September 04, 2013
I’m in the process of completing my Master of Environmental Studies at York University. Over the past year I’ve been studying the intersection of social exclusion and education. This has led me towards wanting to understand some of the complexities of youth homelessness in Canada.
This summer I have had the opportunity to work with Research Impact and the Homeless Hub developing a number of research summaries on homelessness. I may have written one from a recent study of yours (with your consent of course), or you may see some of the summaries that I’ve developed through social media, as I’m sure you all ‘like’ the Homeless Hub and ‘follow’ Research Impact on Twitter.
When I tell people that I translate academic journals into clear language, or that I work in knowledge mobilization, they frequently follow up with several questions. My friends, maybe even some of my family members, often don’t understand what I do. So I’ve prepared this process infographic to demonstrate what I have done over the summer. I have chosen to use the jovial Comic Sans font despite the fact that it is seldom used for communications work due to its bubbly appearance.
Now, this infographic isn’t meant to be overly specific about clear language writing. Most of the major sections that I’ve outlined include a complexity of their own. Below are some of the things that I have omitted.
Finding the Articles:
- Prior to finding the articles priorities have to be selected on the topics that are summarized. This has to do with the thoughts of the KMb unit, but also the needs of partners in the community. In this case, the partnership was with the Homeless Hub.
- This is pretty straight forward, as all of the summaries are published under ‘creative commons’, most researchers give consent and are really excited about working with Research Impact.
Draft Writing Stage:
- This stage requires clear language writing skills. This process began for me with clear language training. I also had ongoing support from a colleague who is also a very talented translator and educator.
Finalizing the Draft:
- The templates that are utilized both for Research Impact ‘ResearchSnapshots’ and 'Research Summaries' on the Homeless Hub have taken a great deal of thought and work to develop.
Engaging researchers in the summary process, really has made this a great experience. However, what I’ve enjoyed the most has been working with the all-star KMb and Homeless Hub teams at York University. Through my involvement with Research Impact I now see many opportunities for Knowledge Mobilization to grow. It is important to continue bridging divides between academic institutions, community organizations and policy makers.
We have an upcoming 'Write for the Reader' workshop that can help you write more clearly and allow you to develop such research summaries. Visit this link for more information.