KMbeing

Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Knowledge For All Project

Some exciting work  being done at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada to create a Knowledge for All Universal Citation Index as a Proposal for the Global Library Community.

I see the value of this project not only for the library community, but for everyone.



Weekly KMbits & KMbytes 20-26 March 2011

Scheduled for Saturday March 26, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason, knowledge and critical analysis. – Dalai Lama

Scheduled for Saturday March 26, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s KMbyte: How does knowledge help us gain insight not just understanding?

Scheduled for Friday March 25, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. – Albert Einstein

Scheduled for Friday March 25, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s KMbyte: Ever put yourself in the shoes of someone else with a different frame of knowledge to understand how they see the world?

Scheduled for Thursday March 24, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
Nature commences with reason & ends in experience, but necessary to do opposite-commence with experience & investigate the reason.-da Vinci

Scheduled for Thursday March 24, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s KMbyte: What actions have you taken to enhance knowledge for the benefit of society?

Scheduled for Wednesday March 23, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
Our passions are the winds that propel our vessel. Our knowledge is the pilot that steers it. – Proverb

Scheduled for Wednesday March 23, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s KMbyte: What actions might you take to enhance knowledge for the benefit of society?

Scheduled for Tuesday March 22, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
People are better persuaded by reasons they themselves discovered than by those which have come in to the mind of others. – Blaise Pascal

Scheduled for Tuesday March 22, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s KMbyte: How can different forms of knowledge (tacit, explicit, instrumental) be used together?

Scheduled for Monday March 21, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
Dubito ergo cogito; cogito ergo sum. (I doubt, therefore I think; I think therefore I am). – Rene Descartes

Scheduled for Monday March 21, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s KMbyte: What promotes better knowledge – questions or answers?

Scheduled for Sunday March 20, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. – George Bernard Shaw

Scheduled for Sunday March 20, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
Today’s KMbyte: Do you have a personal knowledge style?

Knowledge Mobilization As K* (K-Star)???: Definition & Terminology – REVISITED


There still remains a variety of similar terms being used for Knowledge Mobilization (KMb), all attempting to define the same thing.  Sometimes terms are still mistakenly used to describe KMb – like Knowledge Management (KM).  For the difference between the two click here. Thanks also to Gerald Meinert for using my KMb model in his blog One step beyond helping to clear up the differences.

As I point out in previous blogs about the definition of KMb and terminology – not having an agreement on on a single term has a tendency to “muddy the waters” of explanation.  It also makes it difficult for anyone searching for information when several terms are used.  Researchers, practitioners or anyone else interested in looking up any previous research or information being done about Knowledge Mobilization may have a difficult time or miss articles because of the diverse terminology being used.

In a recent ResearchImpact guest blog of Mobilize This!, Andrea Kosavic, a Digital Initiatives Librarian at York University wrote about the importance of being able to find journals and articles easily in order to make research “more visible and accessible to those who seek them”.

“If we want the best return on our research investment, we need to ensure that the research can be found where researchers, professionals, policy makers, and the general public conduct their searches”.

This not only holds true for journals and articles, but also for common terminology.

Yet, a multiplicity of terms and concepts are still used to describe aspects of KMb including knowledge utilization, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, knowledge management, knowledge translation, diffusion of innovation and research utilization.

Four of the most frequently used terms are knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge utilization, and knowledge exchange.

I argue that all of these terms – especially knowledge translation, knowledge transfer and knowledge transfer & exchange – falls short in defining the multiple influences of the multi-production of knowledge.

Knowledge Translation and Knowledge Transfer are accurate descriptions when they refer to a one-way informing of individuals to enhance their own knowledge but requires the exchange element to be open to any new knowledge that may further inform the initial knowledge already being translated or transferred.  But it also still suggests a two-way or linear bestowing or sharing of knowledge within separate fields of application which may not accurately reflect the interdisciplinary methodologies, techniques and personal experiences at many levels and directions to mobilize knowledge within a broader framework.  Knowledge Translation and Knowledge Transfer may be part of the initial process of Knowledge Mobilization – but they are not the same thing.

