Alan J. Thomson
B.Sc. DLSHTM M.Sc. Ph.D
Victoria, BC, Canada
Knowledge Translation involves getting new knowledge into practice, and is related to Innovation Diffusion. It is a popular topic of research in the health sciences
'Knowledge translation,' the scientific study of the methods for closing the knowledge-to-practice gap, has emerged as a potential answer to the challenge of improving the quality of health care and patient outcomes. In recent years, the terms 'knowledge translation,' 'research implementation,' 'evidence-based medicine,' and 'evidence- based decision making' have become conventional monikers in the health system. Understanding factors that could influence the adoption of new ideas and innovations is an important step in efficient dissemination of potential innovations. Furthermore, social-cognitive theories could be utilized in understanding and implementing behaviour change/behaviour adoption interventions (Scott et al. 2008)
Various terms and definitions are used. Definitions are important, as the definition used by an agency reflects the type of research it will support. Knowledge translation activities can therefore span scales from patient-practitioner to research-policy. For example,
knowledge translation agendas [are] currently endorsed by Canada's two major health research funding agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF). Each agency offers their respective definition of knowledge translation. For CIHR, knowledge translation involves "... the exchange, synthesis and ethically-sound application of knowledge - within a complex system of interactions among researchers and users - to accelerate the capture of the benefits of research for Canadians". CHSRF uses the phrase knowledge transfer and exchange, defined as "... collaborative problem- solving between researchers and decision makers that happens through linkage and exchange. [It] results in mutual learning through the process of planning, producing, disseminating, and applying existing or new research in decision-making" (Newton and Scott-Findlay 2007).
The above quote from Newton and Scott-Findlay (2007) was from an article titled, "Taking stock of current societal, political and academic stakeholders in the Canadian healthcare knowledge translation agenda." The title implies the importance of considering stakeholder knowledge in knowledge translation activities, which can require expertise in many areas, including:
Examples of my publications relevant to knowledge translation are extracted from pages in the sidebar and listed below.
Selected Publications relevant to Knowledge Translation activities:
Policy and Planning:
Reynolds, K., Thomson, A., Köhl, M., Shannon, S., Ray, D., and Rennolls, K. (eds.) 2007. Sustainable Forestry: From Monitoring and Modelling to Knowledge Management and Policy Science. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK: 461-479.
Thomson, A.J. 2007. How should we manage Knowledge Ecosystems? Using Adaptive Knowledge Management! Chapter 27 in: Reynolds, K., Thomson, A., Köhl, M., Shannon, S., Ray, D., and Rennolls, K. (eds.) 2007. Sustainable Forestry: From Monitoring and Modelling to Knowledge Management and Policy Science. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK: 461-479.
Reynolds, K.M., M. Shannon, M. Köhl, K. Rennolls, A. Thomson and D. Ray. 2007. Overview. In: Reynolds, K., Thomson, A., Köhl, M., Shannon, S., Ray, D., and Rennolls, K. (eds.) 2007. Sustainable Forestry: From Monitoring and Modelling to Knowledge Management and Policy Science. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, xv-xxiv.
Thomson, A.J. 2004. Integration of Traditional Knowledge, Values and Science in Forest Land Use Planning. In Proceedings of the National Conference on Aboriginal Forestry, 11-13 May 2004, Thunder Bay, Ontario. p 22 [abstract of invited presentation].
Thomson, A.J. 2004. Policy on Sustainable Forest Management. Draft prepared for the Canadian Institute of Forestry.
Thomson, A.J., and S.A. Akenhead. 2000. Designing sustainable mountain landscapes in British Columbia. In: 'Forests in Sustainable Mountain Development: A State-of-Knowledge Report for 2000'. M. Price and N. Butt (eds.). CABI Publishing, Oxford. 215-218.
Akenhead, S.A., A.J. Thomson, D. Morgan, B. Adams and W.M. Strome. 1996. Planning sustainable forestry when there are complicated rules and many stakeholders. Proc. Eco-Informa '96, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 4-7 November 1996. 399-404.
Thomson, A.J., and R.A. Fleming. 1991. Legislative and policy limits to successful integrated pest management in Canada's forests. Forestry Chronicle 67 (5): 493- 499.
see also: Adaptive Management.
Thomson, A.J., and D. Schmoldt. 2001. Ethics in computer software system design and development. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 30: 85-102.
Thomson, A.J. 1997. Artificial Intelligence and Environmental Ethics. AI Applications. 11 (1): 69-73.
Thomson, A.J. 1996. Asimov's psychohistory: vision of the future or present reality? AI Applications 10(3): 1-8. [Note: this is a review of Artificial Intelligence applications relating to Natural Resource Conflict Resolution. It was an invited paper on the future of AI in natural resources, for the 10th anniversary issue of the journal.]
Thomson, A.J. 1993. Paradigm Green: AI approaches to evaluating the economic consequences of changing environmental viewpoints. AI Applications 7(4): 61 - 68.
