VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Research Dissemination

Why this guide?

Many argue that it is an ethical obligation to ensure that research findings are disseminated in a timely, understandable and responsible manner to those who could benefit from the knowledge.* Yet, despite the considerable resources devoted to research, the transfer of research findings beyond scientific publication is often slow and haphazard.** This gap impedes research discoveries from impacting practice, policy change and the general public.***

Successful community engaged research goes beyond strengthening partnerships and conducting research. It involves disseminating the findings within the discipline and in the community.


*Brownson, R. C., Royer, C., Ewing, R., & McBride, T. D. (2006). Researchers and policymakers: travelers in parallel universes. American journal of preventive medicine, 30(2), 164-172.

**Graham, I. D., Logan, J., Harrison, M. B., Straus, S. E., Tetroe, J., Caswell, W., & Robinson, N. (2006). Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map?.Journal of continuing education in the health professions, 26(1), 13-24.

***Chen, P. G., Diaz, N., Lucas, G., & Rosenthal, M. S. (2010). Dissemination of results in community-based participatory research. American journal of preventive medicine, 39(4), 372-378.

Why create a dissemination plan?

There are a number of reasons to create a dissemination plan:

  • Applying for a grant and need a research guide? Dissemination plans are required in many grants.

  • Wanting to share your process or findings with and beyond the academic community.

  • Connecting with others who share key areas of research interest and those who may enhance your research by providing new ideas.

  • Enhancing usability of research by other researchers as well as end users.

  • Sharing research with the public as a part of our mission as a public research university.

  • Developing and a disseminating a body of work that creates depth in the field, facilitates tenor, allows faculty to be expert source of research area.

Dissemination planning can help expand your thinking about what research you share, how you share it, and who you share it with. Planning can also help expand access to your research, and ultimately, increase its impact.