Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research

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How to disseminate your research

  Created on Tuesday, 27 Mar 2018. Posted in Dissemination

Effective dissemination is about getting the findings of your research to the people who can make use of them, to maximise the benefit of the research without delay. The NIHR have released a guide for researchers who are applying for funding or have research in progress. It is designed to help you plan your dissemination and give your research every chance of being utilised.


Understanding Plain English summaries. A comparison of two approaches to improve the quality of Plain English summaries in research reports

  Created on Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017. Posted in Public Involvement | Dissemination | Design Tips

There is a need for the authors of research reports to be able to communicate their work clearly and effectively to readers who are not familiar with the research area. Because many researchers write using technical, specialised language, particularly in scientific reports, writing Plain English summaries (PESs) can be challenging. This study looked at how to improve the quality of PESs.

The quality of the three versions (original summary, rewritten summary and edited summary) were assessed in two ways. First, a group of people who were not specialists in the subject area read and rated how easy the summaries were to understand. Secondly, a well-known measure called the Flesch reading ease score to assess how easy the PESs were to read.

The results showed that the following methods resulted in the best readable PESs:

  • to employ a specialist to do the task
  • to offer more explicit information to researchers on how to write it. 

The full article can be read online in the BioMed Central Research Involvement and Engagement Journal


Speeding up the delivery of health research evidence

  Created on Tuesday, 15 Aug 2017. Posted in Dissemination

NIHR is keen to get the results from research out as soon as it can, yet publications often take months to appear in journals. In order to speed up the process, the NIHR Journals Library now publishes First Look Summaries. These summaries are released four to six months ahead of full publication after a full editorial and peer review process has taken place.

Although fully reviewed, First Look Summaries have not been copy-edited or proof read and may undergo some minor changes during the publication process. Not all projects will have a first look summary as this is the choice of the Chief Investigator of the study.

So far PHR and HS&DR have released some First Look Summaries - unforturnately they are hard to find on the site and you need to click into a project to discover if such a summary is available. Hopefully the Library will improve this provision and make it more visible to users!!

The PHR Programme has released four first look summaries to date:


Toolkit for communicating your research

  Created on Monday, 07 Aug 2017. Posted in Dissemination

New online toolkit provides guidance, resources and tips for researchers to support communication of their findings in a way that prioritises action in response to evidence. 

  • Section 1: Planning for impact
  • Section 2: Communicating your research results
  • Section 3: Extending influence and widening impact
  • Section 4: Glossary of terms

Fast Track Impact Magazine 1st issue

  Created on Monday, 13 Mar 2017. Posted in Impact | Dissemination

Packed full of useful advice, hints and tips, Fast Track Impact Magazine, the first issue of a free magazine for researchers who want to be more productive and achieve real-world impacts from their research, is available to read and download online.

Read the magazine to get all the latest news and research, become more productive and influential online, better understand and track your impacts, and learn new tips to enhance your impact.

This issue features the following highlights:

  • Online impact
    • Answer these 4 questions to using social media to drive research impact
    • How to actually save time in your working day by engaging with social media
    • How to become influential on Twitter the easy way
  • Enhance your impact
    • 5 things you need to get right if you want to successfully engage with the public and stakeholders for impact
    • Do your design skills undermine your credibility and impact?
    • Help!  My stakeholders aren’t interested in my research
    • 4 points to transform your next talk so you transform your audience
  • REF Tips
    • 3 reasons why you should care about the Research Excellence Framework (REF) if you’re not working in the UK
    • How to enhance the reach of your impact

NIHR Dissemination Centre one year on - Signals, Themed Reviews and Highlights

  Created on Thursday, 27 Oct 2016. Posted in Dissemination

NIHR Signals: Since its launch over 200 Signals have been published. These are summaries of important health research that aim to cut through the noise and provide decision makers in the NHS, public health bodies and social care organisations with evidence they can use.

New Signals are published every week on the Discover Portal. This is a fully searchable, open access resource that anyone can use, including patients. In addition to explaining why the study was needed, what the study did and its findings, Signals also look at the implications for current guidelines and practice, both in terms of improving care and cost effectiveness.

Patients, carers, health professionals and academics help to decide which abstracts will make the most useful Signals by becoming ‘raters’ (find out more about rating)

Signals are shared on Twitter from @NIHR_DC and people can sign up to receive a monthly bulletin of recent signals in their area of interest.

Themed Reviews: 3 themed reviews have been published to date bringing together key NIHR-funded published and ongoing research around a particular topic.

NIHR Highlights: 4 Highlights to date; they explore a small number of NIHR-funded studies on a particular condition, treatment or issue in health. They examine what these studies can tell us, alongside interviews and blogs from clinicians, researchers and patients.


Diabetes themed review - On the level

  Created on Monday, 05 Sep 2016. Posted in Diabetes | Literature | Dissemination

This themed review brings together NIHR research on each aspect of type 2 diabetes care. It features:

  • 35 published studies
  • 19 ongoing studies
  • Questions for patients, commissioners, GPs, community nurses and others
  • Patient voices

New digital magazine aims to inspire the next generation of researchers

  Created on Thursday, 28 Jul 2016. Posted in Literature | Dissemination

A new magazine called The Researcher launched in July. The digital publication has been created for early career researchers by early career researchers aims to raise awareness of research careers among nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

Working in collaboration with Health Education England (HEE), NHS North West Research and Development and a team of early career researchers, along with award winning writer Rob Young, the magazine illustrates the real-life stories of what it is like to undertake a research career.

Two further editions of The Researcher are planned over the next six months. The first edition has the theme of 'Breaking boundaries'


Better Endings - the NIHR Dissemination Centre’s first Themed Review

  Created on Tuesday, 08 Dec 2015. Posted in End of life care | Literature | Dissemination

Better Endings - Right Care, Right Place, Right Time brings together evidence from the NIHR, focusing largely on the quality and organisation of care.

The review aims to help those delivering, planning or using end of life services to ensure that the right care is delivered in the right place at the right time.

  • Watch the video: Professor Bee Wee, National Clinical Director for End of Life Care, talks about the importance of research, priorities for care providers and the challenges that we need to overcome to improve end of life services.  
  • Read the blog: Dr Katherine Sleeman, from King’s College London’s Cicely Saunders Institute, examines recent reports that the UK is best place in the world to die and asks how we can make it better.
  • Listen to the interview: Dr Margaret McCartney talks about the role for general practice in delivering end of life care and the practicalities around helping people to die in the place of their choice.

For more information visit the website


NIHR Dissemination Centre makes research evidence easily available to decision makers

  Created on Wednesday, 08 Jul 2015. Posted in Impact | Dissemination

Each week the Dissemination Centre will publish three or four 'signals' - short summaries of recently published research, with key findings, an explanation of the implications and an expert commentary. Shortlisted abstracts are read and rated by professionals and patients to help decide which ones should go forward each week.

The Dissemination Centre plans additionally to produce larger digests of research evidence and themed reviews.