A key challenge in developing solutions to homelessness is that research does not always have a big impact on policy and practice. Typical ways of publishing academic research make it difficult to understand. Research is often presented in ways that make it challenging for policy makers and practitioners to use.
Academic papers and reports are usually published by academic journals. The peer review process is meant to maintain a high intellectual standard. The way research is written and presented in scholarly journals is intended to appeal to academics. The fact that most academic presses are owned by large communications companies has resulted in rising costs for university subscribers. In addition, strict copyright laws make it hard for the average reader to get access to the articles.
The scholarly journal may not be the best way for researchers to get their research results to policy makers and community members. For those interested in creating an impact for their research, there is a need to rethink how research is written, presented and disseminated. Traditional approaches are not getting the research to a broader audience.
The COH has been successful by both consulting and collaborating with key stakeholders. This practice changes the research, writing and publication processes. The COH uses an approach to publishing that removes the need to rely on corporate owned scholarly journals to get material out. This has meant linking researchers, graphic designers and technology experts to create new ways of presenting, publishing and marketing materials.