On October 23, 2010, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) launched its new website, a knowledge management system (KMS) that showcases the activities of ICAR and highlights the contributions to the field made by our expanding community of scholars and practitioners. On the new site, visitors can quickly catch up on ICAR’s latest publications, media appearances, and upcoming events.
Each member of our community will be invited to participate in this new online home for ICAR by creating a profile and sharing information about their background, professional careers, and accomplishments. An important strength of the KMS is in our profile pages that highlight publications, projects, media appearances, courses taught, and presentations given. Profiles also feature blog entries and highlight participation in social media and networks.
The ICAR KMS is the result of a yearlong collaboration between ICAR’s Knowledge Management Team and Xululabs, a Drupal development firm based in Fairfax, Virginia. The ICAR staff has stepped up to provide the content of the new website, from information on admissions to events, and faculty members have been working to find a home on the site for their projects.
Partnering with faculty, alumni, and students, the staff of ICAR’s John Burton Library has used the KMS to organize and showcase an extremely large and robust collection of conflict resolution resources generated by ICAR’s community of scholars and practitioners. This process will be ongoing to keep us up to date and aware of the activities at ICAR. The concept of linked data is the foundation of the KMS. All of the content stored on ICAR’s website stands in relationship with other content, creating a web of information that highlights the connections among people, organizations, academic publications, media appearances, courses, events, topics, and geographical regions.
The goal of the ICAR KMS is to reach and communicate with ICAR’s core audiences: students, alumni, prospective students, practitioners in the field of conflict analysis and resolution, policymakers, the media, and the public. The site aims to inform visitors about conflict analysis and resolution and what it is that ICAR does to lead and contribute to this field. For the first time, ICAR has a repository that can store and share the accomplishments of our very active community members.
In addition, the site serves as a launch pad for students to publish articles, present at conferences, find jobs and internships, and develop their understanding of conflict analysis and resolution. The accomplishments of others at ICAR serve as a pathway, illuminating the journals that publish our work, the conferences that feature our papers, and the organizations that hire our people.
The ICAR KMS is a living virtual representation of ICAR’s activity that communicates what is already there: a vibrant community of scholars and practitioners who are building the field every day. We hope that you will find it professionally and academically useful, and that you share with us your ideas and hopes for what you would like to see it become. You are invited to visit the site at icar.gmu.edu.
Submitted by Paul Snodgrass, technology and knowledge management director, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution