Evidence & Policy

A journal of research, debate and practice

Evidence & Policy is the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to comprehensive and critical assessment of the relationship between researchers and the evidence they produce and the concerns of policy makers and practitioners. Read more

Impact Factor: 2.595                           Frequency: February, May, August and November

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Aims and scope 
Abstracting and indexing 
Carol Weiss Prize
Testimonials 
Contact us

Aims and scope 

Evidence & Policy is the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to comprehensive and critical assessment of the relationship between researchers and the evidence they produce and the concerns of policy makers and practitioners.

International in scope and interdisciplinary in focus, it addresses the needs of those who develop public policies, provide public services, or provide the research base for evaluation and development across a wide range of social and public policy issues (e.g. criminal justice, employment and welfare, education, environmental protection, finance, health, housing, international development, social care and transport), and those who are working to connect the two (such as knowledge brokers).

As well as more traditional research articles, the journal includes review and method articles, contemporary debate pieces and articles from practice.

Abstracting and indexing 

Evidence & Policy is abstracted and/or indexed in:

Current Contents/Social and Behavioural Sciences
CSA Sociological abstracts
Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS)
International Political Science Abstracts (IPSA)
Journal Citation Reports - Social Science Edition
ProQuest Central
ProQuest Criminal Justice Collection
ProQuest Politics Collection
ProQuest Social Sciences Premium Collection
Scopus
Social Care Online (SCIE)
Social Policy & Practice
Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
Zetoc (through the British Library)

Carol Weiss Prize

To mark the tenth anniversary of Evidence & Policy, the journal launched a prize that recognises outstanding early career contributors to the journal. The prize was created in memory of Professor Carol Weiss, the first North American Editor of Evidence & Policy and a pioneer in the field, and it will be awarded every two years.

We are delighted to announce that the winners of the 2021 Carol Weiss Prize are Sarah Chew et al and Justyna Bandola-Gill.

Understanding knowledge brokerage and its transformative potential: a Bourdieusian perspective
Sarah Chew, Natalie Armstrong and Graham Martin

The legitimacy of experts in policy: navigating technocratic and political accountability in the case of global poverty governance
Justyna Bandola-Gill

Learn more about the Carol Weiss Prize.

Testimonials 

"Evidence & Policy is the journal that helps me to keep up to date with the latest thinking and research in this field .”
Sandra Nutley, Professor of Public Policy and Management, School of Management, University of St Andrews, UK

"It is crucial to understand how the use of solid evidence can improve policy advice, and improve professional service delivery practices. Evidence & Policy stepped boldly into this emerging field a decade ago, and helped define the issues, advance understandings, and improve professional practices.  I look forward to the next 10 years, and beyond, as it helps to shape the future of the field." 
Professor Brian Head FASSA, ARC Professorial Fellow, Institute for Social Science Research & School of Political Science, The University of Queensland, Australia

Contact us

Editorial enquiries:

Editorial team: evidenceandpolicy@ucl.ac.uk

Open access, subscriptions and free trials:

Policy Press: pp-journals@bristol.ac.uk

Read our instructions for authors for guidance on how to prepare your submissions. The instructions include the following: 

What are we looking for?
How to submit an article
Copyright
Style
References
English language editing service
Open Access
Self-archiving and institutional repositories
How to maximise the impact of your article
Contact us

Visit our journal author tool kit for resources and advice to support you through the publication process and beyond.

What are we looking for?

Evidence & Policy publishes scholarship addressing the relationship between evidence and policy or practice. We currently publish five types of paper: (1) research articles; (2) review articles; (3) methods articles; (4) debate articles; and (5) practice articles. We welcome papers from any disciplinary perspective, and geo-political context, and from authors based in any world region. Authors based in low- and middle-income settings can benefit from Policy Press’s reduced Open Access rates and waivers.

Contributions are welcome from a wide range of disciplines and policy areas, and papers that adopt an interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary approach are especially welcome. All contributions should offer new insights or describe research or practice that develops the transdisciplinary field of knowledge about the relationship between evidence, policy and practice. Papers that solely present evidence to inform policy or which focus on single case studies in ways that do not build on the wealth of existing knowledge will not be considered. We also discourage simplistic or binary characterisations of the state of the field. The editors welcome pre-submission inquiries about the suitability of manuscripts for Evidence and Policy; such inquiries should include a structured abstract (see below) for the prospective manuscript. 

