Tips on how to disseminate your research findings effectively
As researchers, we know that effective dissemination of research findings is extremely important to help bridge the gap between research and policy. I have supervised many PhD students in my career and often find they are confused about where to begin when it comes to research dissemination. Here are some clear steps to take that anyone can follow:
- STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
Identify the stakeholders who might be interested in your research. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who might be interested in, benefit from, or be impacted by my research?
- Why would my research be of interest to these people?
- What aspects of my research are most relevant to these people (which parts of my research align with their goals)?
- How do each of these people interact with others (what degree of influence do they hold)? 1
- THINK ABOUT YOUR FORMAT
Produce targeted outputs that are in an appropriate format for EACH stakeholder. For example, researchers might find a Tweet with a link to your article findings most helpful while media news outlets might find a short summary via a media release most engaging. Use plain English which is accessible to all audiences.
- LEARN TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECTIVELY!
Many studies have shown that there is a statistically significant correlation between social media mentions such as posts, tweets, blogs and citation counts. 2 Get active online and engage in other people’s work too!
- BE SMART ABOUT YOUR TIMING
Dissemination should not be limited to the end of a study. Consider whether any findings can be shared earlier!
1. The Longdon School of Economics and Political Science. So you want to make an impact some practical suggestions for early-career researchers. 2018. Available online: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2018/08/06/so-you-want-to-make-an-impact-some-practical-suggestions-for-early-career-researchers/
2. Tripathy, J. P., Bhatnagar, A., Shewade, H. D., Kumar, A., Zachariah, R., & Harries, A. D. (2017). Ten tips to improve the visibility and dissemination of research for policy makers and practitioners.Public health action,7(1), 10–14. doi:10.5588/pha.16.0090