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KT: why it should be ‘hotter’ than it is
  1. Melanie Barwick
  1. Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Melanie Barwick, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; melanie.barwick{at}


Knowledge translation (KT) is a science and a practice, and despite no longer being nascent, it has never achieved ‘hot’ status among STEM fields. Despite 20 years of growing international policy and research attention on reducing the evidence-practice and policy gap, KT and implementation science are not getting the attention they deserve. The ‘hot’ emerging fields are rooted in discovery, but discovery must translate into things we can understand, apply and use. Evidence-based innovations will not reach their potential unless they are accessible, and we can demonstrate how they can be implemented in real-world contexts. Academia has a longstanding laudatory focus on publication at the expense of application and impact, and shifting to a more balanced view is an uphill battle. Our academic institutions and funders, our governments and service provider organisations must put implementation at the forefront of their efforts if we are to realise optimal benefits from our innovations.

  • Evidence-Based Nursing
  • Nursing Research

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.