Knowledge Creation to Dissemination: Where do Providers fit in a Knowledge Translation Model?

Research & Knowledge,

JWHPT Social Media Engagement Series – Part Five

“Translate or terminate” is the new “publish or perish” for researchers. New knowledge created from research must be translated, disseminated and put into action in order to demonstrate impact.  Measure of impact is evidence for end-users and other stakeholders, such as funding sources, as highlighted in the previous social media engagement series Part II, altmetrics. Thus, Knowledge Translation (KT) is an increasing area of research interest to all involved in its process.

Simply put, “Knowledge translation (KT) is the activities involved in moving research from the laboratory, the research journal, and the academic conference into the hands of people and organizations who can put it to practical use.”1 KT models are frameworks that aide in our understanding of this dynamic process.2 It is important to understand our role in this process to ensure accuracy in the movement of knowledge. KT also provides opportunity for end-users (providers) to engage in academic research and for knowledge creators (researchers) to better define and solve knowledge gaps.  

The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) model of Knowledge Translation demonstrates the cyclical interaction between researchers and providers.3 Providers may be engaged by researchers to participate as a team member, helping to provide useful insight necessary to inform research. This may be information that solves barriers to enacting new knowledge in the clinical realm or providing insight into practice patterns.

Providers may also be involved in the KT process as knowledge disseminators. This may occur when teaching a course or educating other providers, patients and the public. Or, it may fall in the realm of social media, where providers may also function as facilitators of altmetric scores, a measure of research impact.

As a provider, you may have been involved in aspects of this process all along, without realizing it. Understanding the various points you interact in the knowledge to action process will help improve the speed at which new knowledge is put into practice, aide in research design that better targets specific problems in clinical practice, improve communication with all involved in the cycle, create opportunity to be involved in research and reduce pitfalls in knowledge movement, such as the “telephone game” where the outcome results in misuse and misunderstanding of knowledge.

To learn more about Knowledge Translation or to view the models, use the reference list as a quick start resource.


  1.       Knowledge translation – Wikipedia. Accessed October 19, 2020.
  2.       Knowledge Translation: Introduction to Models, Strategies, and Measures. Accessed November 6, 2020.
  3.       Government of Canada CI of HRKT. About Knowledge Translation – CIHR. Accessed October 19, 2020.