This research was conducted by Samantha Vilkins with the supervision
of Dr Will Grant at the Australian National University's
Centre for the Public Awareness of Science in Canberra.
It is published in Scientometrics.

This page was built using fullPage.js and chart.js,
and it doesn't make perfect sense without me talking
in front of it, but there's some nice charts.

(scroll down!)

What counts as evidence?

What evidence do policymakers use?

What evidence do policymakers cite?

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- Commit to developing evidence-based policy

STA Federal election survey 20161

We looked through 80 publications from
8 Australian Government departments, published
between 2010 and 2017, and gathered
a total of 4649 references.

Most of the cited evidence was recent...

...and the cited academic literature was more likely open-access2.

Different departments rely on different sources.

and overall, peer-reviewed articles and other government reports were most commonly cited.

...but this differs to what policymakers claim.



Policymakers rank their research approaches as (ish)3, 4:

1. consult an expert

2. consult technical reports

3. access the internet

4. use statistical data

5. consult other policymakers

6. use academic literature

7. use internal expertise

8. use government policy documents

but in the final publication, they cite from:

1. peer-reviewed journals

2. federal government departments

3. Australian businesses

4. books

5. foreign organisations

6. Australian organisations

7. state government departments

8. intergovernmental organisations

...and so on.

Why are these different?

"...omitted citations to less influential work are random in nature."
- Cole & Cole, 1972


"The vast majority of citations are accurate...unfortunately,
there has never been a definitive study of this assertion."
- Garfield, 1983

"We found...a coverage of only 30%."

"Any results obtained by using citations as data
will, at best, have to be considered tentative."

- MacRoberts & MacRoberts, 1996.

availability, accessibilty, visibility