By Rachel Lawrence, ARC KSS PhD student and Alice Warner, ARC KSS Research Assistant

Involving collaborators and providers is an important part of any research project, particularly within the health and social care sector. This becomes increasingly important when, as researchers, we consider the implications of our work and how our research can be applied to practice.

For research to be useful, we need to share key outputs with collaborators and providers. Rachel and Alice highlight some of the key points researchers needs to consider when sharing research, and outline how this is being done at the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS)

Remember the value of sharing our work
Many services I have worked with have a limited amount of time to dedicate to research. Our collaborators and providers will often want to know the outcomes of the research. So, throughout the collaboration process it is important that you discuss with individuals what exactly they would like to get out of the research.

I recently shared a summary of one of my studies with the participants involved and it was very positively received. They told me how nice it was to see and be able to use the outputs.

Make outputs easily accessible
When sharing your outputs, make sure they are easily accessible, so that people, who are not researchers, can understand our findings.

The feedback I've had from a summary I recently shared was that it was useful because it was accessible, short and clear. All outputs should provide key definitions, explain things in lay terms; and in a concise way (1-3 pages) so that it is quick and easy for people to read.

Highlight the implications for practice
Make sure you include a section in any outputs that outlines how the research would be beneficial to their practice.

The application of research findings will often be a main reason for organisations to become involved in research as well. To make it easy for them to grasp the key information, you may want to include a section titled ‘implications for practice’ and present key bullet points which clearly set them out.

Methods of sharing outputs
Sharing outputs with collaborators and providers should be something that is considered early on in any research project.

A useful way is to ask those who took part, or shared the recruitment information, whether they would like to receive a summary of the findings.

This has worked well for me in the past, as many people that expressed their interest in my project, gave their consent to be added to a list of contacts that I kept until the summary report was finished. This allowed me to share my findings and acted as an incentive for people to be involved in the research.

Sharing outputs at ARC KSS

At ARC KSS we focus on the 'real world' implementation of applied research findings and outputs. So, collaboration with key stakeholders, such as those accessing or delivering health and social care services, are at the forefront of all our research activities.

Incorporating co-production and Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) as part of our research projects is, therefore, essential as our aim is to engage and involve the public throughout the research process in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of our research findings.

In order to effectively disseminate information, all materials are created with the target audience in mind. For example, those who collaborated and took part in research who are often keen for us to feedback outcomes to them.

Writing in a clear, concise and accessible way, as well as setting out information in a visually appealing, easy-to-understand and accessible format, ensures our that audiences are able and get motivated to engage fully with our research outputs such as: infographics, posters and short read summaries.

Another important part of the dissemination of our work, is demonstrating impact. As an ARC, we have a responsibility to demonstrate that the research we fund, and the support we give, is making a positive impact. One of the ways we do this is by monitoring the engagement with research outputs (for example, counting how many times a document has been downloaded from our website; how many times a video has been watched or download from our YouTube channel; or how many likes, retweets and reposts we get through our social media activity). In addition, we will often ask our stakeholders for feedback on an event we've hosted or a resource we have produced, by asking them to fill in a survey.

As an ARC, our duty is to make sure that the research we do is making a difference in our communities. Our dissemination and impact-evidence-based activities help us to do this. Sharing our outputs is easily achieved with the help of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who work with researchers to make sure that our research reaches the right audiences.

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