Background: The Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre is an organization funded to build capacity for translational research in cancer. Translational research is essential for ensuring the integration of best available evidence into practice and for improving patient outcomes. However, there is a low level of awareness regarding what it is and how to conduct it optimally. One solution to addressing this gap is the design and deployment of web-based knowledge portals to disseminate new knowledge and engage with and connect dispersed networks of researchers. A knowledge portal is an web-based platform for increasing knowledge dissemination and management in a specialized area. Objective: To measure the design and growth of an web-based knowledge portal for increasing individual awareness of translational research and to build organizational capacity for the delivery of translational research projects in cancer. Methods: An adaptive methodology was used to capture the design and growth of an web-based knowledge portal in cancer. This involved stakeholder consultations to inform initial design of the portal. Once the portal was live, site analytics were reviewed to evaluate member usage of the portal and to measure growth in membership. Results: Knowledge portal membership grew consistently for the first 18 months after deployment, before leveling out. Analysis of site metrics revealed members were most likely to visit portal pages with community-generated content, particularly pages with a focus on translational research. This was closely followed by pages that disseminated educational material about translational research. Conclusions: Preliminary data from this study suggest that knowledge portals may be beneficial tools for translating new evidence and fostering an environment of communication and collaboration.
Janssen, A., Robinson, T. E., Provan, P., & Shaw, T. (2016). The Sydney west knowledge portal: Evaluating the growth of a knowledge portal to support translational research. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(6). https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.5786