Assessing citation networks for dissemination and implementation research frameworks

Ted A. Skolarus, Todd Lehmann, Rachel G. Tabak, Jenine Harris, Jesse Lecy, Anne E. Sales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background: A recent review of frameworks used in dissemination and implementation (D&I) science described 61 judged to be related either to dissemination, implementation, or both. The current use of these frameworks and their contributions to D&I science more broadly has yet to be reviewed. For these reasons, our objective was to determine the role of these frameworks in the development of D&I science. Methods: We used the Web of Science™ Core Collection and Google Scholar™ to conduct a citation network analysis for the key frameworks described in a recent systematic review of D&I frameworks (Am J Prev Med 43(3):337-350, 2012). From January to August 2016, we collected framework data including title, reference, publication year, and citations per year and conducted descriptive and main path network analyses to identify those most important in holding the current citation network for D&I frameworks together. Results: The source article contained 119 cited references, with 50 published articles and 11 documents identified as a primary framework reference. The average citations per year for the 61 frameworks reviewed ranged from 0.7 to 103.3 among articles published from 1985 to 2012. Citation rates from all frameworks are reported with citation network analyses for the framework review article and ten highly cited framework seed articles. The main path for the D&I framework citation network is presented. Conclusions: We examined citation rates and the main paths through the citation network to delineate the current landscape of D&I framework research, and opportunities for advancing framework development and use. Dissemination and implementation researchers and practitioners may consider frequency of framework citation and our network findings when planning implementation efforts to build upon this foundation and promote systematic advances in D&I science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 28 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral theory
  • Bibliometrics
  • Implementation science
  • Knowledge translation
  • Management science
  • Model
  • Network analysis
  • Quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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