Social Sciences and Humanities Research and the Public Good: A Synthesis of Presentations and Discussions


  • Johanne Provencal Simon Fraser University



Research as a public good, Knowledge mobilization, Scholarly communication


In May 2010, with the support of funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, a one-day workshop, entitled, “Social Sciences and Humanities Research as a Public Good: Identifying Research Prospects for Advancing Research Among Academic and Non-Academic Discourse Communities” was held in Montreal, Québec. The workshop brought together Canadian stakeholders involved in extending the reach of research (for the public good), including those involved in open access and knowledge mobilization, as well as organizations linked to the research community, and non-academic organizations with a clear mandate to include research in their activities or to extend the reach of research. This article presents a summary of the workshop presentations and a synthesis of the workshop discussions. The article also provides a discussion of the emergent issues arising from the workshop (such as the sustainability of open access journal publishing, the challenges of knowledge mobilization, and the limited media uptake of social sciences and humanities research), areas of inquiry that these issues open up (engaged scholarship and the engaged university, faculty reward structures, and public knowledge/knowledge mobilization as areas of scholarly inquiry), and collaborative next steps for stakeholders to take, to address concerns raised and to seize opportunities to advance shared interests.