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Advancing the application, quality and harmonization of implementation science measures

Borsika A Rabin1*, Peyton Purcell2, Sana Naveed2, Richard P Moser2, Michelle D Henton1, Enola K Proctor3, Ross C Brownson45 and Russell E Glasgow2

Author Affiliations

1 CRN Cancer Communication Research Center, Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Legacy Highlands Building, 10065 E. Harvard Ave., Suite 300, Denver, Colorado, USA

2 Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD6130 Executive Blvd, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA

3 George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1196, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63130, USA

4 Prevention Research Center in St Louis, Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, 660 S Euclid, Campus Box 8109, St Louis, MO, 63110, USA

5 Division of Public Health Sciences and Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington, USA

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Implementation Science 2012, 7:119  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-119

Published: 11 December 2012



The field of implementation science (IS) encompasses a broad range of constructs and uses measures from a variety of disciplines. However, there has been little standardization of measures or agreement on definitions of constructs across different studies, fields, authors, or research groups.


We describe a collaborative, web-based activity using the United States National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM) portal that uses a wiki platform to focus discussion and engage the research community to enhance the quality and harmonization of measures for IS health-related research and practice. We present the history, process, and preliminary data from the GEM Dissemination & Implementation (D&I) Campaign on IS measurement.


The GEM D&I Campaign has been ongoing for eight weeks as of this writing, and has used a combination of expert opinion and crowd-sourcing approaches. To date it has listed definitions for 45 constructs and summarized information on 120 measures. Usage of the website peaked at a rate of 124 views from 89 visitors on week seven. Users from seven countries have contributed measures and/or constructs, shared experience in using different measures, contributed comments, and identified research gaps and needs.


Thus far, this campaign has provided information about different IS measures, their associated characteristics, and comments. The next step is to rate these measures for quality and practicality. This resource and ongoing activity have potential to advance the quality and harmonization of IS measures and constructs, and we invite readers to contribute to the process.

Implementation; Dissemination; Measures; Constructs; Quality of measurement; Harmonization; Technology-mediated social participation