Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, Kathryn Oliver and Annette Boaz: Mapping the community: use of research evidence in policy and practice

The use of research evidence (URE) in policy and practice is relevant to many academic disciplines, as well as policy and practice domains. Although there has been increased attention to how such evidence is used, those engaged in scholarship and practice in this area face challenges in advancing the field. This paper attempts to “map the field” with the objective of provoking conversation about where we are and what we need to move forward. Utilizing survey data from scholars, practitioners, and funders connected to the study of the use of research evidence, we explore the extent to which URE work span traditional boundaries of research, practice, and policy, of different practice/policy fields, and of different disciplines. Descriptive and network analyses point to the boundary spanning and multidisciplinarity of this community, but also suggest exclusivity, as well as fragmentation among disciplines and literatures on which this work builds. We conclude with opportunities for to improve the connectedness, inclusiveness, relationship to policy and practice, and sustainability of URE scholarship.

Citation: Farley-Ripple, E.N., Oliver, K. & Boaz, A. Mapping the community: use of research evidence in policy and practice. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 7, 83 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-020-00571-2