The Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR) is proud to share its monograph, Knowledge Translation: The Rise of Implementation. Lead author Melanie Barwick is an internationally recognized expert in knowledge translation (KT) and implementation science (IS). Raluca Dubrowski and Kadia Petricca complete the author team from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Download the accessible, Sec. 508-compliant, PDF file here: KT-Implementation-508.pdf

Knowledge Translation:
The Rise of Implementation

Melanie Barwick | Raluca Dubrowski | Kadia Petricca

The Hospital for Sick Children

American Institutes for Research

1400 Crystal Drive, 10th Floor
Arlington, VA 22202-3239

Notice of Trademark: “American Institutes for Research” and “AIR” are registered trademarks. All other brand, product, or company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright © 2020 American Institutes for Research®. May be reproduced, distributed, and shared with appropriate attribution.
Suggested citation: Barwick, M., Dubrowski, R., & Petricca, K. (2020). Knowledge translation: The rise of implementation. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research.

The contents of this document were developed under grant number 90DPKT0001 from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this document do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

The monograph provides an update of the KT literature and reflects on advancements in the KT process, as well as KT’s relationship with IS. KT practices related to disability research are highlighted along with a look at future directions in KT.

In 2007, the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) commissioned the report, Knowledge Translation: Introduction to Models, Strategies, and Measures (Sudsawad, 2007) to provide an overview of the field of knowledge translation. The report highlighted KT definitions and characteristics, as well as various models and frameworks prevalent at the time. The past decade has seen significant advancements in KT theory and practice that have led to a new generation of approaches and strategies for sharing evidence and for facilitating and evaluating behavior, policy, and organizational change, including a larger focus on implementation and IS. The resulting magnitude, variety, and complexity of new KT evidence present challenges to many researchers and knowledge users (KUs) in making sense of and choosing approaches that are ideally suited for their needs. (Barwick, Dubrowski, & Petricca, 2020, p. 1)



  • Methods
  • Report Organization

Definitions of Knowledge Translation, Implementation, Related Terms

  • Knowledge Translation
  • Diffusion/Dissemination
  • Commercialization and Technology Transfer
  • Knowledge Brokering
  • Knowledge Management
  • Knowledge Mobilization
  • Translational Research
  • Implementation and Implementation Science

Knowledge Translation Origin and History

  • Knowledge Translation During the 20th Century

Stakeholder Engagement in Knowledge Translation

  • Knowledge Users and Stakeholders
  • Engaging Knowledge Users and Stakeholders

External Drivers of Advancement in Knowledge Translation

  • The Role of Funders in Shaping Knowledge Translation
  • Academic Promotion

Evolution in Knowledge Translation Theories, Models, and Frameworks

  • Classifications and Taxonomies: Organizing the Deluge

The Rise of Implementation Science

  • Evolution in Research Design for Implementation Studies
  • Dissemination and Implementation Categorizations
  • Taxonomy of Implementation TMFs

Key Concepts for Knowledge Translation and Implementation

  • Planning for Knowledge Translation
  • Planning for Implementation
  • Knowledge Translation Strategies for Dissemination and Implementation
  • Types of Knowledge Translation Strategies for Dissemination and Implementation
  • Effectiveness of Knowledge Translation Strategies for Implementation
  • Common Issues for Implementation Effectiveness Studies
  • Reporting Standards for Implementation Research

Knowledge Translation in Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Contemporary Trends and Future Directions


About the Authors