Sharing your research effectively will make sure that the right people can access and use it. This is why making a plan to share is so important. Use this guide if you are planning your research career, creating research outputs, writing a funding application, or have research in progress.

Write a dissemination plan

Its easiest to write a plan at the start of your research project as it could improve your grant funding success. When you start writing your plan consider:

  • how and when to share your research
  • the audiences that you want to reach
  • for funding more expensive routes, such as a documentary
  • a schedule to share your research throughout the project lifecycle
  • for potentially competing demands
  • to avoid a concentration of work at the end of the project
  • a framework for discussion, and understanding of what is expected, for project collaborators and research associates.

It can also help you to map your personal career path over the next few years, and decide which new projects, requests and research directions will enhance your project or goals, and which will detract from them.

Identify your audiences

People may be interested in your research project for different reasons. It may be that they work in a similiar academic discipline, are part of a government, organisation or charity that could benefit from your expertise, are from the business and industry sector and interested in commercialisation, or are broadly interested members of the public. The reasons can be many and varied which is why it is so important to think about:

  • who will be interested in your research
  • why they will be interested
  • the level of influence and/or interest they will have in the research
  • which parts of it will be useful for them
  • if their interest will be throughout the project or at key points.

 There are many tools available to analyse stakeholders and their role and importance to a project; for larger projects it can be useful to use these.  

How to reach your audiences

Having identified your audiences you can now plan how to reach them. Some routes may work better for some audiences than others. These may include:

  • finding a particular publisher that promotes your research topic
  • using a specialist journal for researchers in your field
  • planning to go to a conference where many of your stakeholders will attend
  • using  mailing lists that your stakeholders subscribe to
  • joining committees or groups that are focused on your subject area
  • using a project website and keeping it up to date
  • repurposing content to use across blogs and social media
  • organising and running events
  • taking part in interviews with local or national media.

Where to publish

The “best” place to publish depends on what you are aiming to achieve, the audience, the timing, the project, your career stage and the research areas that you are working in. If you’re looking for specific advice, think about consulting:

  • colleagues within your school or research centre
  • your director of research and innovation
  • academic networks beyond Kent
  • academic or professional bodies.

Tracking dissemination

Track how effective your research dissemination has been to understand which routes reach which audiences, to evidence the reach of your work, and to learn for the future.

Get support

Click the button below, to email the Research and Scholarly Communication Support Team, to get help with planning to share your research.

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