The scope of the journal is expanded upon in the Editorials published in 14:215:4, and 18:1.

1. Research articles describe an original piece of primary research that has relevance to the relationship between evidence and policy or practice. Shorter papers of up to 5000 words are encouraged, but the maximum limit is 8000 words, including references and tables. Each research article must include the following sections:

  • Structured abstract of up to 250 words, written in complete sentences, with the following headings: (1) Background, (2) Aims and objectives, (3) Methods, (4) Findings, (5) Discussion and conclusion.
  • Background: explaining the nature and importance of the research question being addressed and usually including a summary of what is known about the issue already (via a concise literature review or references to published literature reviews on the topic), and outlining any relevant theoretical or epistemological stances.
  • Methods: whether using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods, this should include enough information on methods of data collection and analysis for readers to understand exactly what was done and why. The choice of methods should be justified.
  • Findings: the results should be presented clearly, with visualisations where required. 
  • Discussion and conclusions: should describe the key findings, the strengths and weaknesses of the work, how the key findings relate to other relevant studies, and the contribution made to the transdisciplinary field of knowledge about the relationship between evidence, policy and practice. It should also include any policy, practice or research implications and/or recommendations.

    Authors should give serious consideration to the use of reporting guidelines (see https://www.equator-network.org/). If there are relevant guidelines which have not been used, please explain why in the comments to the editor during the submission process. Research articles reporting data collected using a survey must clearly report the survey response rate and/or provide evidence of the sample’s representativeness of the target population. Evidence and Policy generally does not consider research articles reporting on data from convenience samples.

2. Review articles take stock of research on the relationship between evidence and policy or practice, or on methodological approaches to conducting research on this relationship. Authors should clearly articulate the contribution the review has made to our understanding of the research theme under review and to advancing the science of evidence use. Reviews that incorporate a wider range of sources from more than one field of inquiry are more likely to fulfil this brief than reviews that focus more tightly on one programme, profession, or setting. Review articles may take the form of either systematic reviews or scoping reviews, and should follow the relevant Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, or PRISMA, guidelines (see http://www.prisma-statement.org/ and http://www.prisma-statement.org/Extensions/ScopingReviews).

Shorter papers of up to 5000 words are encouraged, but the maximum limit is 8000 words, including references and tables. It is not required that all reviewed items to be cited; optionally authors may provide a complete list of reviewed items as supplementary material that does not count against the word limit. Each review article must have the following sections:

  • Structured abstract of up to 250 words, written in complete sentence, with the following headings: (1) Background, (2) Aims and objectives, (3) Methods, (4) Findings, (5) Discussion and conclusion.
  • Background: explaining the nature and importance of the research question being addressed and usually including a summary of what is known about the issue already (via a concise literature review or references to published literature reviews on the topic), and outlining any relevant theoretical or epistemological stances.
  • Methods: this should include enough information on methods of data collection and analysis for readers to understand exactly what was done and why, and should follow the PRISMA guidelines.
  • Findings: the results should be presented clearly, with visualisations where required.
  • Discussion and conclusions: should describe the key findings, the strengths and weaknesses of the work, how the key findings relate to other relevant studies, and the contribution made to the transdisciplinary field of knowledge about the relationship between evidence, policy and practice. It should also include any policy, practice or research implications and/or recommendations.

3.  Method articles describe quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods that are uniquely useful for investigating the intersection of evidence with policy or practice. Papers introducing new methods/measures should contain evidence of its utility and validity, and should discuss its relationship to similar existing methods/measures. Papers demonstrating existing methods should adopt a tutorial style and should include detailed examples. If the method involves materials (e.g., computer code, survey items, interview protocol), these materials must be provided with the submission.

