There is a diverse community of policymakers, funders, scholars, and practitioners of different types all working in the field of evidence use. This diversity is a strength for the academic field of ‘evidence, policy and practice studies’, in that multiple theories, approaches, interventions and initiatives have been tried and developed. Yet, it has also led to extremely valuable work being contained within silos, or research/practice developments being duplicated in different disciplinary areas – for example, public policy, health sciences, public health, and environmental/conservation sciences all have their own theoretical stances on evidence use, and their own empirical traditions. This is both wasteful of scarce resources, and risks leading to a stagnation of the field.
We therefore propose a multi-disciplinary collection of papers, to push forward the field and showcase this journal as a unique outlet for novel scholarship in this area, including empirical, methodological and theoretical work. We welcome insights from all geographic perspectives, to ensure that the global community working in this area is reflected. In particular, we seek studies that provide truly novel insights into how evidence for policy and practice is made, negotiated, translated and used, from theoretical, methodological or practical perspectives.
Papers may interrogate the following themes, among others:
- How evidence is created or generated for and by different audiences;
- How individuals and systems help the knowledge production system to provide research useful for society, and what that may mean;
- What we mean by ‘use’, and how we can or should measure it;
- Strategies and interventions to help audiences ‘use’ evidence, and what this implies about decision-making and research practices;
- The roles and responsibilities of different actors in creating and using evidence;
- The politics of evidence use;
- Which forms of collaboration are best suited to creating different kinds of impact, and how;
- The attributes of researchers, policymakers, practitioners and other actors who are successful at influencing policy;
- How researchers and research respond to calls to increase research impact, and engage in coproduction;
- The risks and costs of co-productive research, as well as the benefits;
- The appropriateness of different methods to interrogate evidence use in different contexts;
- How different disciplines conceptualise research use;
- Which disciplines or practitioner fields have a strong tradition of evidence use, and why.
We are not seeking papers that describe the value of different research methods for decision-making (particularly those arguing for greater use of qualitative methods or randomised controlled trials), or those that describe initiatives to increase use or uptake in policy (for contributions in this area, please consider our related call for papers on ‘Politics of Evidence-based Policymaking’), unless there is a clear novel contribution concerning evidence creation or use. Instead, we are looking specifically for papers that make novel methodological or theoretical contributions, building on the existing field of literature about evidence use.
This is a rolling article collection and as such submissions will be welcomed at any point up until the end of December 2019. To register interest prospective authors should submit a short article proposal (abstract summary) to the Editorial Office in the first instance.