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Unpublished policy trials, the risk of false discoveries and the persistence of authority-based policy

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The use of trials in the policy process is often presented as a move towards evidence-based policy and away from authority-, ideology- or faith-based policy. However, this paper will draw on two UK examples of unpublished policy trials in order to argue that – when policy is based on such research – it should not usually be described as evidence-based. Instead, the paper will argue that policies based on such unpublished trials are, at best, authority-based.
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Keywords: RCTs; evidence-based policy; evidence-informed policy; trials

Appeared or available online: Mon Oct 31 00:00:00 UTC 2016

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