Making your research accessible

Four principles to make evidence synthesis more useful for policy

By 10 August 2018

Some of the top science policymakers in the UK have teamed up to urge that we ‘Reward the creation of analyses for policymakers that are inclusive, rigorous, transparent and accessible’. In this article in a recent issue of Nature they outline their set of four principles for good evidence synthesis for policy.

‘An accurate, concise and unbiased synthesis of the available evidence is arguably one of the most valuable contributions a research community can offer decision-makers. The common question ‘What is the evidence?’ could be usefully rephrased as ‘Has sufficient synthesis of all the evidence been done in relation to that?’

‘Several organizations are already producing powerful examples of synthesized evidence. However, too few researchers and policymakers know about them; too few understand how to produce or commission good syntheses; and too many are reaching for information that is out of date, incomplete or biased, sometimes from just one study or researcher. Even where good syntheses exist, they are often not available quickly enough: in the realm of public policy, it may be that a good-enough version available before a decision is made is much more valuable than a perfect version that arrives a day too late, provided the limitations imposed by doing it at speed are made clear.’

‘Here we present a set of principles for good evidence synthesis for policy:

 

Read the full article.

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