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Controversies, Consequences and Challenges

Measuring research impact and engagement is a much debated topic in the UK and internationally. This book is the first to provide a critical review of the research impact agenda, situating it within international efforts to improve research utilisation. Using empirical data, it discusses research impact tools and processes for key groups such as academics, research funders, ‘knowledge brokers’ and research users, and considers the challenges and consequences of incentivising and rewarding particular articulations of research impact.

It draws on wide ranging qualitative data, combined with theories about the science-policy interplay and audit regimes to suggest ways to improve research impact.

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How research can inform public services

This book provides a timely and novel contribution to understanding and enhancing evidence use. It builds on and complements the popular and best-selling “What Works?: Evidence-based policy and practice in public services" (Davies, Nutley and Smith, Policy Press, 2000), by drawing together current knowledge about how research gets used and how this can be encouraged and improved. In particular, the authors explore various multidiscipliary frameworks for understanding the research use agenda; consider how research use and the impact of research can be assessed; summarise the empirical evidence from the education, health care, social care and criminal justice fields about how research is used and how this can be improved and draw out practical issues that need to be addressed if research is to have greater impact on public services. “Using evidence" is important reading for university and government researchers, research funding bodies, public service managers and professionals, and students of public policy and management. It will also prove an invaluable guide for anyone involved in the implementation of evidence-based policy and practice.

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The Case of Social Policy, Sociology and Political Science Research
Author: Tina Haux

Impact has become a central part of the assessment criteria for academic worth. It has been adopted by many research funding bodies, and it is firmly embedded in the British Research Excellence Framework. However, a clear definition of impact remains elusive and guidance on how exactly to achieve it is often superficial.

This concise, informative book analyses impact across the social sciences. It draws on the analysis of the most highly ranked British impact case studies from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, as well as fifteen interviews with senior academics, providing a longitudinal and critical framing of impact. The author concludes with valuable recommendations of how and when scholars can achieve impact.

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Analysis and debate in social policy, 2018

This edition brings together specially commissioned reviews of key areas of social policy and considers a range of current issues within the field.

The book contains invaluable research, including discussions on modern slavery, childcare and social justice and welfare chauvinism, as well as a chapter centred on the Grenfell Tower fire. Bringing together the insights of a diverse group of experts in social policy, this book examines critical debates in the field in order to offer an informed review of the best in social policy scholarship over the past year.

Published in association with the SPA, the volume will be of interest to students and academics in social policy, social welfare and related disciplines.

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Evidence-informed policy and practice

Building substantially on the earlier, landmark text, What Works? (Policy Press, 2000), this book brings together key thinkers and researchers to provide a contemporary review of the aspirations and realities of evidence-informed policy and practice. The text is clearly structured and provides sector-by-sector analysis of evidence use in policy-making and service delivery. It considers some cross-cutting themes, including a section of international commentaries, and concludes by looking at lessons from the past and prospects for the future.

This book will be of interest to a wide range of social science researchers, students and practitioners as well as those interested in supporting more evidence-informed policy and practice.

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Methods that matter
Editors: Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans

Drawing on the insights of some of the world’s leading authorities in public policy analysis, this important book offers a distinct and critical showcase of emerging forms of discovery for policy-making. Chapter by chapter this expert group of social scientists showcase their chosen method or approach, showing the context, the method’s key features and how it can be applied in practice, including the scope and limitations of its application and value to policy makers. Arguing that it is not just econometric analysis, cost benefit or surveys that can do policy work, the contributors demonstrate a range of other methods that can provide evidenced-based policy insights and how they can help facilitate progressive policy outcomes. The book will be ideal for upper level undergraduate students as well as Public Policy post-graduates, and can be used as the basis of an intensive learning experience for policy makers.

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A practical guide

This book presents an academically rigorous yet practical guide to efforts to understand how knowledge, policy and power interact to promote or prevent change.It offers a power analysis perspective on the knowledge-policy process, illustrated with rich empirical examples from the field of international development, combined with practical guidance on the implications of such an approach. It provides ways to identify and address problems that have hampered previous attempts to improve the space between knowledge and policy; such as difficulties in analysing political context, persistent asymmetric relationships between actors, ignorance of the contributions of different types of knowledge, and misconceptions of the roles played by intermediary organisations. Most importantly, the book gives readers the ability to develop strategies for negotiating the complexity of the knowledge-policy interface more effectively, so as to contribute to policy dialogues, influence policy change, and implement policies and programmes more effectively.The authors focus on the dynamics of the knowledge-policy interface in international development; offering novel theoretical insights and methodological approaches that are applicable to a broader array of policy arenas and their audiences, including academics, practitioners and students.

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, the current UK system for assessing the quality of research, now includes an ‘impact’ component to assess the ‘reach and significance’ of research outside higher education. The total cost of running this exercise in terms of planning, preparing and reviewing submissions has been estimated at £246 million, including £55 million for appraising the impact case studies ( Crown, 2016 ). Research impact assessment in the context of health care In our health board, as responsible officers for research governance, we were tasked with producing an account of how research

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the Research Excellence Framework (REF), which informs core research funding allocations to UK universities and which includes a focus on research impact assessment. Indeed, there now exists something of an ‘impact industry’ in the UK. The implications of this agenda affect not only research income but also prestige (Williams and Grant, 2018 ). It is increasingly hard to imagine university managers conceiving of permanent academic posts that do not include some expectations of outward-facing work, in the pursuit of both grant income and highly sought-after REF

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protestations and criticisms, research impact assessment largely proceeded as planned in REF2014 (with the exception of the reduction from the 25 per cent weighting for impact case studies that HEFCE originally proposed to 20 per cent for 2014). 5 As we note above, it has also become a clearer and more consistent part of UK Research Council funding applications, and achieving impacts (particularly economic impacts) has been a central feature of the UKRI (which sits above the UK Research Councils and which also issues its own calls) since its creation in 2018, with many UKRI

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