NURS 693B How You Would Disseminate Your Work DQ
NURS 693B How You Would Disseminate Your Work DQ
Although you did not implement a full research project, you
completed the research proposal with an idea of what your actual results could
be. If you ever do complete a full research project, an important step is
making sure your research is published/disseminated so that other nurse
informatics professionals can benefit from your hard work. There are many ways
to disseminate information in nursing as seen in your text, including many
different nursing journals. Think about your proposal and in what type of
journal it might fit if it were published. Describe how you would disseminate
your work and the reasons for your choice.
To ensure that the project results will be used, research projects must
develop a dissemination plan that explains how the outcomes of the
project will be shared with stakeholders, relevant institutions,
organizations, and individuals. Specifically, a dissemination plan
Why—the purpose of dissemination
What—the message to be disseminated
To whom—the audience
Ideally, the dissemination plan will link with a broader dissemination
strategy for the overall program that encompasses the research project.
It should be planned in consultation with the project partners and
approved by the project management committee.
The dissemination strategy should be based on an understanding of
stakeholders and their information needs and preferences. A
stakeholder is anyone who has a vested interest in the project or will be
affected by its outcomes. Stakeholder analysis is an exercise in which stakeholders are identified, listed, and
assessed in terms of their interest in the project and importance for its success and further dissemination. Key
stakeholders for practice-based research networks include other PBRN
Key Elements of a Dissemination Plan
A dissemination plan must address: the purpose of the outreach, the audience for the outreach, the message or
messages to be shared, the methods for sharing the messages, the timing for the outreach, and the process for
evaluating the success of the dissemination effort.
All dissemination should have a purpose and should support or inform project development in some way. The
purpose of the activity may be to:
Raise awareness—let others know what you are doing
Inform—educate the community
Engage—get input/feedback from the community
Promote—‘sell’ your outputs and results
Defining the purpose of dissemination is a first step to decide on the audience, message, method, and timing of
The dissemination process depends on whom you want to reach and what they can do for your project.
Therefore, the different individuals, groups, and organizations that will be interested in the project and its
results need to be identified and informed. Develop the audience based on the results of the stakeholder
analysis. The following audiences may be considered:
Keep members of the project consortium and your own institution well informed about the progress of the
project. Adequate internal dissemination can also ensure that the project has a high profile within your PBRN.
Share project results with coordinators and key actors of projects dealing with similar topics, both within the
program and in others, to ensure visibility and uptake of results, and provide opportunities to receive feedback,
share experiences, and discuss joint problems and issues.
Reach out to people who will benefit from the outcomes of the project, as well as “opinion makers” such as
teachers, researchers, librarians, and journalists, who can act as catalysts for the dissemination process. Share
findings that can be used by a wider audience than the specific target group through newsletter articles,
conference presentations, case studies, etc., primary care physicians and providers,
the primary care research community, policymakers, and patients.
Once the purpose and audience of the dissemination are clear, define the key messages. To that end, keep these
communication principles in mind:
Messages Should Be Clear
Messages should be clear, simple, and easy to understand. Use language appropriate for the target audience, and
use non-technical language where possible.
Messages Should Be Targeted
Tailor messages to the receiver(s). Carefully consider what they should know about the project. It is possible to
send the same message to different audiences, but check the relevance of the message to the receiver each time.
Messages Should Be Actionable
After hearing the message, the target audience should understand what action(s) to take.
Messages May Be Repeated
Enhance impact by coordinating messages of different projects related to the same subject. Repeating key
messages over time reinforces the messages with the target audiences.
Messages Should Be Factually Correct
Use plain language, and ensure that information is correct and realistic.
While there are a wide variety of dissemination methods, it is important to select the right one(s) to get your
message to the target audience and achieve your purpose.
Newsletters, flyers, and press releases can create awareness about the project.
Reports, journal articles, and Web sites can transmit information about the project.
Conference presentations and Web sites are ways to promote the project and its outcomes.
In addition to more traditional dissemination methods, it can be useful to use less typical strategies. For
example, workshops or online discussion lists can yield a higher level of engagement from stakeholders. This
may be particularly relevant for conflicting information or information that is likely to meet resistance
When planning the dissemination, decide when different dissemination activities will be most relevant. The
ideal timing will depend on the progress of the project as well as on the agenda of the target audience. For
instance, at the start of the project, focus on raising awareness; at the end, on highlighting the achievements and
deliverables. In terms of the “receivers” agenda, consider the time commitments of the target audience and
stakeholders. For instance, acknowledge school or bank holidays, and when working with universities,
remember that it will be difficult to reach academic staff at the start of the term or during examinations.
Evaluation of the Dissemination
Like all other elements of a project, dissemination activities are met with varying degrees of success. To
determine if a dissemination strategy was well chosen and executed, build an evaluation component into
dissemination activities to see if they have achieved their aims. For example, measure the success of a Web site
by checking the usage logs; evaluate training sessions by asking participants to complete an evaluation
questionnaire; and evaluate publications by the number of citations.
For more information on PBRN Dissemination, select the following links:
AHRQ Publishing Guidelines (Includes information on grant funded video production)
AHRQ Social Media Guidelines http://www.ahrq.gov/research/publications/pubcomguide/pcguide4.html
CDC Resources on Health Communication and Social Marketing http://www.cdc.gov/socialmedia/
Overview of Dissemination Methods
Basic Template for Dissemination Planning
Using Social Media for Dissemination