Signals, Highlights and Themed reviews – learn about the new NIHR Dissemination Centre @NIHR_DC

The NIHR Dissemination Centre has been set up to make health research evidence easier to reach for those who need it.  Each week we publish three or four new ‘Signals’ – short summaries of health research that has appeared recently in peer-reviewed journals. 


Abstracts of research are turned into Signals by specialist writers based at Bazian, our partners in the centre. Signals are then published on the Dissemination Centre’s portal ‘Discover’.  This is a free, open access site and is fully searchable. Anyone can sign up on our website to receive a monthly update of all Signals that we publish or can choose to receive Signals in particular categories.


The Dissemination Centre editorial team uses the insight of patients, carers, health professionals and academics to help them decide which abstracts will make the most useful Signals. Each week we ask a group of these people to read and ‘rate’ research abstracts in their area of interest.  They also write a short piece of advice about why we should – or should not – get the abstract written up.


We welcome professionals and members of the public to visit our website and sign up as a rater; raters make an invaluable contribution.  Public raters are offered an honorarium of £5 for each rating they complete.  People who are interested in this opportunity can find more information here. Please note that at present, NIHR staff are not eligible to register as raters as we want to build up our pool of front-line evidence users. We currently have just over 900 raters in our pool but always need more.


The Dissemination Centre also produces two other key products: Highlights and Themed Reviews.


Highlights are short digests of up to six NIHR-funded research studies or systematic reviews.  The Highlight is developed in discussion with key stakeholders and is presented in different formats for varying audiences.  A Highlight includes clear guidance for readers on how they can follow up or implement the findings of the research.  The first Highlight is about obesity in men and will be published on 12th November.


Themed Reviews are more extensive reviews of ‘the state of the evidence’ on a key health or social care issue.  They are developed with a steering group of professional and patient/carer experts and will give decision-makers of all kinds the research evidence they need to shape the delivery of services.  The first Themed Review is on End of Life Care.  It will be published and launched on 1st December.


You can follow the Dissemination Centre on Twitter @NIHR_DC for tweets about Signals, Highlights and Themed Reviews. Please stay aware of the work of the Dissemination Centre and consider how you can spread awareness of its products. Through your contacts, you can play a valuable part in enabling the Dissemination Centre to be seen as a trusted source of research evidence.


For any query about our work or for help with cascading this information, please contact

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