Thomson, A.J. 2008. Google Earth as a tool for participatory 3-D modelling and elicitation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). In: Proc Mountain Forum e-Conference "Mountain GIS e-Conference: Promoting Geographic Information and Earth Observation Applications for the Sustainable Development of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region", 14-25 January, 2008.
Thomson, A. and Colfer, C. 2005. ICT and Social Issues. Pages 172 - 196 In: L. Hetemaki and S. Nilsson (eds.), Information Technology and the Forest Sector. IUFRO World Series Volume 18. Vienna, Austria: International Union of Forest Research Organizations. 235 pp. (http://www.metla.fi/julkaisut/muut/ICT-forest-sector-2005.pdf)
Thomson, A.J. 2005. Indicator-based knowledge management for participatory decision-making. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 49: 206-218.
Traditional and Stakeholder Knowledge:
Thomson, A.J., M. N. Jimmie, N.J. Turner, and D. Mitchell. 2000. Traditional knowledge, western science and environmental ethics in forest management. In: 'Forests in Sustainable Mountain Development: A State-of-Knowledge Report for 2000'. M. Price and N. Butt (eds.). CABI Publishing, Oxford. 181-186.
Thomson, A.J. 2000. Elicitation and representation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, for use in forest management. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 27: 155-165.
Thomson, A.J. 2008. Diagnosis of sparse adoption data using an expert system-guided innovation diffusion simulation model. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Volume 13(3), 2008, article 11 [available at http://www.innovation.cc/peer-reviewed/thomson1dec2008jag_rev12i11.pdf]
Innes, T., Green, C. and Thomson, A. 2005. Surprising Futures. Pages 24-48 In: L. Hetemaki and S. Nilsson (eds.), Information Technology and the Forest Sector. IUFRO World Series Volume 18. Vienna, Austria: International Union of Forest Research Organizations. 235 pp. (http://www.metla.fi/julkaisut/muut/ICT-forest-sector-2005.pdf)
Thomson, A., M. Haggith and R. Prabhu. 2004. Innovation diffusion: predicting success of system development. Proc. 15th International Workshop on Database and Expert Systems, Zaragoza, Spain, 30 Aug-3 Sept 2004: 627-631. IEEE Computer Society.
Haggith, M., R. Prabhu, C.J.P. Colfer, B. Ritchie, A. Thomson and H. Mudavanhu. 2003. Infectious Ideas: Modelling the Diffusion of Ideas across Social Networks. Small-scale Forest Economics, Management and Policy, 2(2): 225-239.
Thomson, A.J., B. Callan and J. Dennis. 2007. A knowledge ecosystem perspective on development of web-based technologies in support of sustainable forestry. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 59: 39-55.
Thomson, A.J. 2005. Editorial: Information Interoperability And Organization For National And Global Forest Information Systems. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 47(3): 163-165.
Thomson, A. 2004 (revised 2015). Information Management and Data Registration for National Forest Assessments. In: Knowledge Reference for National Forest Assessment. FAO-IUFRO.
Thomson, A.J., and I. Willoughby. 2004. A web-based expert system for advising on herbicide use in Great Britain. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 42: 43-49.
Thomson, A.J. 2000. Knowledge elicitation tools for use in a virtual Adaptive Environmental Management workshop. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 27: 57-70.
Glover, S., A. Thomson, D. Mills and J. Adsett. 2000. Marketing forestry research and information on the web: the Canadian Forest Service on-line bookstore. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forestry Service, Pacific Forestry Centre. Technology Transfer Note No. 21
Rauscher, H.M., Plant, R.E., Thomson, A.J., Twery, M.J., 2000. The application of scientific knowledge to decision-making in managing forest ecosystems. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 27 (1-3) 1-6.
Thomson, A.J., and A. Mitchell. 1999. Collaborative knowledge management for long-term research sites. Forestry Chronicle 75(3): 491-496.
Thomson, A.J., E. Allen and D. Morrison. 1998. Forest tree disease diagnosis over the World Wide Web. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 21: 19-31.
Thomson, A.J., and A. Van Sickle. 1996. Forest insect and disease diagnosis and management using expert system - guided hypermedia. AI Applications. 10(2): 23-32. (Includes CD order form).
Thomson, A.J., J.R. Sutherland and C. Carpenter. 1993. Computer-assisted diagnosis using expert system - guided hypermedia. AI Applications 7 (1): 17-27 (with disk).
Thomson, A.J., J.R. Sutherland, M. Blache, and J. Dennis. 1992. Prototyping an expert system for diagnosis of forest seedling nursery problems using an expert system shell. AI Applications in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Science. 6: 21-31.
Thomson, A.J., and C.M.A. Taylor. 1990. An expert system for diagnosis and treatment of nutrient deficiencies of Sitka spruce in Great Britain. AI Applications in Natural Resource Management 4: 44-52.