Mama always told me, “share your toys” / Ma mère m’a toujours dit : « partage des jouets! »

By David Phipps, RIR-York

Sharing knowledge is central to knowledge mobilization. Thanks to a recently published paper, David Phipps (RIR-York) is now able to share his KMb toys.

Partager le savoir est un élément central de la mobilisation des connaissances. Grâce à un article publié récemment, David Phipps (RIR-York) est désormais en mesure de partager ses jouets de MdC.

Peter Levesque (Knowledge Mobilization Works) says “sharing is the new selfish”.  Or maybe it’s “sharing is the new black”. Whichever it is he means that sharing is the currency of knowledge mobilization (KMb). At RIR-York we have an ongoing debate about how much of our “KMb secret” should we give away outside of our ResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (RIR) colleagues. Well, thanks to a recent paper our “secret”, if we ever had one, is out in the open.  We’re sharing our KMb toys and we want you to play with us.

We first articulated our suite of KMb services in a blog on Mobilize This! on April 20, 2010.We described all of our KMb services and how they each mapped onto KMb theory. But we were light on detail. Now, 21 months later, the details of this have been published in Scholarly & Research Communications, a journal managed out of Simon Fraser University. We describe in detail each of our KMb services and illustrate each with an example from our practice.

KMb Method KMb Service Notes
Producer Push #1 Clear language research summaries Develop clear language research summaries from completed faculty research.
#2 Lunch and Learn Seminar series at decision-maker sites.
User Pull #3 Research translation help desk Use current knowledge broker model to help decision-maker partners identify, develop, and sustain collaborations with researchers.
Knowledge Exchange #4 Research forums KM in the AM: Monthly thematic knowledge mobilization breakfasts.
Co-production #5 Social media to support collaboration Provide support for full suite of social media tools including blogging, delicious bookmarks, Twitter, and social collaboration tools.
#6 KMb interns Graduate student KMb interns work in research collaborations with decision-maker partners.


After describing the services and offering conclusions based on five years’ experience running an institutional KMb service unit the paper presents the outcomes of that work (see below) and makes the following recommendations to those seeking to develop an institutional capacity for KMb (see the paper for details):

  1. Find institutional champions
  2. Collect data
  3. If possible, find grants for seed funding
  4. Hire the right knowledge broker

The paper presents outcomes of our work to August 2011.  Updated figures to December 31, 2011 are below.

# Faculty Involved 240
# Graduate Students Involved 142
# Information sessions for faculty and students 166
# Information sessions for community 185
# collaborations brokered 246
# agencies involved in KMb partnerships 205
Community Partner funding raised $1.1M
Research Contract funding raised $1.2M
Total KMb associated grant funding raised $17.6M
# web hits +5M
# Research Summaries 173
# tweets 5447
#twitter followers 1845
# delicious bookmarks 244
# blog postings (+70,000 views) 294

The paper has been posted in York’s institutional repository.  You can get download a copy of the open access paper here.

In addition to sharing our KMb services in this paper we have previously posted some of our KMb tools:

Clear Language Tool Kit

CAURA 2011 KMb Tools

In the spirit of sharing, Melanie Barwick (@melaniebarwick) has kindly made her KT planning template available. And posting more RIR tools is in the works for RIR-York. We are knowledge brokers, not KMb researchers. We do not come from a culture of publishing our findings. Since sharing underpins all KMb activities it is important to share our practice based knowledge. Whether you chose to post your tools on a website, share them at a conference like the upcoming Canadian KMb Forum or publish them in peer review please share your successes (and your failures).

Because knowledge, like toys, is best when it is shared.

2 Responses to “Mama always told me, “share your toys” / Ma mère m’a toujours dit : « partage des jouets! »”

[…] as recently described by York’s Knowledge mobilization Unit (see the knowledge mobilization blog post on Mobilize This!), at the core of these activities is funding for a community-based […]

[…] These are examples of the importance of sharing knowledge products – so people can find and access discoveries. Knowledge mobilization is sharing. […]

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