Unpublished policy trials, the risk of false discoveries and the persistence of authority-based policy

Jonathan Mendel (Lead / Corresponding author)

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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 However, this paper will draw on two UK examples of unpublished policy trials in order to argue that – when policy is based on such research – it should not usually be described as evidence-based. Instead, the paper will argue that policies based on such unpublished trials are, at best, authority-based.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalEvidence & Policy
Issue number2
Early online date31 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2018



  • Evidence-based policy
  • Evidence-informed policy
  • RCTs
  • Trials

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