research and evaluation

The most trustworthy knowledge comes from systematic reviews where a whole body of work on a given topic is examined, using set ways of deciding what is relevant, how the quality of different studies should be judged and how the messages should be brought together. Looking at a whole body of work in this way means that there is less potential for the messages from research to be unduly affected by single studies.

SCIE has developed systematic mapping of social care research. Systematic mapping is a way of taking stock of the existing literature on a particular topic. It is a tool that offers policy makers, practitioners and researchers an explicit and transparent means of identifying narrower policy and practice-relevant review questions. It also enables the identification of gaps in the evidence base and the assessment and comparison of in-depth systematic literature reviews within the broader literature.

Research briefings that provide a concise summary of the research knowledge on a particular topic and signpost routes to further information. They are designed to provide research evidence in an accessible format to a varied audience, including practitioners, students, managers and policy-makers. The briefings have been undertaken using a transparent methodology.

Knowledge reviews pull together knowledge from research, practice and people who use services. They describe what knowledge is available, highlight the evidence that has emerged and draw practice points from the evidence. Topics include residential child care, adult mental health services, improving social and health care services, social work education and looked-after children.

Provides user abstracts that give practitioners and others easy access to research results. Most user abstracts are based on Campbell reviews, but some are based on other high-quality systematic reviews. The resource presents the findings of the reviews in a plain language, and focuses on information relevant to practitioners and decision makers, for example, people who need the research evidence in order to make the best decisions concerning other peoples welfare. Topics include domestic violence, children, crime, mental health and older people.

Provides accessible summaries of the most up-to-date, relevant evidence on key issues for policy and practice. Topics covered include employment for people with long-term mental health problems, direct payments for those using mental health services and effective involvement of older people in service planning, and effectiveness of support for adults with autistic spectrum disorder.

Developed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and funded by the Scottish Government, this evidence library is an online information resource whereby research into Third Sector issues in Scotland can be easily browsed, accessed at speed and stored, if required, in a personalised document briefcase for future reference.

Video interviews with Fergus McNeill at one of the "What Works" workshops series at the Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh, 5th February 2010.

Part of the Glasgow School of Social Work Research series, Professor David Donnison from the University of Glasgow, speaks about advocacy services in Scotland.

In April 2004 the Office of Health Economics and the Mental Health Foundation held a seminar focusing on the economics of childhood and adolescent mental health as part of their commitment to improving mental health provision for children and young people in the UK. This report is an attempt to draw together the themes from the discussions, along with general conclusions from the day.