Chapter 9: Dissemination and publishing of the Top 10

Agreeing the Top 10 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 usually create a dissemination plan for the results, considering how Steering Group members can help with the dissemination process.  Dissemination at the end of the PSP should be a consideration throughout the PSP process in order to maximise its success.  Before the final workshop, the Steering Group should agree on the best time to announce the results to ensure the greatest impact, without delaying the announcement for too long.  After the workshop, the Steering Group may wish to meet to discuss the results, any further action that they need to take on the questions, and what extra information they can offer to researchers and research funders.

The Coeliac Disease PSP Top 10 announcement included personal stories from patients affected by each of the uncertainties.   

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
  • mainstream and social media.

The Learning Difficulties (Scotland) PSP Top 10 launch was covered by a number of different mainstream media.  Links to the coverage it received are in the Articles and publications section of the JLA website.  The same website section also shows an article in The Sun about the Endometriosis PSP Top 10 launch

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 successes, 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.  

The PSP needs to ensure the correct consent has been sought for any materials that will go into the public domain, for example that agreements have been sought with individuals to use photographs or any quotes that are associated with a name.  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 still acknowledge generally those who have given time and effort to the PSP.  Any information kept about individuals needs to be held securely and with their permission.

PSPs should email their fully completed data management spreadsheet to the JLA as soon as possible after the final workshop as this will be included on the JLA website.  The Mesothelioma PSP shows an example of a completed spreadsheet

There are a range of final reports, of varying lengths, in the PSP final reports section of the JLA website.

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 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@soton.ac.uk.