The studies presented in this section investigated dissemination to the public from the researchers’ and public engagement enablers’ point of view. The first, “Factors affecting public engagement by researchers” came out of a project by the UK consortium TNS-BMRB & PSI, and represents an update to an earlier project by the Royal Society in 2006.
Wilson, P. M., Petticrew, M., Calnan, M. W., and Nazareth, I. (2010). Does dissemination extend beyond publication: a survey of a cross section of public funded research in the UK. Implementation Science, 5(1), 61. http://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-5-61
Wilson et al. conducted a survey of 232 Principal investigators (PIs) of publicly-funded health research in the UK. The aim of the survey was to investigate dissemination practices of health researchers. The online questionnaire consisted of 36 questions to be answered within 30 minutes. Research dissemination was rated important or very important by 93% of respondents. The most important reasons for disseminating findings were to raise awareness of the findings (93%), to influence policy (85%) or practice (84%), to stimulate discussion/debate and to transfer research into practice (both 75%). 84% rated their dissemination activities as good or adequate, and less than 1% as excellent.
When asked about the dissemination channels, a majority named traditional dissemination channels, such as academic journals, conferences, and reports. It should be noted though that online dissemination was nowhere near where it is today: among the channels provided for selection were newsletters, e-mail alerts, CD-ROM and RSS feeds. An interesting finding is that researchers that have received advice/support from funders or within their department reported significantly more often that they had achieved an impact on policy. Two problems reported with dissemination were misrepresentation of research by third parties and lack of funding.