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Glossary
Adoption – the decision to take on or implement an innovation, adoption has frequently been the dependent variable in innovation research
 
Application of knowledge – refers to the iterative process by which knowledge is put into practice
 
Axial model – a meta-model or model of models that organizes conventional frameworks for KT along a dimension that represents the relative size of the gap between potential users and producers of knowledge or research findings
 
Bench to bedside – biomedical discoveries that are translated into practical clinical applications directly affecting patient care. Such discoveries typically begin at “the bench” with basic research – in which scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level – then progress to the clinical level, or the patient's “bedside”
 
BIOSIS – bibliographic database produced by Thomson Scientific that indexes literature related to biological and biomedical sciences
 
Brokerage models – a class of models for KT that rely on intermediaries to identify and connect potential users with producers of knowledge based on their relevance and timliness
 
Capacity and capacity building – in knowledge exchange, capacity is the set of skills, structures, and processes, as well as the organizational culture, that allows, encourages, and rewards knowledge exchange
 
CDC – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Research, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is an agency of the U.S. government that works to protect public health and safety by providing information to enhance health decisions and funding to promote health, typically through partnerships with state health departments and other organizations
 
CIHR – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), based in Ottawa, Ontario, is an agency of the Canadian government responsible for funding health research, building research capacity in under-developed areas such as population health and health services research, training the next generation of health researchers, and focusing on knowledge translation
 
CINAHL – bibliographic database that indexes literature related to nursing and midwifery as well as literature from the allied health disciplines such as physiotherapy, health education and nutrition
 
Community capacity – refers to assets affecting the potential of the community to influence positive change, such as improved health, quality of life, or other concerns of importance to the community. Research examining community capacity suggests that certain resources are necessary for the empowerment of individuals and communities
 
Conceptual research utilization – research findings from one or more studies that may change one’s thinking but not necessarily one’s observable actions
 
Conservation of resources – a psychological theory that suggests resources are critical to individuals’ ability to cope with stress. The central tenet of the conservation of resources theory is that individuals (or organizations) are motivated to obtain, retain, foster, and protect valued resources
 
Decision maker – an individual responsible for making choices that affect collective commitments, courses of action and resources. Decision makers in the health services field can range from frontline health providers to administrators to the secretary of health and Human services. These individuals often work in health services organizations such as hospitals and regional health authorities, as well as departments of health and relevant regulatory agencies
 
Diffusion – the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social network
 
Dissemination – the widespread distribution of knowledge or research results to reach large numbers of potential users via mass media, trade publications and conferences, to be contrasted with more targeted communications customized to reach specific audiences with particular needs
 
Dissemination models – KT models that distribute standardized content to large audiences
 
Divergent construction – situation where the knowledge gap between users and producers is complicated by differing assumptions, values and frames of reference
 
Divergent direction – situation where the knowledge gap between users and producers involves different interests and needs
 
Divergent purpose – situation where the knowledge gap between users and producers involves differences in goals and objectives
 
Effectiveness – measure of the ability of an intervention, project, program, or policy to do what it was intended to do: produce a specific desired result or effect that can be expressed quantitatively
 
EMBASE – a bibliographic database that indexes drug and biomedical literature
 
Evaluate – efforts aimed at determining, as systematically and objectively as possible, the relevance, effectiveness and impact of health-related (and other) activities in relation to objectives, taking into account the resources that have been used.
 
Evidence – useful knowledge from a variety of sources, including qualitative and quantitative research, program evaluations, client values and preferences, and professional experience, that supports a claim or an action alternative
 
Evidence-based medicine – applies results and findings gained from scientific research to certain parts of medical practice. According to the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, "Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients"
 
Evidence-informed decision making – the purposeful and systematic use of the best available evidence to inform the assessment of various options and related decision making in practice, program development, and policy making. This process involves searching for, accessing, assessing the relevance and quality of evidence; interpreting this evidence and identifying associated implications for practice, program and policy decisions; adapting this evidence in light of the local context; implementing this evidence; and evaluating its impact
 
Evidence mapping – Evidence mapping is a process in which designated characteristics of multiple research studies are documented, grouped and displayed according to a conceptual framework. An evidence map is one way to visually represent clusters of evidence for summarizing or synthesizing research findings. These diagrams can be used to show related concepts, similarities or differences in study populations or settings, report on the quality and quantity of evidence, and inform evidence-based recommendations.
 