The terms can also imply a rather elitist suggestion like the old “ivory tower” days of academia when only the scholars held “true knowledge” and bestowed it to the ignorant masses who couldn’t possibly contribute in return from their own knowledge or experiences.

Huw Davies from the Social Dimensions of Health Institute at the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews, Fife in the UK argues that the KT terminology itself actually misrepresents the tasks that seeks to support and ultimately prevents social research from having wider impacts. Davies and his colleagues argue that both the terms “translation” and “transfer” invoke a metaphor of “convergent knowledge” which is parcelled to “grateful recipients” (Davies et al 2008: 189) and effectively veils the associated complexities, contradictions and unpredictability of the ways in which new knowledge is negotiated and accepted (or even refused).

KMb is not limited to academic or more formal knowledge. It also includes informal knowledge such as narratives or even Internet blogging/microblogging/wikispaces if the knowledge informs and contributes to the greater benefit of society. Thankfully, we now recognize the value of academic collaboration and inclusion of many forms of knowledge beyond the academy through knowledge mobilization. KMb is a term that focuses on the multiple contributions and multi-production of new knowledge that is inclusive and collaborative and not separate – not a linear from “here” to “there” as transfer & exchange suggests.

Engaging in conversation with other professionals – especially through the Ontario Knowledge Transfer & Exchange Community of Practice (KTE Cop) – I continue to push for agreement on the use of one, clear term (Knowledge Mobilization) to describe the work we do. But, it’s not that simple to find agreement as each term has its own history, entrenched in useage with sometimes very defensive, personal appeals.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) uses Knowledge Translation (KT) while

the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) prefers using Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) as a more appropriate term.

Now recently adding to the muddy waters is the suggestion to use the term K* (K-Star) – as presented by Alex Bielak from United Nations University who presented on The Evolution of Knowledge Mobilization and Knowledge Brokers at a recent Evidence to Policy Workshop. Bielak suggests K* can capture whatever term one wants to use to describe the process of knowledge by having one umbrella term to move forward and capture them all.  It’s hoped that this will help avoid conflicts in terminology.

But why come up with a new term when one already exists to more accurately describe and include the variety of similar terms being used?  Sincere apologies – but K* sounds more like a brand name of running shoes rather than a process of knowledge. It also lacks definition.  K-Star does not describe what is happening with the knowledge; whereas knowledge mobilization is a term that describes transfer, exchange, translation, utilization – all the processes of action (unless you’re perhaps using the K* running shoes).

With so many terms being used to describe the same thing, perhaps it’s time to agree on using only one term – a more inclusively descriptive term – Knowledge Mobilization.

Weekly KMbits & KMbytes 13-19 March 2011

Scheduled for Sunday March 13, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How do you use knowledge to resolve or prevent problems?

Scheduled for Sunday March 13, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Amazing. Human brain capable of understanding incredibly complex & intricate concepts. Unable to recognize obvious & simple. – Jay Abraham

Scheduled for Monday March 14, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: What has been your most effective use of knowledge or knowledge that has had the most impact?

Scheduled for Monday March 14, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

In order to stave off covetouness, greed, and spite, citizens world over must be educated. – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Scheduled for Tuesday March 15, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: Have you ever avoided using knowledge?

Scheduled for Tuesday March 15, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. – Rene Descartes

Scheduled for Wednesday March 16, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: YOU in knowledge mobilization process: researcher, practitioner, community stakeholder, business person or policy maker?

Scheduled for Wednesday March 16, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions. – Anonymous

Scheduled for Thursday March 17, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How open are you to other forms of knowledge?

Scheduled for Thursday March 17, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action. – Peter Senge

Scheduled for Friday March 18, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How would you use your knowledge to connect to other forms of knowledge?

