Articles on Knowledge Translation


The knowledge translation process includes knowledge dissemination, communication, technology transfer, ethical context, knowledge management, knowledge utilization, two-way exchange between researchers and those who apply knowledge, implementation research, technology assessment, synthesis of results with the global context, the development of consensus guidelines, and more (CIHR, 2004 as cited in Sudsawad, 2007, p. 2).

Following are some articles from the KT Library that address this topic. KTDRR staff reviewed a number of articles, developed a brief abstract, and assigned ratings based on strength of evidence, readability, and consumer orientation. For more information on these ratings, see KT Library Descriptor Scales.


Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA. (2014). Brining New Prototypes into Practice: Dissemination, Implementation, and Facilitating Transformation. 1-38.

Abstract: This report begins by presenting prominent examples in the field of implementation and translational research from the CDC and other prominent institutions. The authors then utilize their own work on directions for schools to address learning, behavior, and emotional problems; as well as define and clarify key terms such as direct implementation and facilitation. The overarching goal of this report is to broaden the understanding and discussions on research of translation, dissemination, implementation, and system transformation.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 2 - Expert opinions
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Davis, D., Evans, M., Jadad, A., Perrier, L., Rath, D., Ryan, D., et al. (2003). The case for knowledge translation: Shortening the journey from evidence to effect. British Medical Journal, 327, 33-35.     

Abstract: Davis et al. compare how continuing medical education (CME), continuing professional development (CPD), and knowledge translation promote the implementation of evidenced-based research into practice. The article notes that the passive education embraced by the CME and CPD models do not change physicians’ behavior. The authors posit that knowledge translation is more effective in producing change and present specific ways in which knowledge translation is different from CME and CPD as justification for their position.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Elias, B, O'Neil, J. (2006). The Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research: Knowledge Translation with Indigenous Communities. Healthcare Policy, 1(4): 44-49.

Abstract: The Manitoba First Nations Center for Aboriginal Health Research (MFN-CAHR) has worked with the indigenous populations of Canada, researchers, policy makers, and other influential parties to incorporate meaningful research in their decision making process. The important changes made to access of available research, knowledge translation (KT) strategies involving research participation, and relevant shifts in research areas are discussed. Subsequent changes have resulted in the increased use of evidence-based practices regarding indigenous communities. However, increased funding and resources will be needed to continue.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence:1 - Author(s) opinions
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Estabrooks, C. A., Thompson, D. S., Lovely, J. J. E., & Hofmeyer, A. (2006). A guide to knowledge translation theory. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 26(1), 25-36.

Abstract: Estabrooks et al. highlight the lack of an overarching or encompassing knowledge-translation model. Similar relevant terminologies are explored and highlighted, such as implementation research and knowledge utilization. Several social, organizational and research-based theories are also examined. It is concluded that in order to properly utilize knowledge translation's complex theory, we need a variety of detailed theories that may represent smaller components of an overall depiction of the concept.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence:1 - Author(s) opinions
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Fielden, S. J., Rusch, M. L., Masinda, M. T., Sands, J., Frankish, J., & Evoy, B. (2007). Key considerations for logic model development in research partnerships: A Canadian case study. Evaluation and Program Planning, 30, 115-124.

Abstract: Fielden advocate using a logic model for planning and implementing partnerships to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice. The authors describe the development of a community-academic research partnership to address issues regarding vulnerable populations. The article notes the advantage of logic models in establishing common purpose and vision; however, the authors also report the challenges of such relationships due to issues of trust, power, commitment, motivation, and accountability. The authors suggest how to address the issues raised.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Ginexi, E. M., & Hilton, T. F. (2006). What's next for translation research? Evaluation & The Health Professions, 29(3), 334-347.

Abstract: Ginexi and Hilton list several factors that inhibit the translation of research knowledge into daily practice. The article reports that meta-analysis research informs the field of "best practices." Finally, the authors note a current trend to large-scale research with the potential for large-scale dissemination.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Glasgow, R. E., Lichtenstein, E., & Marcus, A. C. (2003). Why don't we see more translation of health promotion research to practice? Rethinking the efficacy-to-effectiveness transition. American Journal of Public Health, 93(8), 1261–1267.

