Localising and tailoring published research evidence helps public health decision making

Peter Van Der Graaf, Mandy Cheetham, Karen McCabe, Rosemary Rushmer

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    Background: Published research evidence is typically not readily applicable to practice but needs to be actively mobilised. Objectives: This paper explores the mechanisms used by information professionals with a specific knowledge mobilisation role to make evidence useful for local decision makers when they commission and plan public health interventions. Methods: Data is drawn from a NIHR project that studied how, when, where and by whom published research evidence is used in commissioning and planning across two sites (one in England and one in Scotland). Data included eleven in-depth interviews with information professionals, observations at meetings and documentary analysis. Results: Evidence is made fit for local commissioning and planning purposes by information professionals through two mechanisms. They localise evidence (relate evidence to local context and needs) and tailor it (present actionable messages). Discussion: Knowledge mobilisation roles of information professionals are not recognised and researched. information professionals contribute to the ‘inform’ and ‘relational’ functions of knowledge mobilisation; however, they are less involved in improving the institutional environment for sustainable knowledge sharing. Conclusion: Information professionals are instrumental in shaping what evidence enters local decision-making processes and in what format. Identifying and supporting Knowledge mobilisation roles within health libraries should be the focus of future research and training for information professionals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)202-212
    Number of pages10
    JournalHealth Information and Libraries Journal
    Issue number3
    Early online date29 May 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


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