Scheduled for Friday March 18, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

All knowledge is socially mediated and access to knowledge is by connecting to people. – Denham Grey

Scheduled for Saturday March 19, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How do you deal with people closed to different forms of knowledge?

Scheduled for Saturday March 19, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Hoarding knowledge ultimately erodes power. If you know something very important, to get power is by actually sharing it. – Joseph Badaracco


Featuring A Knowledge Mobilizer: Jane Brenneman Gibson

Jane Brenneman Gibson (now retired) was the Director, Knowledge Transfer & Exchange (KTE) at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) in Toronto, Canada.  She worked at IWH since 2000 and helped implement the Insitute’s strategic KTE plan. Jane has extensive policy-making experience as an executive in the Ontario Public Service, and formal clinical training in speech pathology – which provides her with a keen insight into the entire research to policy-making process.

Jane was also part of an IWH team that published From Research to Practice: A Knowledge Transfer Planning Guide presenting “how to get research into the hands of people who use it.”  She regularly contributes to the knowledge mobilization process by working with both researchers and knowledge brokers who wish to advance our understanding about effective approaches to the transfer and mobilization of research knowledge.

Jane was responsible for ensuring that research findings generated from the Institute’s scientists are put into the hands of key decision-makers in a timely, accessible and useful manner. She worked closely with researchers, knowledge brokers and community stakeholders to establish best practices around issues of work and health.

Within the occupational health and safety field, Gibson and colleagues from the Centres of Research Expertise  created the KTE Hub to share resources and networks of audiences to try to maximize the reach of the research findings to these key decision-makers.

Jane has also been a leader in developing a network of others who are involved or interested in knowledge mobilization.  She and colleagues created a KTE Community of Practice (KTE CoP) – a group of professionals dedicated to discussing best practices, networking, and sharing information about what works best in KTE.

Jane is also nationally and internationally recognized for her work and experience in KTE/ Knowledge Mobilization having recently been interviewed for a podcast by Research Into Action (RIA) by the Institute for Health Policy at The University of Texas School of Public Health.  Unfortunately, the podcast is only available to registered members on the websites of the KTExhange or the Ontario KTE CoP.  (For a brief overview about Research Into Action see one of my previous blogs comparing RIA with other knowledge broker sites).

Jane Brenneman Gibson continues to be a major leader and contributor to Knowledge Mobilization and I am pleased to present her as part of my series Featuring A Knowledge Mobilizer.

Other Knowledge Mobilizers on Featuring A Knowledge Mobilizer:

David Phipps

Peter Levesque

Michael Johnny

Melanie Barwick

10 Ways to Promote Effective Knowledge Mobilization in Your Community

The following points were written by Christopher Wilson & Associates in 2008, but still contribute to effective Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) today by presenting the importance of developing Communities of Practice (CoP) – whether initially online or in person.
I suggest that online CoPs need to be developed but it’s important to recognize the value of extending online CoPs to face-to-face networking opportunities that inlcude in-person meetings, workshops, conferences.

Weekly KMbytes & KMbits 6-12 March 2011

Scheduled for Monday March 7, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: Is it ever important to NOT question knowledge?

Scheduled for Monday March 7, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

The greatest ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.

Scheduled for Tuesday March 8, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: In what way is knowledge about improving relations with others?

Scheduled for Tuesday March 8, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. – Derek Bok

Scheduled for Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: What is the best way to integrate knowledge into society?

Scheduled for Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Scheduled for Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: Why is generating questions often more difficult than generating answers?

Scheduled for Thursday March 10, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. – Benjamin Franklin

Scheduled for Friday March 11, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: What is the most effective strategy for contributing to knowledge?

Scheduled for Friday March 11, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Fear springs from ignorance. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Scheduled for Saturday March 12, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: Why is context important for knowledge?