Exchange – the exchange of knowledge refers to the interaction between the knowledge user and the researcher resulting in mutual learning. It is a collaborative problem-solving between researchers and decision makers that happens through linkage and exchange. Effective knowledge exchange involves interaction between decision makers and researchers and results in mutual learning through the process of planning, producing, disseminating, and applying existing or new research in decision-making
 
Exchange models – KT models that rely on interactive processes, transactions and dialogue to close the knowledge gap between users and producers
 
Ethically sound – KT activities consistent with ethical principles and norms, social values, and legal and other regulatory frameworks, while keeping in mind that principles, values and laws can compete among and between each other
 
Health promotion – the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health through actions aimed at strengthening individual awareness and skill; changing individual behavior; and changing social, organizational, political, and economic conditions that support good health practices
 
Implementation – the execution of the adoption decision, that is, the innovation or the suggestions from research findings are put into practice
 
Implementation science – uses scientific methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice and, hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of user performance
 
Innovation – an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. An innovation is a more focused concept than research and usually implies that the research has been translated in some way into a concrete form. An innovation is not necessarily research-based
 
Innovation diffusion – innovation diffusion is more focused than research utilization and represents a particular kind of utilization concerned with the transfer of findings into a practice context. In classical diffusion theory, the term innovation diffusion does not imply that the idea, practice, or object resulted from a research study
 
Institute for Health Policy – the Institute for Health Policy was established at The University of Texas School of Public Health to assist researchers throughout the UT Health Science Center in translating their technical findings into usable advice for program administrators and practical recommendations for health policymakers
 
Instrumental research utilization – a concrete application of the research, which is normally translated into a material and usable form, such as a protocol or set of guidelines
 
Intervention – an action or program that aims to bring about identifiable outcomes and changes
 
Knowledge broker – an entity that aims to develop relationships among producers and users of knowledge in order to facilitate exchange and co-development; the appropriate use of the best available evidence in decision making processes; and capacity to participate effectively in this evidence-informed decision making process.
 
Knowledge brokering – activities intended to link decision makers with researchers, facilitating their interaction so that they are able to better understand each other’s goals and professional cultures, influence each other’s work, forge new partnerships, and promote the use of research-based evidence in decision making
 
Knowledge exchange – collaborative problem-solving between researchers and decision makers that happens through linkage and exchange. Effective knowledge exchange involves interaction between decision makers and researchers and results in mutual learning through the process of planning, producing, disseminating, and applying existing or new research in decision making
 
Knowledge transfer and exchange – a two-way process involving dialogue, interaction, and the sharing of knowledge and evidence between and among producers and users of that evidence or knowledge resulting in mutual learning through the process of planning, producing, communicating, and applying existing or new research in decision-making and evaluating its  impacts. Abbreviated as KTE, this is a broad term that is often used to include knowledge transfer, exchange, translation, dissemination, and diffusion
 
Knowledge translation – knowledge translation (KT) is defined as a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, communication, and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve professional practice
 
Knowledge utilization – Putting research results to use in improving existing professional practices
 
KT case study – a KT case study employs qualitative and quantitative research methods in the analysis and understanding of some aspect of the translation process. Like other social science studies, a KT case study may include the testing of hypotheses through data collection, observation, a controlled intervention, and evaluation of outcomes. The growing number of KT case studies in the literature creates an opportunity to build up evidence, identify best practices and inform KT theory  
 
KT circuit – the classic model that couples the supply-push notion of producers transferring knowledge products to potential users, with a feedback loop from the users back to the producers 
 
Linkage and exchange – the process of ongoing interaction, collaboration, and exchange of ideas between the researcher and decision maker communities. In a specific research collaboration, it involves working together before, during, and after the research program
 
Linkage models – a class of KT models that rely on intermediary entities to act as go-betweens in bridging the knowledge gap between producers and users
 
MEDLINE – a bibliographic database that indexes biomedical literature
 
Meta-analysis – a statistical technique to combine the results of multiple studies for a single pooled estimate of effect. A systematic review that uses quantitative methods to synthesize and summarize results
 
Meta-synthesis – includes a comparison, translation, and analysis of original findings from which new interpretations are generated, encompassing and distilling the meanings in the constituent studies
 
NIH – the National Institutes of Health, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is an agency of the U.S. government, primarily responsible for funding biomedical and health-related research
 
Population health – an approach that aims to improve the health status of entire populations rather than of selected at-risk individuals and attends to disparities in health among population groups. In order to reach these objectives, it looks at and acts upon the broad range of social factors and conditions that have a strong influence on premature death and disability
 
Producers – a knowledge producer is an individual, group, or organization responsible for the production of research findings. In its usual role, the knowledge producer is part of a well-defined research community. However, some KT literature suggests that knowledge production also takes place in a wider community with legitimate types of scientific knowledge coming from outside the traditional research community
 
Promotional models – KT models that rely on the psychological frameworks used by health promotion to change attitudes or behavior
 
PsycINFO – a bibliographic database that indexes literature related to psychology and related disciplines
 
Proximal direction – close by, in contrast to distal or far away
 
Public health – a combination of sciences, skills, and values that function through collective societal, legislative, and political activities and involve programs, services, and institutions aimed at protecting and improving the health of all people; a scientific, technical, social, and political endeavor, involving all organized measures (both public and private) that aim to prevent disease, promote health and wellbeing, prolong life, and, when necessary, restore the health of individuals, specified groups, populations or communities through mobilizing and engaging local, state, national, and international resources to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy
 
