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Health Res Policy Syst. 2020 Jan 20;18(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12961-019-0521-3.

Building an integrated knowledge translation (IKT) evidence base: colloquium proceedings and research direction.

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School of Health Studies, Western University, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON, N6A 3K7, Canada.
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6, Canada.
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6, Canada.
School of Epidemiology and Public Health Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 307D-600 Peter Morand Cresent, Ottawa, ON, K1G 5Z3, Canada.



Integrated knowledge translation (IKT) is a model of research co-production, whereby researchers partner with knowledge users throughout the research process and who can use the research recommendations in practice or policy. IKT approaches are used to improve the relevance and impact of research. As an emerging field, however, the evidence underpinning IKT is in active development. The Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network represents a collaborative interdisciplinary team that aims to advance the state of IKT science.


In 2017, the Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network issued a call to its members for concept papers to further define IKT, outline an IKT research agenda, and inform the Integrated Knowledge Translation Research Network's special meeting entitled, Integrated Knowledge Translation State of the Science Colloquium, in Ottawa, Canada (2018). At the colloquium, authors presented concept papers and discussed knowledge-gaps for a research agenda and implications for advancing the IKT field. We took detailed field notes, audio-recorded the meeting and analysed the data using qualitative content analysis.


Twenty-four participants attended the meeting, including researchers (n = 11), trainees (n = 6) and knowledge users (n = 7). Seven overarching categories emerged from these proceedings - IKT theory, IKT methods, IKT process, promoting partnership, definitions and distinctions of key IKT terms, capacity-building, and role of funders. Within these categories, priorities identified for future IKT research included: (1) improving clarity about research co-production/IKT theories and frameworks; (2) describing the process for engaging knowledge users; and (3) identifying research co-production/IKT outcomes and methods for evaluation.


The Integrated Knowledge Translation State of the Science Colloquium initiated a research agenda to advance IKT science and practice. Next steps will focus on building a theoretical and evidence base for IKT.


Colloquium; Integrated knowledge translation; Knowledge users; Research agenda; Research co-production

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