One cool million and counting

One million visitors to a Web site is a testament of the value of the content on the site. So it comes as no surprise that the York-led ResearchImpact Web site reached the one-million mark late last month, a mere three years since its inception.

ResearchImpact is the Web site of a knowledge mobilization network that connects researchers from York University and the University of Victoria with community and government organizations to support the use of research in decision-making about social programming, public policy and professional practice. The site has been the key contact point for information on the knowledge mobilization efforts underway at York and the University of Victoria, and disseminates information through a number of channels, including blogs, Twitter and other social media tools. 

It is also the home of the Mobilize This! newsletter, which has more than 1000 subscribers and offers streaming videos, a Flickr photostream, ResearchSnapshot summaries and a database of information on 40 other knowledge mobilization organizations.  

The ResearchImpact Web site provides easy access for researchers and community organizations to information on some of the 100 collaborations enabled by York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit. A few of the many projects highlighted on ResearchImpact include:

  • Research by York Faculty of Education Professor Stephen Gaetz in collaboration with University of Victoria nursing Professor Bernie Pauly and community partners, which evaluates community-based programs to end homelessness. 
  • York psychology Professor Henny Westra’s project that seeks to understand how to effectively provide mental health information to young adults.
  • The work of York alumna Tamara Miller (MA ’08), which informs the Web strategy of the not-for-profit organization Free the Children.  

Through streaming videos available on the Web site, researchers can initiate a dialogue with York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit. Professor Susan McGrath, director of the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York, says that knowledge mobilization “creates knowledge that is inclusive and participatory, engages all of our stakeholders and disseminates it [this knowledge] in formats and forms that are accessible to policy-makers and to practitioners in the field.” 

Non-academic organizations also find the site valuable as they utilize the services provided by York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit. “It is important that community agencies are working from the best knowledge available so that they can make well-informed decisions," says Daniele Zanotti, CEO of the United Way of York Region. "York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit provides an avenue for community organizations to tap into the research expertise available in the University. It makes research, as well as researchers and graduate students, accessible to non-academic decision-makers.”

More about the Knowledge Mobilization Unit at York

Initiated by and with the continued support of the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, as well as through grants from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, York is the first university in Canada to develop an institutional capacity to broadly support knowledge mobilization. York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit provides services for faculty, graduate students and community and government organizations seeking to maximize the impact of academic research and expertise on public policy, social programming and professional practice.

For more information about the Knowledge Mobilization Unit’s services, contact Michael Johnny, manager, Knowledge Mobilization, at ext. 88876.