be posted in our online searchable database which already contains 170 ResearchSnapshot. In June, we committed to writing about social determinants of health. We are pleased that 21 of the 44 completed research summaries deal with issues related to social determinants of health, those social factors such as poverty, immigration, disability, education that contribute to health inequities. This collection will be a valuable resource for our recently awarded grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to undertake community based knowledge brokering for social determinants of health.

In addition, we have written clear language summaries of research from the University of Victoria and have collaborated with our York University KMb colleagues at the Homeless Hub to produce some of their research summaries in the ResearchSnapshot format. One example is the research produced in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that is summarized in the ResearchSnapshot “While home ownership has increased, more people are at risk of homelessness in the cities.”

But wait… there’s more.  We also announced the collaboration with our RIR partner, the University of Guelph, to write clear language summaries of Guelph research.  This collaboration is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs who will fund York to train students in clear language writing and design principles so that Guelph students can write up to 144 clear language research summaries that will be used for a variety of purposes but will also be posted on the RIR searchable database.

And there is still more… On May 25 we told you about our clear language collaboration with the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research, a collaboration of all 13 Ontario Faculties of Education. KNAER is hosted at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education. This group has already produced 100 clear language research summaries. Over the next few months we shall be formatting their content into our ResearchSnapshot format and posting in our database.

Had enough?  We haven’t.  We have also been working with the Ontario Mental Health & Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network.  Hosted at CAMH, OMHAKEN’s goal is to create and to share the knowledge about services and supports to build a better mental health and addictions system. They are writing 42 clear language research summaries and we shall format those and post as ResearchSnapshot.

Once all this is done we will have close to 500 clear language research summaries in the ResearchSnapshot searchable database. More importantly, this will represent a KMb collaboration of RIR universities and other academic institutions such as CAMH and OISE, as well as our partners such as the United Way of York Region and all the research collaborators such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

This all started with a small SSHRC grant in 2008 and we’ve been writing ever since. Thanks to our writers this past summer, York students Jason Guriel, Paula Elias and Andrei Sedoff as well as to all those students at Guelph, CAMH and OISE and the faculty members without whose research we would have nothing to summarize.

Paula Elias

Jason Guriel

Andrei Sedoff

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