Scheduled for Saturday March 12, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance. – Robert Quillen

Featuring A Knowledge Mobilizer: Melanie Barwick

Melanie Barwick Melanie Barwick is a Registered Psychologist with a primary role as a Health Systems Scientist in the Community Health Systems Resource Group at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She is an Associate Scientist and inaugural Director of Knowledge Translation in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences program of SickKids’ Research Institute, and holds appointments as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Since joining SickKids in 2001 she has led Ontario’s outcome measurement initiative to implement an outcome measure in 117 children’s mental health service provider organizations across the province, requiring the reliability and clinical training of over 5,000 practitioners.  Her team supports training, implementation, and data analysis for the province and service providers.

In this practice context she studies innovative health knowledge translation strategies and has developed the Scientist Knowledge Translation Training program. Melanie is the lead author of the Scientist Knowledge Translation Training™ (SKTT) course and Knowledge Translation Professional Certificate™ (KTPC). Her program of research is in implementation science. She is now funded to lead a 5-year CIHR Emerging Team in Knowledge Translation for Child and Youth Mental Health that will develop and evaluate an innovative implementation model to bring evidence based practices into both the children’s mental health and education sectors.  Her program of research is in the areas of knowledge transfer, implementation science, and organizational change, with a particular focus on the transfer of evidence-based interventions and research to mental health practice and the development of innovative knowledge translation approaches.

Melanie consults to the child and youth mental health sector and is a regular contributor to the CBC Health Weekly Check Up, and is also actively involved as a member of the steering committee of the Ontario Knowledge Transfer & Exchange Community of Practice (KTE CoP).

Melanie Barwick is an experienced researcher and leader in Knowledge Mobilization, and I’m pleased to present her as part of my series Featuring A Knowledge Mobilizer.

Bridging The Evidence-To-Policy Gap With Knowledge Mobilization

I recently attended two important events pointing forward to the future of collaborative knowledge mobilization. The first event was the Climate Change Policy and Research Day sponsored by ResearchImpact and the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York University. The day profiled climate change work being done at municipal and regional levels with a discussion on the existing research to policy gaps, while exploring opportunities for collaboration between community stakeholders, policy makers and researchers. The event was live-tweeted by a number of participants with the hashtag #CCKMb. For a full transcript of the tweets, please see here. ResearchImpact also has a blog about the event here.

The second event was the Using Evidence to Inform Policy Workshop at the University of Guelph. The workshop was part of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Knowledge Translation Learning Series, and featured international policy expert Louise Shaxton from the UK. Like the York event, the day gathered researchers and policy makers to discuss and collaborate on bridging research to policy gaps – even including an industry participant from Maple Leaf Consumer Foods. The session was hosted by the Public Health Agency of Canada and its partners from the University of Guelph, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Environment Canada, and Health Canada’s Science Policy Directorate.

Setting the stage for the workshop was Barbara Marshall from the Centre for Food-borne, Environmental & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases who presented the workshop themes around evidence and policy making along with a definition of public policy.

Melissa MacKay from the University of Guelph talked about the various roles in policy – including research and development – and what is needed to overcome the barriers to effective evidence-based policy making.

Phil Malcolmson, Director, Strategic Policy Branch from OMAFRA provided an example of the partnership that OMAFRA has with the University of Guelph to showcase the benefits of partnerships between government and academia.

Also among the list of guest speakers was Laurent Gémar from Health Canada’s Science Policy Directorate talking about the Science to Policy Interface in getting the most up-to-date evidence-based research to Canadian Federal Government Ministers. Gémar pointed out that timing is everything as parliamentary time restrictions often create barriers between getting a research answer to a Cabinet Minister and being able to go back to researchers to get the latest updates. He also spoke about the many ministries all seeking to work collaboratively within the political barriers that exist. Gémar stated that such political barriers create a limitation to the number of key research projects being selected. (For more on political obstacles to knowledge mobilization click here). Gémar also suggested some key objectives of health policy to address the complexity of issues within health and other ministries. He addressed the need for training scientists and policy makers together to create better science policy information and collaboration.

