When academic research meets cutting-edge technology and social networking, the result is Civios: a new online collection of videos, podcasts, and other multimedia tools that translate public affairs research into easy-to-understand presentations.
Hosted by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and officially launched today, this collection features research on a wide array of public affairs issues—from urban planning and immigration to predatory policing and human services—conducted by faculty members from across the University of Minnesota.
Civios is intended to be a ‘go-to’ resource for public affairs research, shared mostly through online social networking among audiences who play key roles in shaping public policy.
“So many people rely on research to guide their work—from advocacy and nonprofit organizations to local and state agencies and lawmakers—and until now most research has been published only in academic journals,” said Laura Bloomberg, Humphrey School associate dean. “Civios not only makes this important research accessible, but it does so in an interesting and engaging way.”
The key to Civios is pushing out research outcomes through social media, among audiences who work on specific issues. The developers of Civios call them ‘hubs of influence’: for example, efforts to promote the newest video about developing ‘happy cities’ tap into an active network of urban planners, advocacy groups, and state and local organizations such as the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Hennepin County Public Health.
Designed to be short and engaging, Civios uses plain language to break down complicated research and to appeal to the general public. But the platform also offers links to full research outcomes and additional resources. Most podcasts and videos include links to materials stored in the University’s Digital Conservancy, which is hosted by University of Minnesota Libraries and includes more than 55,000 other open-access articles, documents, and data sets.
“We consider Civios a gateway to relevant research,” said Kate Conners, project director for Civios. “In today’s world, we have to get our research into channels where people are finding information. But because it involves public affairs and could impact policy, we also want the full research findings available, and this is the best way to achieve that.”
To peruse the collection and sign up for updates on new material, visit civios.umn.edu.
- Science and Technology