Shorter papers of up to 5000 words are encouraged, but the maximum limit is 8000 words, including references and tables. Method articles must include a structured abstract, and may include the following additional sections as necessary:

  • Structured abstract of up to 250 words, written in complete sentence, with the following headings: (1) Background, (2) Aims and objectives, (3) Methods, (4) Findings, (5) Discussion and conclusion.
  • Background: explaining the nature and importance of the research question being addressed and usually including a summary of what is known about the issue already (via a concise literature review or references to published literature reviews on the topic), and outlining any relevant theoretical or epistemological stances
  • Methods: this should include enough information on methods of data collection and analysis for readers to understand exactly what was done and why. The choice of methods should be justified.
  • Findings: the results should be presented clearly, with visualisations where required. 
  • Discussion and conclusions: should describe the key findings, the strengths and weaknesses of the work, how the key findings relate to other relevant studies, and the contribution made to the transdisciplinary field of knowledge about the relationship between evidence, policy and practice. It should also include any policy, practice or research implications and/or recommendations.

4. Debate articles are opinion pieces on an issue relevant to the relationship between evidence and policy or practice. Such articles analyse the state of the field in a particular area, and/or critically discuss new evidence-related initiatives, fields or burning issues. Typically, debate articles take a point of controversy about evidence use or related issues, in academia, policy or practice, and construct a supporting argument. For example, they could focus on the use of a particular methodology, bring in concepts from new fields to the evidence/policy debate, or discuss the implications of a change in policy on evidence generation, funding or use. The editors may choose to invite brief commentaries to be published alongside debate articles.

Shorter papers of up to 3000 words are encouraged, but the maximum limit is 5000, including references and tables. All debate articles must include a structured abstract, and may include the following additional sections as necessary:

  • Structure abstract of up to 250 words, written in complete sentence, with the following headings: (1) Background, (2) Aims and objectives, (3) Methods, (4) Findings, (5) Discussion and conclusion.
  • Background: explaining the nature and importance of the issue being addressed and describing previous work in the area (if any), with relevant references.
  • Discussion, conclusions and implications of the piece.

5. Practice papers are a description and assessment of a project or process by which evidence was or could be applied to policy and practice, from the point of view of a practitioner. Practice articles are not externally peer reviewed, but are reviewed internally by the editors. Shorter papers of up to 3000 words and no more than 10 references are preferred. All practice articles must include at least one non-academic practitioner as an author. This sections included in practice papers are flexible, and prospective authors are encouraged to contact the editors for guidance prior to submission.

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How to submit an article

All submissions should be made online at the Evidence & Policy Editorial Manager website: http://www.editorialmanager.com/evidpol/default.aspx, in Word or Rich Text Format (not pdf). New users should first create an account, specify their areas of interest and provide full contact details.

Preparing your anonymised manuscript

Your initial submission must consist of the following separate files:

  • A cover page including: the article title, author name(s) and affiliations (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required), the article abstract (up to 250 words), up to four key words/short phrases and the article word count including references. A cover page template is available to download here.
  • A fully anonymised manuscript which does not include any of the information included in the cover page. It should not include any acknowledgments, funding details or conflicts of interest that would identify the author(s). Citations to an author’s own prior published work should not be blinded, anonymised, or redacted. Instead, in the anonymized submission, sentences citating an author’s own work should be written in the third person; for example “Prior studies (e.g., YourName, 2022) have shown…”, not “We (e.g. YourName, 2022) have shown…”.
  • If you have any figures and tables, please upload them as separate files at the end of the manuscript. Figures and Tables may be embedded in the manuscript where they should appear, but also providing these files separately ensures they are of sufficiently high resolution for production. 
  • In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here: https://accessibility.huit.harvard.edu/describe-content-images.

During the submission process you will be required to confirm that all authors have:

  • Read and approved the final manuscript.
  • Agreed to be personally accountable for their own contributions.
  • Agreed to ensure that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated, resolved, and the resolution documented in the literature.

During the submission process, you will also be required to:

  • Declare any conflicts of interest.
  • Confirm the manuscript is not submitted or published elsewhere.
  • Confirm the manuscript conforms to the journal house style.
  • Provide a contributor statement describing each author’s contribution to the manuscript.
  • If the manuscript presents or draws on empirical data: Provide a research ethics statement.
  • If the manuscript presents or draws on empirical data: Provide a data availability statement.

