# 6.1.4: Disseminating Findings

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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

• Define dissemination.
• Discuss the three considerations to keep in mind in order to successfully disseminate your findings.

Presenting your work, discussed in Section 6.1.2 "Presenting Your Research", is one way of disseminating your research findings. In this section, we’ll focus on disseminating the written results of your research. Dissemination refers to “a planned process that involves consideration of target audiences and the settings in which research findings are to be received and, where appropriate, communicating and interacting with wider policy and…service audiences in ways that will facilitate research uptake in decision-making processes and practice” (Wilson, Petticrew, Calnan, & Natareth, 2010, p. 91).Wilson, P. M., Petticrew, M., Calnan, M. W., & Natareth, I. (2010). Disseminating research findings: What should researchers do? A systematic scoping review of conceptual frameworks. Implementation Science, 5, 91. In other words, dissemination of research findings involves careful planning, thought, consideration of target audiences, and communication with those audiences. Writing up results from your research and having others take notice are two entirely different propositions. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that people will not take notice unless you help and encourage them to do so. To paraphrase the classic line from the film Field of Dreams, just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come.

Finally, determining how to reach your audiences will vary according to which audience you wish to reach. Your strategy should be determined by the norms of the audience. For example, scholarly journals provide author submission instructions that clearly define requirements for anyone wishing to disseminate their work via a particular journal. The same is true for newspaper editorials; check your newspaper’s website for details about how to format and submit letters to the editor. If you wish to reach out to your political representatives, a call to their offices or, again, a simple web search should tell you how to do that.

Whether you act on all these suggestions is ultimately your decision. But if you’ve conducted high-quality research and you have findings that are likely to be of interest to any constituents besides yourself, I would argue that it is your duty as a scholar and a sociologist to share those findings. In sum, disseminating findings involves the following three steps:

1. Determine who your audience is.
2. Identify where your audience is.
3. Discover how best to reach them.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

• Disseminating findings takes planning and careful consideration of one’s audiences.
• The dissemination process includes determining the who, where, and how of reaching one’s audiences.

EXERCISES

1. What additional potential audiences for your research, aside from those already mentioned, can you identify? How might you reach those audiences?
2. Do you agree or disagree with the assertion that researchers who conduct high-quality research have a duty to share their findings with others? Explain.

6.1.4: Disseminating Findings is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.