Evidence information service
A project to develop a service that will provide parliamentarians and parliamentary research services with a single gateway to a network of academic experts.
The aim of this project is to develop an evidence information service (EIS) that will provide parliamentarians and parliamentary research services with a single gateway to a network of academic experts in science, technology, medicine, arts, humanities and social sciences.
The project involves partners from each of the GW4 universities – the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter and Cardiff University. The partners undertook a ‘citizen study’ in 2014-15 that found that 85% of politicians would be supportive of the service, with many saying that the service would level the playing field between political parties in terms of their access to academic expertise. Working with the House of Commons Library and the National Assembly of Wales Research Service, the next phase of the project is piloting the EIS to enhance parliamentary capacity for research-derived and evidence-informed decision making. The pilot aims to determine the feasibility and utility of EIS by recruiting academics and policy researchers across different disciplines to trial responding to ‘test’ parliamentary questions. The project also involves a confidential survey asking academics across the UK to share their experiences of engagement with policy making, such as contributions to select committee hearings and think tank reports, with a view to eventually rolling out the EIS through parliamentary research services in England and Wales.