Dissemination of Research Results

Dissemination of Research Results

Dissemination is “the intentional, active process of identifying target audiences and tailoring communication strategies to increase awareness and understanding of evidence and motivate its use in policy, practice, and individual choice” (PCORI )1. Simply put, dissemination is about getting research results to the people who can benefit from those findings.

1 Mathematica Policy Research. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Dissemination & Implementation Toolkit, 2015.

The ultimate goal of dissemination is to enhance the awareness and uptake of research findings. Communicating research findings beyond traditional academic and scientific communities is a vital component to research dissemination. Dissemination is most often addressed by researchers through scientific manuscript publications and meeting presentations. However, this limits the reach to those who could benefit from knowing the results, such as research participants and the general public.

In addition, many funding organizations are now requiring dissemination of results as standard practice, making it imperative to think about dissemination from the very beginning of a research idea.

Whether you are writing a grant application, conducting a study, or ready to publish research results, disseminating research findings is relevant at all phases of research, including:

  • Research idea or grant development: When developing a research idea or writing a grant application, it’s important to think about dissemination of research findings from the very beginning. In fact, many federal grants now require applicants to submit a dissemination plan as part of their grant application.
  • Study implementation: When a study is being implemented, there are many opportunities to engage in dissemination. While there are often constraints with communicating study results prior to publishing main outcomes, many research teams choose to provide project updates to study participants and other key stakeholders. Maintaining stakeholder engagement during study implementation is also an important consideration for creating a well thought out dissemination plan.

This website offers a number of tools and examples that have been created for researchers and community organizations that conduct research to use and share study findings in everyday, easy-to-understand language. To access these tools, use the navigation menu on the left-hand side.