Connecting research to action: perspectives on research utilisation

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Gray, Mel ; Sharland, Elaine ; Heinsh, Milena ; Shubert, Leanne (2015)

In contemporary knowledge societies, scientific research has been emphasised as a key component of effective and accountable service provision. This paper examines commonalities and distinctions between two discourses of research utilisation: ‘evidence-based practice’ (EBP) and ‘knowledge production/utilisation’ (KPU)—the former more prominent in informing the social work canon, the latter with some potential to do so. Specifically, it considers how and where these discourses are now coming together, through a focus on ‘knowledge mobilisation’, ‘implementation’ and ‘innovation’, and a shared emphasis on the role of organisations in bridging the gap between research and action. It hopes to contribute to the movement towards greater research use in social work and enhance understanding of the mechanisms by which research is connected to action.
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