All authors should comply with the Bristol University Press/ Policy Press ethical guidelines.

For help submitting an article via Editorial Manager, please view our online tutorial.

 

Once a submission has been conditionally accepted, you will be invited to submit a final, non-anonymised version.

Checklist: what to include in your final, accepted non-anonymised manuscript:

  1. A cover page (separate file) including: the article title, author name(s) and affiliations (institution affiliation and country only, no department details required), the article abstract (up to 250 words), up to 4 key words and the word count.
  2. Research Ethics Statement: if your article does not present or draw directly on data/findings from empirical research the following text should be added to the final manuscript: "The author(s) of this paper has/have declared that research ethics approval was not required since the paper does not present or draw directly on data/findings from empirical research."
    If the paper you are submitting draws on any empirical research, please include a statement to explain how you approached research ethics. If any formal research ethics approval was sought, please name the organisation from which approval was sought and provide the date on which research ethics was approved. If the paper draws on empirical research that did not require research ethics approval, please also explain why this was the case.

  3. Funding details: list any funding including the grant numbers you have received for the research covered in your article as follows: "This work was supported by the [Funding Agency] under Grant [number xxxx]."

  4. Contributor Statement: please include a brief statement, with each author’s initials being used to refer to their contribution. 

  5. Conflict of interest statement: please declare any possible conflicts of interest, or state "The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest" if there are none. Find out more about declaring conflicts of interest in the Bristol Universty Press/ Policy Press Ethical Guidelines.

  6. Acknowledgements: acknowledge those who have provided you with any substantial assistance or advice with collecting data, developing your ideas, editing or any other comments to develop your argument or text.

  7. Figures and Tables: should be included as separate files at the end of the manuscript. Please indicate where these should be placed in the text by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources where appropriate. For advice about less common file formats please contact dave.j.worth@bristol.ac.uk.

  8. In order to improve our accessibility for people with visual impairments, we are now required to ask authors to provide a brief description known as alt text to describe any visual content such as photos, illustrations or figures. It will not be visible in the article but is embedded into the images so a PDF reader can read out the descriptions. Guidance on how to write this is available here: https://accessibility.huit.harvard.edu/describe-content-images.
  9. Supplemental data: We recommend that any supplemental data are hosted in a data repository (such as figshare) for maximum exposure, and are cited as a reference in the article.

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Editorial review process

All submissions (except for practice articles) will be subject to anonymous peer-review processes by referees currently working in the appropriate field. The editors aim to provide quick decisions and to ensure that submission to publication takes the minimum possible time. The final decision on publication rests with the Editors in Chief. Accepted papers will be published online ahead of print after copy editing and typesetting; all papers will appear in hard copy issues, but the timing of publication is at the discretion of the editors.

When papers are accepted for publication, authors are encouraged to submit a lay or non-technical summary of their piece for publication in the Evidence & Policy blog. For more information, please see our blog guidelines.

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Copyright and permission

Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that on acceptance the entire copyright shall pass to Policy Press as publisher of Evidence & Policy. Authors will be asked to sign a copyright agreement to this effect. All authors should agree to the copyright assignment. For jointly authored articles, the corresponding author may sign on behalf of co-authors provided that s/he has obtained their consent for copyright assignment. When submitting online, the copyright assignment agreement is considered to be signed when the corresponding author checks the relevant box. The copyright assignment agreement can be read here.

Where copyright is not owned by the author(s), the corresponding author is responsible for obtaining the consent of the copyright holder. This includes figures, tables and excerpts. Evidence of this permission should be provided to Policy Press.

General information on rights and permissions can be found here: http://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/rights-and-permissions.

To request permission to reproduce any part of articles published in Evidence & Policy, please email Policy Press: pp-info@bristol.ac.uk

Gold Open Access publishing (making articles freely available to the reader under a variety of CC-BY licences) is also available upon payment of an Article Processing Charge, and authors are encouraged to consider this where possible. The Open Access status of an article in no way influences its chance of acceptance or review, and payment should only be made after acceptance.  See our Open Access page for further details.

