KMbeing

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

Passion About Research By Knowledge Mobilization

research

This is a follow up to my earlier blog post about why should researchers blog & tweet. I could continue listing the usual “tips and reasons” to set researchers on their way. However, I want to follow up to my previous blog with something essential that I forgot to mention – the most important tip and underlying reason that sets the tone for blogging and using twitter over anything else:

If you’re not interested in your own research and how it can benefit others you will never be interested in blogging or tweeting about it!

Researchers become interested in a particular field of study for a reason.  Research is about presenting data that initially stems from some personal curiosity or experience.  Academic writing stems from wanting to find out more, understand more and educate others about a particular phenomenon that stimulates this initial curiosity or explains personal experiences – and hopefully comes from a desire to create change for good and not harm.

Many researchers become involved in a particular discipline not necessarily with the professional distance of “unbiased observer” that most of the public assume. It’s often because the topic of interest hits closer to home in their own life experiences:

  • The oncology researcher who has known the personal pain of cancer or has seen a family member or friend die from this multi-inflicting disease
  • The Alzheimer’s researcher who has watched a parent or spouse slowly lose the light of recognition and memory
  • The bullying researcher who has survived the torments of teasing or has been a bully and learned the consequences
  • The psychology researcher who deals with their own private stigma of behavioral concerns
  • The engineering researcher who extends into adulthood an initial childhood excitement of awe and wonder about shapes, construction and the use of machines
  • The biology researcher who has always marveled at the flow and diversity of life
  • The history researcher who is fascinated by past cultures and periods of time to remind us about what history can teach us about our own existence and the future when first being read bedtime stories
  • The linguistics researcher who knows and wants to make known that the world is filled with many ways to say the same things after hearing someone speak a different language for the first time

I like to call this “me-search” not just research. In explaining to others they end up explaining more about themselves and their deeper reasons for doing research in the first place.  Just as researchers need to be interested – even personally passionate – about the research they’re doing, I urge researchers to primarily blog & tweet from this underlying motivation.  It’s not about how many blog or twitter followers you have. It’s about your personal passion for the research you’re doing.

Otherwise all of the tips and reasons in the world that can be presented will do nothing to get researchers to blog or tweet.

Perhaps this is why some researchers aren’t really interested in blogging or tweeting in the first place because their research has simply become a cycle of “going through the motions” of academic expectations, deadlines, or personal gain rather than educational opportunities. Or perhaps it simply comes down to not knowing the benefits of blogging and tweeting about your research http://simplysociology.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/a-sociologists-adventures-in-social-media-land/

Some researchers will argue they don’t have time to blog or tweet. Planning time use is essential when there are many demands on your time – including how you share your research and knowledge.  If you are personally passionate about the research you do you know that making time to share this passion is important.  Blogging and twitter can promote your research, engage with the community and make academic and other connections –  and blogging and tweeting is an important part of knowledge mobilization. Researchers who are passionate about their research want to make it known.

Make your me-search your research. Show how it can benefit others by knowledge mobilization with more immediacy and responsiveness through social media and you will be showing your passion about research.

 

4 responses to “Passion About Research By Knowledge Mobilization

  1. ResearchImpact (@researchimpact) January 6, 2014 at 8:33 am

    If research is only your job I agree, why bother trying to more than what is necessary. But if your research is your passion and your are passionate about using your research to make a difference in the world (and really, why else do research….our evidence may be value neutral but our researchers are not) then there is an obligation to maximize the impact of your research through any number of knowledge mobilization methods including social media. If you’re interested but don’t know how, that’s where your local knowledge mobilization unit can help (http://researchimpact.ca/localRI/index.html) and if your university doesn’t have a knowledge mobilization unit then why not?

  2. Pingback: Blogging and Tweeting About your Research | EducationResearchAtWestern

  3. Pingback: Blogging and Tweeting About Your Research | WesternGraduateEducationResearch

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