Abstract: Glasgow, Lichtenstein, and Marcus note the large discrepancy between the number of efficacy and effectiveness studies. The authors suggest that the gap is due to inherent differences in how the studies are planned and implemented. The article includes recommendations for placing greater emphasis on external validation. The authors suggest how to enhance Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) criteria for reporting randomized clinical trials that reflect consideration of external validity. A companion article is available in this collection entitled, "Evaluating the relevance, generalization, and applicability of research" (Green, L. W., & Glasgow, R. E., 2006).

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Gold, M., & Taylor, E. F. (2007). Moving research into practice: Lessons from the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's IDSRN program. Implementation Science, 2(9), 1-28.

Abstract: Gold and Taylor describe their methodology and results in evaluating the Integrated Delivery Systems Research network (IDSRN) program of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The authors conducted interviews and reviewed program documents as well as analyzed projects and case studies. The results supported the concept of linking researchers with users of the research in a team-based approach. Further, IDSRN provided a mechanism to address issues in an expedited manner. The results noted weaknesses in the administrative structure of IDSRN, which resulted in its reorganization into ACTION (Accelerating Change and Transformation of Organizations and Networks).

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Green, L. W., & Glasgow, R. E. (2006). Evaluating the relevance, generalization, and applicability of research: Issues in external validation and translation methodology. Evaluation & the Health Professions, 29(1), 126-153. source.

Abstract: Green and Glasgow suggest that current research does not include sufficient emphasis on external validation or generalizability. The authors propose criteria to evaluate the external validity of research, such as the inclusion of members of the target population in the study; use of intended settings; reporting the expertise and training of people providing implementation, as well as any adaptations made for different settings; effects beyond primary outcomes including quality of life issues; and reporting costs. The article recommends that external validity should be included in the planning process, thus making the research relevant to the people who will use the outcomes for setting policy or for decision making on an individual level. A companion article is available in this collection entitled, "Why don't we see more translation of health promotion research to practice? Rethinking the efficacy-to-effectiveness translation" (Glasgow, 2003).

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Grimshaw, J., Eccles, M. Thomas, R., MacLennan, G., Ramsay, C., Fraser, C., & Vale, L. (2006). Toward evidence-based quality improvement: Evidence (and its limitations) of the effectiveness of guideline dissemination and implementation strategies 1966-1998. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21, S14-S20. source.

Abstract: The Grimshaw et al. systematic review addresses the effectiveness and costs of guideline dissemination and implementation strategies. The authors included studies from 1966 through 1998 and found them to be weak in reporting of methodology. The authors noted the advantages of using paper or electronic reminders to improve care rather than a multifaceted approach of educational outreach. However, the article cautions that after 30 years of research on guideline dissemination and implementation, there continues to be a lack of quality studies to inform the field about quality improvement strategies.

Evidence: 5 – Systematic review
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Harmsworth, S., Turpin, S., & the TQEF National Co-ordination Team. (2000). Creating an effective dissemination strategy: An expanded interactive workbook for educational development projects

Abstract: The Harmsworth and Turpin document is a step-by-step workbook for research teams to use in developing an effective plan for dissemination of their findings. The authors focus attention on what is to be disseminated, identification of the target populations, establishment of reasonable timeframes, and venue of dissemination. The authors note that effective dissemination involves the recipient to participate in the awareness, understanding or action dictated by the new knowledge.

Evidence: 2 - Expert opinions
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Lane, J. P., & Flagg, J. L. (2010.). Translating three states of knowledge--discovery, invention, and innovation. Implementation Science 5(9). doi:10.1186/1748-5908-5-9.

