Author(s): , Andrew Ray, Arabella Young, Will Grant
Policy makers globally often claim to use evidence when making policy decisions, but few studies have documented and evaluated the sources of evidence they rely on. This poses challenges to researchers and decision makers alike, as they struggle to assess the impact of research on policy. This study analysed citations in Australian federal parliamentary committee reports to better understand the role that academic sources play in shaping policy. Results show that academic sources are rarely cited by federal parliamentary committees, and of those that are cited, most are academic inquiry submissions or oral evidence, with very few citations of peer reviewed research. This finding points towards a need for academics seeking policy impact to engage more proactively with government inquiry submission processes. To incentivise this approach, we suggest that changes be made to the way that academic impact is measured within the university sector in order to avoid disincentivising researchers from making submissions to parliamentary inquiries.
Research theme: Regulatory Law and Policy