Ann Oakley, David Gough, Sandy Oliver, and James Thomas (2005)
The politics of evidence and methodology: lessons from the EPPI-Centre
Evidence and Policy vol:1 n°1 : p. 5–31
The 'evidence movement' poses particular challenges to social science. This article describes and reflects on some of these challenges, using as a case study the development over the period from 1993 of the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating (EPPI-Centre) at the Institute of Education, University of London. The article describes the development of EPPICentre resources for supporting evidence-informed policy in the fields of education and health promotion, and in so doing explores many of the challenges that confront research reviewers in the social sciences. These include technical and methodological issues affecting the quality and reporting of primary research, and the retrieval quality of bibliographic databases; and wider factors such as the culture of academia, and research funding practices that militate against the building of a cumulative evidence base.