© 2010 Lane and Flagg; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract: Knowledge Translation (KT) has historically focused on the proper use of knowledge in healthcare delivery. A knowledge base has been created through empirical research and resides in scholarly literature. Some knowledge is amenable to direct application by stakeholders who are engaged during or after the research process, as shown by the Knowledge to Action (KTA) model. Other knowledge requires multiple transformations before achieving utility for end users. For example, conceptual knowledge generated through science or engineering may become embodied as a technology-based invention through development methods. The invention may then be integrated within an innovative device or service through production methods.

Science and engineering focused on technology-based devices or services change the state of knowledge through three successive activities. Achieving knowledge implementation requires methods that accommodate these three activities and knowledge states. Accomplishing beneficial societal impacts from technology-based knowledge involves the successful progression through all three activities, and the effective communication of each successive knowledge state to the relevant stakeholders. The KTA model appears suitable for structuring and linking these processes.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence:1 - Author(s) opinions
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Lencucha, R., Kothari, A., Rouse, M. (2007). The Issue is Knowledge Translation: A concept for occupational therapy? American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 593-596.

Abstract: Lenchucha et al. describe the concepts of evidence-based practice (EBP) and knowledge translation (KT) as they relate specifically to the Occupational Therapy community. The importance of research-based practices is recognized. Yet, a bi-directional relationship is proposed, where prior experiences and practice history should also influence research topics. The importance of focusing on the occupational community instead of singular examples within the research is also a central issue.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Loveridge, R. (1997). Social science as social reconstruction: A celebration of discontinuity or a test of the resilience of belief? Human Relations, 50(8), 879-884. source.

Abstract: Loveridge, the editor of this special 50th year anniversary issue of the journal Human Relations, traces social science scholarship and its impact from the mid- to late 20th century. In the decades after World War II, a social science theory known as "Organizational Behavior" was applied to the management and social administration of organizations. Loveridge advocates rethinking these basic assumptions and convictions on which many institutions still base their practice. This issue of Human Relations explores the issue in specific contexts, such as the United Nations, international media and non-governmental organizations. The article may be of interest to researchers with interest in knowledge value mapping, since it examines the relationship between and among research, practice, and values.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


McClean, S., & Shaw, A. (2005). From schism to continuum? The problematic relationship between expert and lay knowledge–an exploratory conceptual synthesis of two qualitative studies. Qualitative Health Research, 15(6), 729-749.

Abstract: McClean and Shaw explore the relationship between expert and lay knowledge, suggesting that knowledge is on a continuum. They analyze two qualitative studies presenting both the lay and expert points of view via explication of three themes: a mistrust of biomedical knowledge; the role for intuitive, individuated and personalized knowledge; and the potential for different forms of lay expertise.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. (2005). Knowledge translation planning: Background information for the June 9-10, 2005 panel meeting. Paper presented at the meeting of the Knowledge Translation Planning Panel June 9-10, 2005, in Austin, Texas.

Abstract: The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) produced this document as background information for the meeting of the Knowledge Transition Planning Panel on June 9-10, 2005. It includes information on panel members as well as NIDRR’s knowledge translation goals, general information about knowledge translation, and NIDRR Disability and Rehabilitation Research sample products. The Appendix contains a paper by Mark Johnston, PhD entitled "Applying Evidence Based Standards to Medical Rehabilitation Research: An Overview." The Johnston article is also available in this collection.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 2 - Expert opinions
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


NCDDR. (2005). FOCUS Technical Brief (10). What is knowledge translation?

Abstract: This issue of FOCUS discusses knowledge translation, a relatively new term that is used to describe a relatively old problem-the underutilization of evidence-based research in systems of care. This article describes relevant KT concepts, KT planning models, and suggests a working definition for KT that is designed to reflect NIDRR's research and development priorities.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


NCDDR. (2005). FOCUS Technical Brief (11). Communities of practice: A strategy for sharing and building knowledge.

