What is a Cochrane dissemination product?
A Cochrane dissemination product is any type of communication that presents the results of a Cochrane review to any target audience in any context or language and aims to inform a health decision.
Target audiences for Cochrane dissemination products include consumers and the public; health practitioners; policy makers and healthcare managers; researchers and research funders, and audiences communicating about our reviews to other audiences, for example journalists or guideline development groups. At the bottom of this page, you will find examples of Cochrane dissemination products.
When can you disseminate information on Cochrane's behalf?
Before proceeding with any dissemination activity, we recommend you review Cochrane's Spokesperson policy. Because individuals who contribute to Cochrane often have multiple affiliations (both inside and outside of Cochrane), it is important to be clear about who can speak officially on behalf of Cochrane and the circumstances in which it is appropriate to do so.
Need help disseminating?
The Knowledge Translation Department provides support to Cochrane authors and groups wishing to disseminate their reviews. If you would like us to help guide your dissemination efforts, please complete the dissemination brief and send it to Katie Abbotts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Branding your dissemination product
No matter what dissemination product you create, you will want to make sure that it adheres to Cochrane’s Brand Guidelines. These guidelines help all Cochrane Groups use one, coherent, visual and written identity. On the brand guidelines page, you’ll also see guidance for using photos and images in your work, as well as language guidelines and communication style guides.
Step one: Considering your audience
Considering your target audience is the number one step to take when disseminating the findings of a Cochrane review. By considering the audience's perspective (or, better yet, involving members of your target audience in the dissemination process), you will have the best idea of what needs to be disseminated and in what way. This excerpt from Cochrane’s Dissemination Checklist shows the questions you should be asking yourself about your target audience before choosing a dissemination strategy:
Are the review topic and findings likely to be of interest to your target audience?
Is there additional information your audience will find important and that you are able to provide? For instance, are they likely to ask for information about other interventions that exist, implementation costs or local availability?
How much time do they have or would be willing to spend reading or accessing review findings?
What languages are they fluent in?
What are their literacy and numeracy skills?
How familiar are they with medical terminology?
What type of sources are they likely to regard as credible?
Are they likely to expect recommendations?
Is the intervention in the review relevant, applicable and affordable in their local context and health system?
- How would they like to hear from you? In what format?
Other considerations to make
In addition to choosing a strategy that matches the needs of your audience, there are a number of pragmatic questions you should consider when picking a dissemination strategy or product:
The dissemination or knowledge translation skills of the members of your team, or any other “in-house” assets you may have that may help you create a certain product.
The partnerships you have established with organizations or groups and how you can leverage their existing products and channels to share your findings. For example, Cochrane has a number of existing dissemination channels you could use to share your work.
The message you would like to share from the findings of your Cochrane Review. You might have multiple messages to share as a result of a review, or one or two key pieces of information. Keep in mind that the message might be different for different audiences.
The goal of sharing that message. What do you hope happens with your audience when you share the findings of your review? Examples include: generate awareness, impart knowledge, impact practice change, inform further research. The goal might be different for different audiences.
- The resources and budget you can dedicate to dissemination. For example, a website platform, design tools, printing, access to a webcam, etc. A well done, simpler dissemination product is better than a poorly-executed, ambitious dissemination product.
Choosing images for sharing evidence
Many of the dissemination strategies below make use of images to help share the results of Cochrane Reviews. The images you use have the potential to reinforce the message that Cochrane is a trustworthy source of reliable information to support health decisions, but they can also undermine credibility and put people off. Careful image selection is important, and the Choosing images for sharing evidence guide can help. Download the guide here, and learn how it was created here.
Explore your options
Other Dissemination Activities
- Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
- Working with the Media (enquiries and interviews)
Presenting at Conferences