For a further interesting connection about building a knowledge-based government – and a great example of how social media can be used to facilitate open dialogue among stakeholders and interested participants – link to the recent Twitter tweet-chat titled GovChat here.

Among the list of international guest speakers was Alex Bielak from United Nations University who presented on The Evolution of Knowledge Mobilization and Knowledge Brokers. Bielak talked about the existing diversity of terminology to describe KMb, and the shift to unify terminology with the term K* (K-star). (For more on the problems of KMb terminology click here). Bielak pointed out that different stakeholders prefer to receive information in different ways. This presents a challenge to knowledge brokers who need to stimulate policy “pull” for greater knowledge impact and action with a more adaptive and collaborative approach.

The highlight of the workshop was the engaging lecture by Louise Shaxson, Director of the Delta Partnership, UK examining what is meant by evidence-informed policy making. Shaxson outlined some basic evidence and policy principles, and described specific tools and techniques that have worked well to help policy makers create more effective and informed decisions. Shaxson states that a suite of tools is required – not just one tool for policy making. She points out that today’s policy making is very different from the past, and that researchers must understand that the political process is an important part of the research process. Shaxson points out that the quality of the entire research to decision making process is as important as the evidence presented. Shaxson presented valuable and effective evidence mapping and social frameworks tools to assess the impacts of evidence and policy making throughout the stakeholder network. (See the brief video below of Shaxson speaking at a previous conference in Bogotá in 2010 about the importance of research communication).

The big difference between the Climate Change and the Evidence Policy events was the receptivity of using social media as a tool in the collaborative knowledge mobilization process. When I asked the Climate Change panel about how they’re using social media to bridge the gap between research and policy making, the group looked baffled and overlooked the opportunity to answer my question as if I just asked a group from the 1970s how they’re using email (before its popularity and use).  At least the Evidence Policy participants were open to suggestions about how social media can be used as a knowledge mobilization tool, and the value of creating a social media strategy – even discussing the government restrictions currently imposed on employees to use such tools for knowledge communications.

Most importantly, both events brought together a diversity of stakeholders – including researchers, community agencies and actors, knowledge brokers and government policy makers – in the same room face-to-face. This is knowledge mobilization at its best!

Weekly KMbits & KMbytes 20-26 February 2011

Scheduled for Sunday February 20, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: What causes knowledge failure?

Scheduled for Sunday February 20, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement. – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Scheduled for Monday February 21, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How can we prevent knowledge failure?

Scheduled for Monday February 21, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Knowledge slowly builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down. – George Eliot

Scheduled for Tuesday February 22, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: What is the best way that old knowledge becomes beneficial new knowledge?

Scheduled for Tuesday February 22, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Knowledge is like money: for value it must circulate, & in circulating it can increase in quantity & hopefully in value. – Louis L’Amour

Scheduled for Wednesday February 23, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: What is the difference between simple knowledge & complex knowledge? Which is better?

Scheduled for Wednesday February 23, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Every addition to greater knowledge is an addition to human power. -Horace Mann

Scheduled for Thursday February 24, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: What role does experience play in knowledge?

Scheduled for Thursday February 24, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

We must develop knowledge optimization initiatives to leverage our key learnings. – Scott Adams

Scheduled for Friday February 25, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How does your knowledge influence total knowledge?

Scheduled for Friday February 25, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Human knowledge is essentially active. – Jean Piaget

Scheduled for Saturday February 26, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How does your behaviour change knowledge?

Scheduled for Saturday February 26, 2011 @ 12:00 PM

Today’s KMbyte: How does your behaviour change knowledge?

Scheduled for Saturday February 26, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

Knowledge is in perpetual evolution; it finds itself changed from one day to the next. – Jean Piaget