Abstract: This issue of FOCUS discusses the use of Communities of Practice (CoPs) as a knowledge transfer (KT) strategy. CoPs are "groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis" (Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002). By building on its members' shared knowledge, a CoP can be useful in developing new ideas and new strategies. The NCDDR's efforts to support a CoP for NIDRR grantees are also described.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


NCDDR. (2005). FOCUS Technical Brief (12). What Consumers and Researchers Say About Research.

Abstract: The NCDDR and the Research Utilization Support and Help (RUSH) project at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory conducted two studies in 2005 with different audiences in order to learn more about their perceptions of research and how best to get information to diverse groups of end users. This issue of FOCUS shares the findings from the two studies and suggests potential implications.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


NCDDR. (2006). FOCUS Technical Brief (13). Meet the new NCDDR.

Abstract: This issue of FOCUS describes how the impetus for NCDDR's reorganization relates to NIDRR's new emphasis on knowledge translation. It also outlines several of the services the NCDDR will offer to NIDRR grantees and, in some cases, to interested consumers.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


NCDDR. (2006). FOCUS Technical Brief (14). Overview of international literature on knowledge translation.

Abstract: This issue of FOCUS summarizes the KT process as described by several international authors. International scholars, particularly from Canada and Europe, have published numerous articles on KT processes and strategies. While the majority of these KT articles are published in medical and health-care journals, there is a growing interest in applying the KT concept more generically (i.e., knowledge to action) and to other disciplines, including disability and rehabilitation research.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Tetroe, J. (2007). FOCUS Technical Brief (18). Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: A Primer.

Abstract: In this FOCUS, Jacqueline Tetroe describes the work of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and efforts to translate knowledge from the research setting into real-world applications for the benefit of Canadians.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Gibbons, M. (2008). FOCUS Technical Brief (21). Why Is Knowledge Translation Important?

Abstract: This FOCUS highlights Michael Gibbons's plenary speech on knowledge translation presented at the KT08: Forum for the Future conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada, held on June 10, 2008. Dr. Gibbons is the coauthor of The New Production of Knowledge and Re-Thinking Science.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Palsbo, S. E., & Kailes, J. I. (2006). Disability-competent health systems. Disability Studies Quarterly, 26.

Abstract: Palsbo and Kailes outline of the Disability-Competent Health System, using the framework of the commonly-used Chronic Medical Model. The authors challenge health care systems to be more accessible and "disability-competent." Suggestions are made throughout the article on how to modify current practice to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. The article includes an 11-point checklist to assist health care systems in evaluating their ability to serve people with disabilities properly.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: B - Some data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Renger, R., & Hurley, C. (2006). From theory to practice: Lessons learned in the application of the ATM approach to developing logic models. Evaluation and Program Planning, 29(2),106–119.

Abstract: Renger and Hurley give an overview of the three-step systematic Antecedent, Target, Measurements (ATM) approach to developing logic models. The authors offer the advantages of the ATM approach in comparison to others that have been developed. Further, the article includes practical lessons for implementing the model in a variety of settings.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Scott, A. (2006). Peer review and the relevance of science. SPRU Electronic Working Paper Series 145.     

Abstract: Scott analyzes of the use of peer reviews in funding decisions, academic publishing, and promotions in research institutions and universities. The author suggests that peer reviews tend to downplay social relevance and innovation in preference or judging potential research in comparison to existing knowledge. The article notes that social problems require a peer review process that includes a wider range of competencies and interests, such as external validity, relevance, interdisciplinary effort and level of risk. Further, the author recommends that peer reviews be conducted in a structured manner to make the process more transparent.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Sudsawad, P. (2007). Knowledge translation: Introduction to models, strategies, and measures. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research.

Abstract: Knowledge translation (KT) is a complex and multidimensional concept that demands a comprehensive understanding of its mechanisms, methods, and measurements, as well as its influencing factors at the individual and contextual levels—and the interaction between those levels. This literature review is not intended to be an in-depth or systematic review of knowledge translation, but is designed to bring together several aspects of KT from selected literature for the purpose of raising awareness, connecting thoughts and perspectives, and stimulating ideas and questions about KT for future research in this area of inquiry in rehabilitation. It begins with a review of definitions of knowledge translation and identifies and examines KT models. Next, several KT strategies and their effectiveness are explored, and finally, several methods and approaches to measure the use of research knowledge in various dimensions are presented.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Tetroe, J. (2005). A review of knowledge transfer conceptual models, frameworks and theories to facilitate best practice implementation. PowerPoint presentation at the September, 2005, biannual meeting of the Improved Clinical Effectiveness through Behavioural Research Group.

