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Exploring the frontiers of research co-production: the Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network concept papers

Collection published in Research Involvement and Engagement, Health Research Policy and Systems, Implementation Science, BMC Medical Research Methodology, BMC Health Services Research, and Systematic Reviews.

Organized by Anita Kothari, Chris McCutcheon, and Ian D Graham

© etiamosResearch co-production – sometimes referred to by such terms as participatory research, engaged scholarship, collaborative research, and integrated knowledge translation (IKT) – is about conducting research with those who would use it. A defining feature of research co-production is the involvement of patients, clinicians, policy makers, and others as full members of the research team. This is done with the expectation that the resulting research is relevant, and will be particularly useful, usable, and used by knowledge users thereby optimizing research impact. This cross-journal collection of concept and empirical papers considers some of the key issues currently facing the science and practice of research partnerships and collectively begins to identify elements of a research agenda for research co-production.

Many of the papers in this collection are the result of a call for concept papers held by the Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network. The IKTRN is a research program funded by a seven-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research Foundation Grant (FDN #143237). The IKTRN is focused on building the science base for IKT: understanding how best to support research co-production, uncovering barriers and drivers of IKT, determining its effectiveness at increasing research use and impact, and identifying best practices and appropriate conditions for conducting IKT to achieve the greatest impact on research use. The network has also prioritized building the capacity of researchers and knowledge users to undertake IKT. The goals, objectives, and outputs of this research program are described in the IKTRN’s research program protocol which is the first paper in this cross-journal collection. The IKTRN provided an honoraria for some of the concept papers and covered the article-processing charges for most of the papers. 

This collection of articles has undergone each journal’s standard peer-review process and the participating journal Editors declare no competing interests. 

Further articles will be added in due course following peer review.

Read the associated blog: "Doing research with those who use it"

  1. Integrated knowledge translation describes the process of partnered research between different stakeholders with the goal of producing research that ultimately achieves a greater impact when put into practice....

    Authors: Shannon L. Sibbald, Hosung Kang and Ian D. Graham

    Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2019 17:92

    Content type: Research

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  2. Research co-production is about doing research with those who use it. This approach to research has been receiving increasing attention from research funders, academic institutions, researchers and even the pu...

    Authors: Ian D. Graham, Chris McCutcheon and Anita Kothari

    Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2019 17:88

    Content type: Editorial

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  3. Engaging those who influence, administer and/or who are active users (“knowledge users”) of health care systems, as co-producers of health research, can help to ensure that research products will better addres...

    Authors: Janet E. Jull, Laurie Davidson, Rachel Dungan, Tram Nguyen, Krista P. Woodward and Ian D. Graham

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2019 19:211

    Content type: Research article

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  4. Health care researcher-research user partnerships, referred to as integrated knowledge translation (IKT), have been adopted on an international basis, and are an effective means of co-generating and implementi...

    Authors: Maria Maddalena Zych, Whitney B. Berta and Anna R. Gagliardi

    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2019 19:772

    Content type: Research article

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  5. The persistence of health inequities is a wicked problem for which there is strong evidence of causal roots in the maldistribution of power, resources and money within and between countries. Though the evidenc...

    Authors: Katrina Marie Plamondon and Julia Pemberton

    Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2019 17:24

    Content type: Review

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  6. There have been many attempts to improve how healthcare services are developed and delivered. Despite this, we know that there are many gaps and differences in practice and that these can lead to poor patient ...

    Authors: Davina Banner, Marc Bains, Sandra Carroll, Damanpreet K Kandola, Danielle E Rolfe, Caroline Wong and Ian D. Graham

    Citation: Research Involvement and Engagement 2019 5:8

    Content type: Commentary

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  7. Patient engagement (or patient and public involvement) in health research is becoming a requirement for many health research funders, yet many researchers have little or no experience in engaging patients as p...

    Authors: Danielle E. Rolfe, Vivian R. Ramsden, Davina Banner and Ian D. Graham

    Citation: Research Involvement and Engagement 2018 4:49

    Content type: Commentary

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  8. The potential use, influence and impact of health research is seldom fully realised. This stubborn problem has caused burgeoning global interest in research aiming to address the implementation ‘gap’ and facto...

    Authors: Kate Beckett, Michelle Farr, Anita Kothari, Lesley Wye and Andrée le May

    Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2018 16:118

    Content type: Opinion

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  9. Research partnership approaches, in which researchers and stakeholders work together collaboratively on a research project, are an important component of research, knowledge translation, and implementation. De...

    Authors: Femke Hoekstra, Kelly J. Mrklas, Kathryn M. Sibley, Tram Nguyen, Mathew Vis-Dunbar, Christine J. Neilson, Leah K. Crockett, Heather L. Gainforth and Ian D. Graham

    Citation: Systematic Reviews 2018 7:217

    Content type: Protocol

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  10. Integrated knowledge translation is a research approach in which researchers work as partners with the people for whom the research is meant to be of use. A partnered approach can support the use of Indigenous...

    Authors: Janet Jull, Melody Morton-Ninomiya, Irene Compton and Annie Picard

    Citation: Research Involvement and Engagement 2018 4:45

    Content type: Commentary

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  11. Integrated knowledge translation (IKT) is a research approach in which knowledge users (KUs) co-produce research. The rationale for IKT is that it leads to research that is more relevant and useful to KUs, the...

    Authors: Mary Ann O’Brien, Andrea Carson, Lisa Barbera, Melissa C. Brouwers, Craig C. Earle, Ian D. Graham, Nicole Mittmann and Eva Grunfeld

    Citation: BMC Medical Research Methodology 2018 18:150

    Content type: Research article

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  12. Integrated knowledge translation (IKT) flows from the premise that knowledge co-produced with decision-makers is more likely to inform subsequent decisions. However, evaluations of manager/policy-maker-focused...

    Authors: Sara A. Kreindler

    Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2018 16:104

    Content type: Opinion

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  13. Issues with the uptake of research findings in applied health services research remain problematic. Part of this disconnect is attributed to the exclusion of knowledge users at the outset of a study, which oft...

    Authors: Jennifer Baumbusch, Sarah Wu, Sandra B. Lauck, Davina Banner, Tamar O’Shea and Leslie Achtem

    Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2018 16:103

    Content type: Research

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  14. It is widely accepted that research can lead to improved health outcomes. However, translating research into meaningful impacts in peoples’ lives requires actions that stretch well beyond those traditionally a...

    Authors: Robert K. D. McLean, Ian D. Graham, Jacqueline M. Tetroe and Jimmy A. Volmink

    Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2018 16:44

    Content type: Research

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  15. Health research is conducted with the expectation that it advances knowledge and eventually translates into improved health systems and population health. However, research findings are often caught in the kno...

    Authors: Ian D. Graham, Anita Kothari and Chris McCutcheon

    Citation: Implementation Science 2018 13:22

    Content type: Study protocol

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  16. Better use of research evidence (one form of “knowledge”) in health systems requires partnerships between researchers and those who contend with the real-world needs and constraints of health systems. Communit...

    Authors: Janet Jull, Audrey Giles and Ian D. Graham

    Citation: Implementation Science 2017 12:150

    Content type: Debate

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