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Welcome to STOREE

Hello and welcome to the website for the Supporting Transparent & Open Research Engagement & Exchange (STOREE) research project. Continue reading “Welcome to STOREE”

Infographics as a Tool for Knowledge Mobilization and Exchange: A Student Perspective

Shannon Murray

Graduate Academic Assistant with STOREE and the UBC Learning Exchange

In my role as a Making Research Accessible initiative (MRAi) Student Librarian, and a Graduate Research Assistant for STOREE, I’ve been focusing on how to better share the research materials that are added to the Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal (DTES RAP). As a placed-based, community-focused portal, the RAP is interested in determining how to better interact and communicate research with its users – and infographics are one genre that support this kind of knowledge mobilization and exchange due to their visual (and often aesthetically-pleasing) nature. As a part of my work, I collaborated with the UBC Learning Exchange, UBC Library, STOREE and UBC Public Humanities Hub to create an Infographics Toolkit to help researchers, faculty, students and more learn the whys and hows of infographic creation. Alongside the Toolkit, the Public Humanities Hub hosted a moderated discussion with UBC Professors and Knowledge Exchange experts to discuss the various components of infographics.

Infographics as Public Scholarship

The Infographics Toolkit features a few distinct sections: Infographics as Advocacy, Infographics as Pedagogy, Infographics as Research, and Infographic Creation. Each section delves into a unique aspect of infographics – as they can be used as an advocacy tool, in the classroom, and as a way to share research with a wider audience and community outside a specific field of study. The toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to creating an infographic – providing suggestions for language, design, and the visual elements. Creating an infographic isn’t an easy process, and requires careful consideration – so, in creating the toolkit, the goal was to simplify the process and provide the guidance (and resources) that would assist anyone in their goal of creating an accessible, and attractive, infographic.

The creation of the Toolkit was a team effort and involved a number of different UBC departments, including the UBC Learning Exchange and UBC Library in partnership with UBC’s Public Humanities Hub. Beyond these key departments, the toolkit involved expertise and insight from panelists and advisors – Dr. Evan Mauro, Dr. Kirby Mania, Dr. Valerie Hruska, Dr. Lupin Battersby, Dr. Heather O’Brien, and Nick Ubels. Everyone involved brought a unique perspective and helped to exemplify the importance of visual, alternative genres and the need for a pointed focus on knowledge mobilization. From a student perspective, creating the toolkit affirmed my desire to make research more accessible and to advocate for more inclusive ways to share the work that is being done at universities.

One of the student-created infographics from the MRAi/ASTU 100 partnership 

For more information and other resources about infographics, check out my final project for LIBR 596: Professional Experience. This project was completed last summer and kicked off my work with STOREE. It allowed me to get some hands-on experience helping first-year students create their own infographics for the DTES RAP and sparked my interest in knowledge mobilization and exchange! This interest will follow me into my post-graduation Librarian role, as I continue to work with students and share my perspective and understanding of knowledge mobilization and the importance of accessible research genres.

Bridges: connections between STOREE’s principles and other work

I began working as a graduate assistant with the STOREE project in May 2020. I am a first-generation student of color who began my academic career in my late 20s, after eight years of fits and starts to receive my BA. This was due in part to not having any idea of how to navigate academic systems, like finding resources, either for financial aid or classes, and having to poke around and push against limitations of these system to get my needs met. I feel that these experiences are part of what drove me to UBC’s iSchool to pursue my Master’s of Library and Information Studies (MLIS). What drew me originally to the STOREE project are its objectives of making research more relevant and accessible to non-academic audiences and supporting those doing research in ways that worked with and for communities. I have been happy to work and learn from my professors and colleagues on this project, many of whom that share my goals of opening up the “ivory tower,” sharing resources, and thinking critically about how things are kept behind walls and how we get rid of them.

Continue reading “Bridges: connections between STOREE’s principles and other work”

Place-based Librarianship and Planning with, by, and for Communities

My undergraduate educational background—Anthropology and Creative Writing— afforded me the freedom to explore communication styles beyond the conventional academic paper. During that time, frustrated with the oft dense writing style of many of my course readings, I began to explore the concept of writing about academic concepts for a broader audience. I am now a Master’s student at the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning and interested in social planning for equitable and just cities, which to me also means considering what it means to communicate equitably.

I have worked as a research assistant on the Supporting Transparent and Open Research and Exchange (STOREE) project since October of 2019. The project is broad and has afforded me the opportunity to examine many facets of knowledge and information activities that are relevant to the field of planning, such digital poverty and the roles that knowledge professionals play in supporting equity-seeking groups (Shaxson et al. 2012). I learned that I am particularly interested in place-based approaches to knowledge sharing.

Continue reading “Place-based Librarianship and Planning with, by, and for Communities”

Insights into the Sharing Science project

During my term as a Research Assistant for Sharing Science – a STOREE research study that seeks to better understand how scientific information is shared by academic researchers with other researchers in the sciences and social science fields – I gained valuable insight into the research design process, research methodology, and collaborating with a research team. My primary duties were to conduct a literature review, recruit mid-career UBC researchers for one-on-one Zoom interviews with the Principal Investigators (PI’s) Dr. Luanne Sinnamon and Dr. Isto Huvila, and transcribe these interviews. This blog post will highlight key areas of my work and what I’ve learned through my appointment.

Continue reading “Insights into the Sharing Science project”

A Year as a Research Assistant with STOREE: Applying Theory to Practice

During my year as a research assistant for the Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal (DTES RAP) I worked with several aspects of the portal’s development. One which stands out was working on the metadata schema, i.e., how items are described according to their content, format, and creators so that they are more discoverable for the portal’s users. In this role, I saw how challenging and involved the process can be. Two things which were important to the team were that the metadata accurately reflected the scope of items available through the portal and that the language used was appropriate to the content and diversity of users. To help with this, I attended meetings and events and participated in exercises with other members of the team for my first seven months in the position. The team used digital spreadsheets and messages, regular, dedicated in-person sessions, and methods like “card sorting” to refine the schema. A highlight was the “metadata-thon” held at Simon Fraser University in June 2019, people of various professional and technological backgrounds and provided feedback on the schema. I learned that efforts to describe things both non-judgmentally and usefully can be a long, iterative process; gaining feedback from a broad segment of information professionals, as well as the user community, is vital.

Continue reading “A Year as a Research Assistant with STOREE: Applying Theory to Practice”

Research study: Information professionals and knowledge exchange

Dr. Heather O’Brien (UBC School of Information) and Kristina McDavid (UBC Library) are interviewing librarians and archivists about their professional experiences with knowledge exchange (KE) work. By KE work, we are referring to the ways in which librarians and archivists help to translate, share, and move information within and between the communities they serve. Librarians and archivists might engage in this work as part of a research team, in relation to open access and scholarly communication initiatives, by supporting community archives, adopting or facilitating community-led strategies in the development of library services and programs, connecting libraries and the public in ways that lead to KE, and so on. Through this study, we are seeking to understand the role information professionals are playing in KE, as well as their reflections on that work and the competencies that have been identified in the literature.

If you are an information professional and are interested in participating in this study, please contact ischool.engagementlab@ubc.ca for more information.