Please also read our Journals Editorial Policies.

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Style

  • British English spelling and punctuation is preferred.
  • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory.
  • Explanatory notes should be kept to a minimum. If it is necessary to use them, they must be numbered consecutively in the text and listed at the end of the article. Please do not embed notes in the text.
  • Please do not embed bibliographic references in the text, footnotes, live links or macros; the final submitted file should be clear of track changes and ready for print.
  • Tables and charts should be separated from the text and submitted in a Word or Excel file, with their placement in the text clearly indicated by inserting: ‘Table X here’. Please provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • Figures, diagrams and maps should be separated from the text and, ideally, submitted in an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file. Figures created in Word or Excel are acceptable in those file formats. If the figures, diagrams and maps are in other formats (i.e. have been pasted into a Word file rather than created in it) please contact dave.j.worth@bristol.ac.uk for advice. Please indicate where figures should be placed in the text, by inserting: ‘Figure X here’ and provide numbers, titles and sources (where appropriate).
  • In-text citations: give the author’s surname followed by year of publication in brackets, e.g. (Smith 1999) or (Smith et al. 1999).
  • List all references in full at the end of the article and remove any references not cited in the text.
  • Spell out all acronyms in the first instance.

Further guidance may be found in the Policy Press editorial guidelines

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References

Download the Endnote output style for Bristol University Press and Policy Press Journals.

A custom version of the Harvard system of referencing is used:

Example of book reference:
Dorling, D. (2010) Injustice: Why social inequality persists, Bristol: Policy Press.

Example of journal reference:
Guckert, M., Mastropieri, M.A., Scruggs, T.E. (2016) 'Personalizing research: Special educators’ awareness of evidence-based practice', Exceptionality, 24(2): 63-78.

Example of chapter within edited / multi-authored publication: 

Levitas, R. (2011) 'Utopia calling: Eradicating child poverty in the United Kingdom and beyond', in A. Minujin and S. Nandy (eds), Global Child Poverty and Well-being: Measurement, concepts, policy and action, Bristol: Policy Press. pp 449–73. 

Example of website reference:
Womensaid (2016) What is domestic abuse? https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/what-is-domestic-abuse/.

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Management Board

Zachary Neal Editor in Chief; Michigan State University, US
Caroline Oliver Editor in Chief; University College London, UK

Will Allen Associate Editor; University of Oxford, UK 
Peter Van der Graaf Associate Editor; Teeside University, UK
Mark Hardy Associate Editor; University of York, UK
Anita Kothari Associate Editor; Western University, Canada
Mariah Kornbluh Associate Editor; University of South Carolina, US
Daniel Mallinson Associate Editor; PennState University, US
Gedion Onyango Associate Editor; University of Nairobi, Kenya
Jonathan Purtle Associate Editor; New York University, US

Justin Parkhurst Chair of the Board; London School of Economics, UK
Michaelagh Broadbent Editorial Officer; University of Edinburgh, UK
Julia Mortimer Publisher; Bristol University Press and Policy Press, UK 

Editorial Advisory Board 

The editorial team at Evidence & Policy is supported by a distinguished international advisory board, including: 

Paul Cairney, University of Stirling, UK
Fred Carden, Using Evidence Inc., Canada
Brian Head, University of Queensland, Australia
John Lavis, McMaster University, Canada
Cynthia Lum, George Mason University, USA
Jordi Molas-Gallart, INGENIO, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Lawrence Palinkas, University of Southern California, USA
Jack B. Spaapen, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Netherlands
Vivian Tseng, William T. Grant Foundation, USA

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2021 Impact Factor: 2.595 (2yr), 2.424 (5yr)
Ranking: 39/111 in Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary (Q2)

2021 Journal Citation Indicator: 1.3
Ranking: 49/263 in Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary (Q1)

2021 Scopus CiteScore 3.4.
Ranking: 73/426 in Social Sciences (miscellaneous) – 82nd percentile

2021 SJR: 0.615
Ranking: 134/643 in Social Sciences (miscellaneous) (Q1)