Chapter 10: Dissemination and publishing of the Top 10 priorities

Agreeing a top 10 of research priorities is not the end of a Priority Setting Partnership’s (PSP’s) work.  It is important for PSPs to publicise and disseminate the results of their priority setting exercise.  This will increase the exposure of the priorities to potential funders and researchers.  It is also an opportunity to promote the priority setting process itself.

Steering Groups may wish to create a dissemination plan for the results, considering how Steering Group members can contribute to the dissemination process.  Dissemination at the end of the PSP should be a consideration throughout the PSP process in order to maximise its success.

Members of PSP Steering Groups will often have access to existing ways of communicating the results of the PSP.  These could include:

  • newsletters
  • websites
  • relationships with sector publications/journals
  • relationships with funding charities
  • presentations at conferences and workshops.

The Key Documents section of the Multiple Sclerosis PSP gives an example of how the PSP was publicised in the MS Society Research Matters magazine.

PSPs usually report on the whole process and methods, the people involved, the results, reflect on any lessons learned or limitations, and the next steps.  It is important that these reports are written in language accessible to everyone with an interest in the condition, not just those who are medically trained.

Agreements about anonymity are important if there are to be formal evaluations and written reports.  Any information kept about individuals needs to be held securely and with their permission.  When reports are written, even if names are not to be included, descriptions of individuals also need to be unrecognisable.  Although this means individual names are not associated with particular contributions, reports should acknowledge those who have given time and effort to the PSP.

There are a range of PSP final reports, of varying lengths, on the individual PSP pages of the JLA website.  A plain English final report can be seen in the Key Documents section of the Mesothelioma PSP.  Two examples of larger final reports can be seen at www.sightlosspsp.org.uk/ and www.palliativecarepsp.org.uk/finalreport/ 

PSPs may also consider submitting an article about their work to an academic medical journal, such as the British Medical Journal or The Lancet.

The Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss PSP had an article published in The Lancet.  The Parkinson’s PSP had an article published in the BMJ Open.  The many other articles which have been published about PSPs can be seen on the JLA website.

The JLA actively encourages PSPs to keep us informed of any publicity generated by their priority setting activities.  Please contact us to share this information on jla@southampton.ac.uk.