Photo of some books being carried by lightbulb shaped balloons - symbolising knowledge mobilisation

What is Knowledge Mobilisation?

Knowledge mobilisation is all about making research count and change people’s lives on a wider scale.

When we work with researchers to develop project websites, one of the first elements we consider is content. When we understand what content our researchers want to share with their audience, we’re better able to design sites that naturally and logically help to get this information across.

However, when it comes to actually creating this content, we tend to see a similar pattern over and over again: researchers are keen to employ the academic language that they use within the lab. And it’s easy to see why. That’s the norm; the everyday way of communicating within the project circle.

But is that really the best approach?

At Pixelshrink, we believe that we need to be aligning everything we do with the overarching purpose of the website. That’s to create a platform that gets the project out from the confines of the lab and shares it with the world. The purpose, at the end of the day, is to mobilise that knowledge. That’s key to developing research that’s not just theoretical; it’s able to make a real difference.

Making research count

Knowledge mobilisation is about making a real, tangible difference. It’s about making research count, and ensuring it has an impact beyond the four walls of the lab. And this is incredibly important.

Today, so much research and policy only gets used within the project itself. Essentially, all this research is done for the sake of doing the research. It makes a local impact, of course. But when this knowledge isn’t mobilised – when it’s not shared or accessible to others – these projects rarely get replicated, the research isn’t taken up on a larger scale, and there are no widespread benefits.

What knowledge mobilisation does is connect that research with others beyond the lab. It makes research more accessible and more easily available, helping to inform, shape, and inspire the research of others. It allows others to make smarter, quicker, and better decisions by using what’s already there, and building upon it to develop ideas and innovations that can change the world.

Knowledge mobilisation is supported by 4 crucial pillars:

  1. Knowledge creation
  2. Knowledge exchange
  3. Knowledge dissemination
  4. Knowledge brokering

Essentially, it’s all about making better use of resources, resulting in more sustainable research.

Photo of a white library full of books with stairs and several floors
How can we expand the reach of academic research?

Our role in knowledge mobilisation

At the UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum 2023, keynote speaker Raj Pandya (Director of Thriving Earth Exchange at the American Geophysical Union) said, ‘Plain language results are better for mobilisation, but worse for academic credibility.’ We agree – but we don’t believe it has to be that way. What we need to remember is that project websites aren’t about positioning ourselves as credible researchers. There are other platforms for that. Instead, project websites are about making research more accessible to others.

And that’s exactly what we specialise in here at Pixelshrink. Our mission is to transform knowledge from being a product, into a process that drives innovation and change.

So how do we do it? By using plain language content. By creating data visualisations and infographics that translate complex ideas into easy-to-absorb concepts. By improving overall accessibility to bring important research and data within reach of those in the wider community.

We’re proud to be contributing towards a world where knowledge mobilisation is the norm in academia. If you want to join us on our mission, get in touch with our team.

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