By Gabriele Bammer
This is the fourth annual “state of the blog” review.
For the past four years the blog has worked well, achieving significant growth. In 2020 we’re planning improvements, mainly to make specific resources easier to find and access. In 2019 there were a number of firsts, including surpassing 250 blog posts and 300 authors. Check out the nine blog posts published in 2019 that achieved more than 750 views. And if you are looking for something thought-provoking to read over, what for many, will be a holiday break, see below for a selection of gems. We’re taking a break – back on January 7, 2020.
Blog improvements in 2020
During 2020 we will be improving the i2Insights blog, primarily to make the rich array of resources easier to find and access. One change will be to add a new home page that features not only the current blog post, but also recent ones, as well as a selection of blog posts on specific topics. We will also improve the indexing (and therefore searchability) by expanding our use of categories and sub-categories. This task is already underway, with the establishment of the first elements of the revised index.
Changes will be incremental over the course of the year and we’ll alert you to proposed and actual changes on a new “Improvements” page, as well as a notice located at the top of the right hand sidebar found on all blog pages.
Change inevitably produces glitches, so please bear with us. We would also be grateful if you would let us know about any problems on the blog that you come across.
Highlights for 2019
The blog is now four years old and has published 272 posts by 306 authors from 35 countries. The blog is read in 177 of the 193 countries that are members of the United Nations.
This year’s highlights include:
- Publishing the first contributions from China, Israel, Japan and Luxembourg.
- Achieving a great discussion with a record number of comments on Patricia Longstaff’s blog post on accountability and adaptability to surprises
- Surpassing 1,100 followers
- Setting new monthly records of more than 10,000 views and 6,000 viewers (in October)
- Achieving a median of more than 500 views per blog post
- Forty-eight blog posts receiving more than 1,000 views, with 19 achieving that status in 2019
- Achieving more than 25,000 all-time views for A guide to ontology, epistemology and philosophical perspectives for interdisciplinary researchers by Katie Moon and Deborah Blackman.
And we think the blog could achieve much more. Our aim is to link researchers worldwide, especially to share concepts and methods for tackling complex real-world problems.
Through the blog posts, we want to contribute to the development of:
- best practice tools for more comprehensively understanding and acting on major societal and environmental problems, including research implementation, collaboration, modelling, and stakeholder engagement;
- how best to teach these concepts and methods;
- how to ‘institutionalise’ such research and teaching about integration and implementation in universities and other research organisations.
Contributions are welcome!
We are always excited to receive blog posts from new contributors and delighted to welcome back those who have published posts before.
We aim to make the contribution process as easy and well-supported as possible.
Most viewed 2019 blog posts
Nine blog posts published in 2019 were viewed more than 750 times:
- Idea tree: A tool for brainstorming ideas in cross-disciplinary teams by Dan Stokols, Maritza Salazar, Gary Olson and Judith Olson (more than 2,500 views; 6th most viewed of all time)
- Strengthening the ecosystem for effective team science: A case study from University of California, Irvine, USA by Dan Stokols, Judith Olson, Maritza Salazar and Gary Olson (more than 2,300 views; 7th most viewed of all time)
- Ten things to know about how to influence policy with research by Helen Tilley, Louise Shaxson, John Young and Louise Ball (more than 1,100 views)
- Collaboration: From groan zone to growth zone by Carrie Kappel (more than 1,100 views)
- Metacognition as a prerequisite for interdisciplinary integration by Machiel Keestra (more than 1,000 views)
- 10 tips for next generation interdisciplinary research by Rachel Kelly (more than 1,000 views)
- Achieving transformational change by Steve Waddell (more than 900 views)
- What makes government policy successful? by Jo Luetjens, Michael Mintrom and Paul ’t Hart (more than 800 views)
- How can we know unknown unknowns by Michael Smithson (more than 750 views)
Highly recommended holiday reading
The 16 blog posts below illustrate the diversity of contributions and provide a range of thought-provoking reading.
- Improving transdisciplinary arts-science partnerships by Tania Leimbach and Keith Armstrong
- Using the arts and design to build student creative collaboration capacity by Edgar Cardenas
- Keys to transformation: Interactions of values, rules and knowledge by Russell Gorddard, Matthew Colloff, Russell Wise and Michael Dunlop
- Assessing research contribution claims: The “what else test” by Jess Dart
- Three “must have” steps to improve education for collaborative problem solving by Stephen Fiore
- Linking learning and research through transdisciplinary competences by BinBin Pearce
- Participatory research and power by Diana Rose
- Two lessons for early involvement of stakeholders in research by Obasanjo Oyedele, Martin Atela and Ayo Ojebode
- Funding transformative research: 10 key stages by Flurina Schneider
- One university’s response to addressing complex real-world problems / Respuesta de una universidad para afrontar problemas complejos del mundo real by Carlos Mataix, Javier Carrasco, Sara Romero and Marcel Bursztyn
Inter- and trans- disciplinarity
- Epistemological obstacles to interdisciplinary research by Evelyn Brister
- Is it legitimate for transdisciplinary research to set out to change society? by Antonietta Di Giulio and Rico Defila
- Research impact in government – three crucial elements you will need for success by Anthony Boxshall
- Tracking stakeholder engagement and research impact by Cathy Day
- Dealing with deep uncertainty: Scenarios by Laura Schmitt Olabisi
- Uncertainty in participatory modeling – what can we learn from management research? by Antonie Jetter
We’re taking a break till January 7, 2020 (Australian time). Great contributions to the blog are already in hand for 2020, covering a wide range of topics relevant to research integration and implementation for more comprehensive understanding of, and action on, complex societal and environmental problems. We’ll also be continuing the fortnightly series on unknown unknowns, both to illuminate this largely neglected area and to highlight the diversity of useful approaches to it.
We welcome comments, questions and suggestions for improving the blog.
Biography: Gabriele Bammer PhD is a professor at The Australian National University in the Research School of Population Health’s National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. She is developing the new discipline of Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) to improve research strengths for tackling complex real-world problems through synthesis of disciplinary and stakeholder knowledge, understanding and managing diverse unknowns, and providing integrated research support for policy and practice change.