History Matters for Understanding Knowledge Exchange

The narrative systematic review of 205 publications on the “relations between knowledge and action” in this issue concludes that “externally valid evidence about the efficacy of specific knowledge exchange strategies is unlikely to be forthcoming” because “collective knowledge exchange and use are. . . deeply embedded in organizational, policy, and institutional contexts” (Contandriopoulos et al. 2010). The authors’ pessimism about obtaining “externally valid evidence” is the result of a search strategy that largely ignored publications based on historical methods. Accordingly, the theme of my commentary is that historical research provides evidence that sustains cautious generalizations about effective strategies for exchanges between researchers and policymakers in comparable policy and institutional contexts.

Author(s): Daniel M. Fox

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Volume 88, Issue 4 (pages 484–491)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2010.00609.x
Published in 2010