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Editors' Choice

The following Evidence & Policy Editors' Choice articles are free to access until 31 July 2020:

To what extent does evidence support decision making during infectious disease outbreaks? A scoping literature review [Open Access]
Authors: Andreea Salajan, Svetla Tsolova, Massimo Ciotti and Jonathan E. Suk

'This timely piece reviews existing literature to understand the role that scientific evidence plays in the governance of infectious disease outbreaks. It shows that policymakers tend to prioritise expert advice, epidemiological data and mathematical modelling data for risk characterisation and management (just as we are seeing with COVID-19) and provides insights into why this is. It also highlights the challenges posed by scientific uncertainties and the potential for this to inform both conflicting interpretations of available evidence and public criticism of decision-making (again, providing really useful insights into the current debates surrounding the varying advice and policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic).'

Producing policy relevant systematic reviews: navigating the policy-research interface
Authors: Sandra Oliver, Mukdarut Bangpan and Kelly Dickson

'This article stresses there is no set format for producing a systematic review that works well for policy audiences. Rather, the key advice is for those undertaking reviews to work with the policy actors who are likely to want or need the information within the planned review from the outset. This enables policy actors to contribute to the developing the review’s approach and write up, which helps ensure that the review addresses issues in ways that make sense to the target policy audiences.' 

Evidence to support delivery of effective health services: a responsive programme of rapid evidence synthesis [Open Access]
Authors: Duncan Chambers, Andrew Booth, Mark Rodgers, Louise Preston, Jane Dalton, Elizabeth Goyder, Sian Thomas, Gillian Parker, Andrew Street and Alison Eastwood

'This narrative review assesses how a team working to provide evidence reviews for National Health Service audiences in the UK worked to facilitate the impact of their work and the barriers that they faced in trying to ensure evidence reviews informed decision-making. It suggests that high-quality and influential outputs were facilitated by initial mapping and scoping work, early engagement with stakeholders, and a willingness to consider creative solutions to emerging challenges.'

See also: Volume 14, Number 4, November 2018 our free sample issue.

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