Public health interventions – an intervention applied to communities, with the aim of delivering a net benefit to the health status of their residents or members
 
Qualitative – type of research used to document and understand people’s beliefs, experiences, and relationships. It relies on non-numerical information (e.g., a patient’s description of their experience of pain rather than a direct measure of pain). In public health care, qualitative techniques serve as the basis for community-based participatory research and in studies about the functioning of organizations
 
Quality assessment criteria – checklists or standards that are used to evaluate research designs, methods or evidence. These criteria can be applied to assess the value of a single study, or they are used to assess several studies as part of the process of systematic review. Quality assessment criteria address different features of the study, depending on the nature and purpose of the research, and the expectations and priorities of the reviewers
 
Randomized controlled trial – an experiment in which participants are allocated by chance to receive an intervention (intervention group) or not (comparison or control group) and then followed over time to determine the effect of that intervention by assessing differences in outcome rates
 
Realist review – a relatively new strategy for synthesizing research which has an explanatory rather that judgmental focus, it seeks to unpack the mechanism of how complex programs work (or why they fail) in particular contexts and settings
 
Research Into Action (RIA) – a KT initiative housed within the Institute for Health Policy at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, Texas. It is the creator and host of KT Exchange. RIA was founded in 2007 with the aim of developing new methods for assisting researchers throughout UT-Houston in translating their technical findings into usable advice and practical recommendations. This procedure is commonly referred to as “knowledge translation,” or “KT”
 
Research summary – summaries are a less formal way of pulling research together, generally using a more discursive tone. Where a formal synthesis can be considered to be the creation of new knowledge, a summary clearly pulls together main messages from a number of published sources
 
Research utilization – the process by which specific research-based findings are implemented in practice, a sub-type of knowledge translation
 
Scoping review – involves a search of the literature to determine what sorts of studies addressing the systematic review question have been carried out, where they are published, in which databases they have been indexed, what sorts of outcomes they have assessed, and in which population
 
Shared construction – see "divergent construction"
 
Shared direction – see "divergent direction"
 
Social marketing – the systematic application of marketing, along with other concepts and techniques from advertising and communications, to achieve specific behavioral goals for the public good. Social marketing can be applied to promote the adoption of beneficial practices, or the avoidance of harmful practices
 
Sociological abstracts – a bibliographic database that indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences
 
Sport discus – a bibliographic database that indexes literature related to sport, health, fitness and sports medicine
 
Stakeholders – all persons, agencies and organizations with a direct or indirect interest in the development of an intervention or its evaluation; those with a financial or resource investment in the health of the community and the local public health system. This broad definition includes persons and organizations that benefit from and/or participate in the delivery of services that promote the public’s health and overall wellbeing
 
Strategic utilization – involves the use of research findings from one or more studies as a persuasive (or political) tool to legitimate a pre-existing position or practice
 
Synthesis – a synthesis is an evaluation or analysis of research evidence and expert opinion on a specific topic to aid in decision making or help decision makers in the development of policies. It can help place the results of a single study in context by providing the overall body of research evidence. There are many forms of synthesis, ranging from very formal systematic reviews to informal literature reviews. A synthesis must be reproducible and transparent in its methods, using quantitative and/or qualitative methods
 
Systematic review – a review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may or may not be used to analyze and summarize the results of the included studies. A systematic review differs from a traditional literature review in that a literature review only describes and appraises previous work, but does not specify the methods by which the reviewed studies were identified, selected, or evaluated
 
Tailored messages – tailored messages include abstracts, full systematic reviews, and summary statements. Evidence from health communication studies indicate that computer-tailored communications are associated with increased uptake compared to standardized messages, and that electronic targeted messaging to subgroups with common interests is effective in promoting evidence-informed decision making
 
Theory – any source that provides a conceptual account of knowledge translation (including knowledge utilization, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, knowledge/research dissemination, etc.)
 
Users – an individual, group, or organization with a potential interest in receiving, considering, and making decisions based on content provided by knowledge producers. According to the classic KT circuit model, knowledge producers conduct research and generate information content to fill gaps in the knowledge needs of users. Some models add a level of complexity by assuming knowledge users do not always recognize a need for information, uptake is dependent on the mode of delivery or context, and the use of information can be symbolic or instrumental  
 
Utilization – focused on assisting with the actual adoption process after dissemination and diffusion have occurred. When the term utilization is used in the context of "research utilization,” it usually refers to a complex problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making process undertaken by clinicians, and not just the use of research in an instrumental way
 
 
 
The following sites were useful in the preparation of this glossary: KT Clearinghouse; Health-Evidence.ca; the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation; the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre; Wikipedia; and the University of Alberta