SciencePOD

kinetic energy representing scientific dissemination

What is Scientific Dissemination?

Scientific dissemination is present in every part of life. Every media carries stories related to scientific or medical progress, be it on the news, on or in feature style stories. Without dissemination, scientific communities would never communicate, projects  would not get funding, and the public would rarely support scientific studies. Knowledge and information should be prevalent and compelling for any audience if that information is to be useful.

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How does scientific dissemination work?

Dissemination is the process of distributing complex scientific or technical information to wider audiences, including to the general public. This approach is used to share knowledge, generally as a one way system, meaning the source of the message won’t receive a direct response back. Only by fostering a two-way mode of communication, can those spreading their message achieve greater engagement. When experts disseminate results from their scientific or medical study, this information becomes available to wider audiences and can be picked up by different sources, like news media, to further use the source of the scientific advances. 

What is scientific dissemination?

Scientific dissemination is, essentially, the distributing scientific study and research information to the general public. The scientific information must be made simple in order to convey it to a non-scientific audience. This form of information circulation must be effective in order fully gain the benefits of educating a non-medical or non-scientific community. 

Why use this skill?

There are many reasons: to raise the profile of your organisation or institution,  to facilitate the attraction of funding for future research programmes. Or even to fulfil mandatory requirements— like explaining the value of past research programmes to funders and to those who may benefit from the research findings. Dissemination can be used to collect input from your audience, and to engage with the public.
So when is the best time to circulate these scientific results? Any time is the simple answer. But in reality, you should conduct scientific dissemination campaigns as often as resources allow. The more exposure your organisation receives, the greater your future research endeavours will prosper.

What is the Process of Scientific Dissemination?

First, it is essential to establish a message that you will be distributing. Typically, this message is your key discoveries based on the study data and any relevant advances in knowledge. It is often something that you uncovered which the community of research did not know before. While it is easy for a scientific expert to understand vast amounts of specialised information, the reality is, it\’s not the case for scientists outside the discipline of the expert, let alone for the general public. Look at scholarly publisher, EDP Sciences, which had published a ‘Surgical guidance in the time of Covid-19’ aimed to give surgeon a proctology to prevent Covid-19 infections. This information is so complex and lengthy that it would take too long to read carefully to effectively communicate. That’s why it\’s important to polish your message to its fundamental meaning. The perfect message depends on multiple variables. 

Determining The Target Audience

The most important criterion is to determine the target audience. Is it anyone and everyone who wander onto your website? Or is it a group subject matter experts? Is it patients or consumers? Or do you want to communicate with policy makers? Each audience understands your information in a different manner. It is essential that you adjust the way information is formulated based on the level of understanding the audience may have of your topic. 

There are a wide variety of dissemination activities to choose from. The process depends on your audience’s availability. This can take place at certain times of the day, as busy professionals only consume content in slots of five to fifteen minutes. Sometimes, there are topics that are more attractive at certain times of the year, as they coincide with a large event. For example, dissemination can take the form of key lessons from academic experts, such as those collaborating with Wiley Science Solutions. The idea was to deliver audience-friendly information to be distributed immediately after the webinar series as a means to attract a wider audience. This, in turn, increases the impact of the messages delivered during the webinar. Information distribution should always be planned ahead of time, to ensure smooth delivery.

Distribution Of Content

When it comes to distribution, the amount of digital platforms available for communication is plentiful. Different forms of content can be distributed to different platforms: online news outlets, social media, and private websites. It is essential to consider the audience needs when selecting the intervals at which to disperse the information and when selecting a platform from which to share the content. A press release is a suitable format to contact news rooms directly—  but they are not always guaranteed to be picked up. Instagram lends itself to sharing visual content, while LinkedIn is a professional community which is perfect for spreading professional insights. Meanwhile, infographics are suited to be distribution via websites and post conference email communication. 

Disseminating scientific study data and results effectively is not easy. It calls upon professional skills of communicators who have the ability to accurately convey the core message from the original study or the technical source document. Overall what will make it successful is the ability of creative professionals to deliver compelling content