Abstract: Tetroe summarizes interim results from a study of conceptual models, frameworks, and theories on knowledge translation (planned change). Planned change refers to "deliberately engineering change that occurs in groups that vary in size and setting" (Tetroe, 2005). The review of 30 models/frameworks identified several planned action theories which "promote, plan or implement change" (Tetroe, 2005). Many of the models have concepts in common; however, most have not been empirically tested and generalizability is implied but not supported by data.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Tremblay, G.J.L., Drouin, D., Parker, J., Monette, C., Côté, D., & Reid, R.D. (2004). The Canadian Cardiovascular Society and knowledge translation: Turning best evidence into best practice. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 20(12), 1195-1198.     

Abstract: Tremblay et al. define knowledge translation as "turning best evidence into best practice" (p. 1195). The authors propose the Canadian Cardiovascular Society to take the lead in knowledge translation of biomedical literature as it relates to cardiology. Further, the article outlines the advantages of knowledge translation in comparison with current practitioners’ continuing medical education (CME) and continuing professional development (CPD).

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Weigold, M. (2002). Communicating science. In Washington Research Evaluation Network Management Benchmarking Study (Section 4, Chap. 17).

Abstract: Weigold acknowledges the responsibility of scientists to make their research available to the public. The author notes conflicting priorities between scientists and journalists reporting on their research. In addition, the article categorizes the public’s receptivity to science research, noting that science reporting potential risks seem to garner the greatest audience. Science communication can impact public attitudes and policy-making.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Woloshin, S., & Schwartz, L. M. (2006). What's the rush? The dissemination and adoption of preliminary research results. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 98(6), 372-373.

Abstract: Woloshin and Schwartz raise the issue of adopting the results of interim research into clinical practice. The authors recommended that meeting organizers and medical journal editors coordinate the presentation of results with the publication process, thus allowing for more complete information to be presented and establishing the expectation that research would be published near the same time as the meeting. The article includes a checklist for practitioners to consult in determining whether to use preliminary research findings. Finally, the authors recommend that any preliminary finding should include a caution that the information may change before the study is completed.

Evidence: 1 - Author(s) opinion
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


World Health Organization. (2005). Bridging the "know-do" gap meeting on knowledge translation in global health.     

Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO) document provides a summary of proceedings of a meeting of international representatives on knowledge translation, hosted by WHO. In recognition of the gap between research evidence and practical application, the purpose of the meeting was to develop recommendations for action to bridge the "know-do" gap. The participants strongly supported knowledge translation as an important strategy in addressing the gap while promoting a culture of learning, critical thinking and innovation.

Evidence: 2 - Expert opinions
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)


Valentine, J. C., Cooper, H.,,Patall, E. A., Tyson, D., & Robinson, J. C. (2010). A method for evaluating research syntheses: The quality, conclusions, and consensus of 12 syntheses of the effects of after-school programs. Research Synthesis Methods, 1(1), 20-38. doi: 10.1002/jrsm.3

Abstract: Valentine et al. examine the methods used to synthesize research when evaluating after-school programs (ASPs). Several ASPs are located, primarily through the C.S. Mott Foundation and the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Programs. Evaluation tools and a coding guide are created and implemented to compare the various syntheses. Validity of many of the individual programs and their conclusions are questioned. A variety of methods used, conclusions and implications for future research are also identified in the attempt to create a complete research synthesis of after-school programs.

Descriptor Scales

Evidence: 4 – Research Synthesis
Consumer Orientation: C - No data
Readability: III - High (Grade 12 or above)