In a knowledge intensive sector like ours, IssueLab fills a unique role. We not only run one of the largest open repositories for social sector knowledge, we also offer services to help organizations better manage, synthesize, and share what they are learning.
You don’t need to build a custom publications section or have in-house expertise in maintaining an online library to effectively share your knowledge. Our Knowledge Center service simply takes the look and feel of your own website and wraps it around IssueLab’s existing tool set, bringing all of the resources you want to share into a single searchable, browseable, and easily maintainable collection with a custom look and feel. You can choose to include publications from your own archive, resources from IssueLab’s collection of 20,000+ resources, knowledge products from your own network members or grantees, and/or a selection of resources from the field.
What makes this service truly unique is that Knowledge Centers are part of a larger, networked knowledge management system that ties your products into the collective intelligence of the social sector.
When you add a resource to your Knowledge Center it’s immediately available to your audience through your own website. But it’s also added to the larger IssueLab platform where it’s available to IssueLab’s global audience, to data partners who harvest the collection for resources that are valuable to their own users, to other Foundation Center web properties such as Grantspace and issue-specific information portals, to Worldcat the global catalog used by tens of thousands of libraries, and to the Foundation Center’s social media subscribers and followers.
What in the past was just a far-flung collection of disparate and disconnected e-libraries can now be connected by a single system that catalogues, indexes, and shares this diverse body of knowledge through a distributed network, bringing it to thousands more users where they are already gathering online.
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & KNOWLEDGE SYNTHESES
Sometimes our greatest barrier to accessing the knowledge we need is making sense of its sheer volume. Everyday, as foundation and nonprofit staff make tough programmatic and investment decisions, they ask the question, “what do we already know about this?” The good news is that much of what we know is actually contained in the very reports, case studies, and evaluations that IssueLab collects.
Our Special Collections and Knowledge Synthesis services are designed to leverage existing, practice-based, knowledge; surfacing important insights and evidence from organizations around the world.
We work closely with organizations in defining their research question, systematically searching for relevant literature addressing those questions, and extracting and summarizing important lessons. We then make the results of that work available through openly licensed and publicly available reports, visualizations, and fully searchable digital collections.
DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIERS
Effective knowledge management and mobilization don’t end with posting your report to your website, or even with posting a copy to IssueLab’s open archive. Users need to be able to access knowledge products well into the future, (even when you change your reports URLs), and knowledge producers need to better understand how and where their knowledge is being accessed.
Digital object identifiers (DOIs) provide a way for organizations to start moving toward more accurate knowledge management and knowledge-sharing metrics; to go beyond producing a report to publishing it. When you attach a DOI to your published work you ensure that it’s always discoverable online, allowing you to better track how many times it’s been accessed over time. DOIs also open the door to metrics such as citation tracking and newer alternative metrics, or “altmetrics”, that measure interest and attention paid to works in social media venues such as Twitter and Facebook, and in online news sites such as the New York Times.
It’s difficult to find an article published in an academic or scientific journal that doesn’t carry a DOI since journal publishers automatically apply DOIs to these works in order to manage access and tracking. Now, social sector organizations can do the same for the knowledge they produce.
IssueLab created its DOI service to help social sector publishers get in on all of the benefits of the DOI. It costs social sector organizations nothing to get a DOI through IssueLab’s DOI service. To get started, add your works to IssueLab and then click here to start your request for DOIs!
If the world of DOIs intrigues you, check out our DOI FAQ to read more about why we are ga-ga for DOIs, and what compels us to offer this service at no cost to publishing organizations.