ResearchImpact is pleased to welcome a guest blogger, Gary Myers. You can follow Gary on his blog and on twitter (@kmbeing). Gary has written about three relatively new online resources for knowledge brokers. It is great to see new entrants into the KMb global family (from UK, US and Australia). Gary’s comparison shows that all provide value for knowledge brokers and that Research into Action (from @KTExchange) has some resources similar to those we offer at ResearchImpact (where we are also “turning research into action”).
I’d like to thank ResearchImpact for asking me to be a guest blogger for MobilizeThis! Most readers of this blog (and for readers of my own blog KMbeing) will know that Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) is being more frequently used to describe how researchers and individuals within community organizations are using research to inform decisions in public policy and professional practice. KMb consists of a variety of methods in which research and knowledge is transferred, translated, exchanged and co-produced to enhance the practical application of knowledge between researchers and research-users.
Important to the KMb process is the role of the Knowledge Broker in linking researchers and community (for more information on the role of the Knowledge Broker see Jonathan Lomas The in-between world of knowledge brokering).
As part of a current digital research project for ResearchImpact, I did a comparative analysis of three new (or newly re-designed) broker websites with varying degrees of interactivity and collaboration. I was curious to see what some other organizations are offering brokers, social innovators and other knowledge mobilizers. After a web search using the keyword knowledge broker the following top websites were listed:
• Research into Action (RIA)
• Knowledge Brokers’ Forum (KBF)
• Australian Social Innovation eXchange (ASIX)
Overall Rating (RIA):
• Excellent Presentation & Content
• Great Use of Social Media & Networking Tools
• Canadian Content – A Podcast interview with Dr. Melanie Barwick (Sick Kid’s Hospital, Toronto) & Headlining Quote From Dr. Barwick on Home Page/ CIHR defined in website Glossary page
• Well Staffed With Two Specific Communications Specialists
• Collaboration Possibilities with other Research Brokers
Overall Rating (KBF):
• Most Similar to ResearchImpact Website
• Good Content of Blogs
• Use of Delicious Bookmarks
• Resources (articles) for intermediaries and knowledge brokers
• Canadian Content – Canadian Knowledge Broker Core Competency Framework Link
• Recommend Adding ResearchImpact Mobilize This! Blog To This Website
Overall Rating (ASIX):
• More Social Innovation Than KMb or Knowledge Brokering (Collaborative Style Think Tank)
• Good Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) & OK Use of Blog Links (But Not KMb Specific)
• Website Not KMb Focused or Broker Focused, but still informative
• Mostly A Forum for Australian Social Innovation Camp (New: 1st Camp 2010)
• No North American Content (Only Found One Profile Beyond Australia from London UK)
Funding & Affiliation:
Research into Action is university funded by The University of Texas (School of Public Health), and from the The Institute for Health Policy. What is interesting is that they also request donation funding right on their website for anyone wishing to make a private donation. RIF was founded in 2007.
The Knowledge Brokers’ Forum receives funding from international agencies such as the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The website does not mention when KBF was founded.
The Australian Social Innovation eXchange is more formally known as the Australian Social Innovation Exchange Limited incorporated and is an independent non-profit company, founded in 2008.
All three websites can be used as credible links and sources of information for knowledge brokers; however, I highly recommend Research into Action for anyone looking for a practical website that can be used as a tool in learning more about current knowledge brokering taking place, and as a collaborative website for researchers and research users to post their own information.
Although Research into Action appears to be a closer fit to ResearchImpact, The Knowledge Brokers’ Forum or The Australian Social Innovation eXchange are also great sites for gaining information and mobilizing knowlege.