Knowledge mobilization tools
What is knowledge mobilization?
“Knowledge mobilization is an umbrella term encompassing a wide range of activities relating to the production and use of research results, including knowledge synthesis, dissemination, transfer, exchange, and co-creation or co-production by researchers and knowledge users.”
Source: SSHRC — Guidelines for Effective Knowledge Mobilization
Knowledge mobilization is a growing part of grant applications and research projects. This guide will introduce you to the knowledge mobilization options available. To choose the tools that best suit you, start by reading the basic information below. There is also a range of online resources on how to use these tools.
The Office of the Vice-President Research also has more information on knowledge mobilization at uOttawa. This includes information on planning activities and increasing your research impact.
Social media is a modern, increasingly popular communication tool. The platforms are relatively easy and economical to use to reach your target audience. But be careful: While it might seem simple, creating, planning, and sharing content requires time and effort, in addition to creating a profile and building a network. Expect to pay two to 20 hours a week in salary, depending on how ambitious your communication plan is.
How do you choose a platform? We have some information below, and the internet is full of advice on which social media platforms to choose.
- Facebook: 30 and over. A more social tool that integrates well with other platforms. Practical for events and groups.
- Twitter: 35 and over. For professional activities, research, and news. A 280-character limit. Can be viewed without an account.
- Instagram: Teens and young adults. Visual, entertaining content with limited sharing of hyperlinks.
- LinkedIn: 40 and over. For professional activities, networking, research, and knowledge and resource sharing.
- ResearchGate: Similar to Facebook and LinkedIn. Research-based.
- TikTok: Children, teens, and young adults. Short humorous and educational videos.
Open access scholarly publications
If you publish scholarly articles, open access platforms allow more people to read and use your research results. As well, if you link to your articles from other platforms (like social media), this will allow readers to access them easily. Your articles can also be used as teaching resources. The University of Ottawa Library is a good source of information on this topic. For example, it compiles lists of open access publications. The University also has its own digital repository, uO Research.
By explaining your research in simple terms, you make it accessible to members of the public who wouldn’t understand scholarly articles. You can summarize your results, make recommendations, educate the public, give your opinion on topics in the news and collaborate with reporters. To promote your projects and achievements, feel free to ask for assistance from uOttawa Media Relations.
Here are some examples:
- The Conversation: Roving bandits and looted coastlines: How the global appetite for sand is fuelling a crisis
- Newspaper op-ed: Scott: If we want care workers to have our backs during COVID-19, we must have theirs
- Blog post: Centre for International Policy Studies blog
- Press release: Goo goo gaga: Baby talk as important to bilingual babies as monolingual ones
- Media appearances: Faculty of Social Sciences researchers speak to the media about the effects of COVID-19
- Bulletins or newsletters: FSS research newsletter
Audiovisuals convey information quickly and allow you to condense knowledge without losing anything. While designing and producing them requires time and resources (and sometimes expert assistance), they are worth considering. Publications with images are much more popular — in other words, more read — than those without, especially on social media.
Here are some audiovisual communication formats, with examples:
- Infographic (a combination or images and text or data): Research with Impact at uOttawa
- Icons, pictures or illustrations (a visual representation of the topic): Research Priorities at the Faculty of Social Sciences
- Video (animation, landscape, one or more people, or a combination thereof): Allison Ouimet – COVID-19
- Podcast (an audio recording, often with exchanges between people): Positive Energy Podcast
When we launch a project, we often think, “Oh, I need a website!” Indeed, a website is a very useful communication tool. However, if your project is short or you have little content to add, think it through before you start. A website requires planning, some technical knowledge and ongoing management. If you decide that the effort’s worth it, think about the following before you begin planning your site.
- Hosting: You need to select a host server, which will store your website content on a server. Cost = $50 to $150 per year.
- Domain name: You must choose a name and web address for your site. Cost = sometimes included in hosting cost. Otherwise, $10 to $25 per year.
- Content management system (CMS): Many free CMS platforms let you choose among templates to create a site to your liking. No programming knowledge is needed, but you (and anyone else involved) must learn to use the software.
- Content creation: This key task requires many hours of work. Be honest in your assessment and plan for the number of paid hours needed.
- Adding content to the platform: Plan for at least 40 hours of work for a simple site of five pages or less. Otherwise, you can hire a web designer. Cost = $50 to $150 per hour.
- Content management and updates: Consider future needs for your site and include them in your plan and budget.
Events of all types remain a very practical knowledge mobilization tool to disseminate your research results, create networking opportunities and educate the public. Before you get started, ask yourself: Who is the target audience? What is the purpose of this event? What is the timeline? What is the budget? What resources do I have?
Your answers will help you determine the most appropriate type of event. Our Marketing and communications team has a live event planning checklist. If you want to organize an on-campus event, you can also email Conventions and Reservations for advice.
Some event types:
- Symposium, roundtable, or panel
- Workshop or training
- Forum or public consultation
The University and the Faculty of Social Sciences offer funding programs for on-campus events:
- Conference/Workshop on Campus Opportunity (CWCO)
- Conferences/Workshops on Campus
- Major Academic Conferences on Campus
Here are some expenses to consider in your budget: equipment, room, and furniture rental; technical support; food and drink; décor; and recordings.
Other costs to consider
These rough amounts are for information purposes only. Be sure to contact a service provider and ask for a full estimate.
- Translation = 24 to 35 cents per word, depending on the complexity and length of the text
- Editing and proofreading = $50 to $70 per hour
- Graphic design = $50 to $100 per hour (number of hours will vary by project)
- Videography = $1,750 to $2,500 for a day of shooting
- Video editing = $500 per day
Request a list of service providers by sending an email to Mireille Brownhill.
Guides, tools and training
- CIHR Knowledge Translation Checklist
- Social media strategies for research
- Social media tips from FSS' Marketing and communications team
- SSHRC Knowledge Mobilization Checklist
- Write compelling commentary – Advice from Informed Opinions
- 13 Tips for academics on how to talk to journalists