HSR Special Issue Call for Abstracts: Translating Research into Policy and Action

The following is cross-posted on the Health Services Research website.

Sponsored by: Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) & Quality Enhancement Initiative (QUERI), Veterans Health Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Submission deadline: April 30, 2021

Health Services Research (HSR) and the VA HSR&D QUERI program are partnering to publish a Special Issue on Translating Research into Policy and Action, to be co-edited by Melissa Garrido, PhD, Arleen Brown, MD, PhD, and Amy Kilbourne, PhD.

A recent Presidential Memorandum emphasizes the need to make policy and programmatic decisions that are “guided by the best available science and data.” This memo follows the implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (Evidence Act), which requires all cabinet-level agencies in the United States government to support policy and budget decisions with rigorous evidence. The HSR&D QUERI program is leading the Veterans Health Administration’s response to the Evidence Act and fosters partnerships among researchers, clinicians, and system managers and leaders to maximize the policy impact of research and ultimately improve health outcomes and equity for patients.

Both within and outside of the VA, implementation and translation of research findings into action can be done more effectively if the needs of affected communities are taken into account. Community engagement is critical to disseminating, implementing, and sustaining evidence-based programs and policies in the real world. This engagement is crucial to improving health equity. However, the generation of evidence to inform policy and the community impact of policy are often considered separately. Most studies that end up informing implementation of evidence-based programs or policies are conducted in settings or populations that are not representative of those that are most adversely impacted by disparities in health or health care.

The goal of this special issue is to highlight research that bridges this gap and engages the community or relevant stakeholders to inform policy and lead to meaningful change.

HSR is soliciting papers that are relevant to the development of evidence-based policy and the translation or implementation of research into action. Papers that highlight novel findings and methodological research directions based on implementation science, community-based participatory research, and similar fields and/or seek to inform health equity and promote active participation of individuals most affected by the research are especially welcome, including those that focus on the VA health care system, as well as other systems and payers. Papers must report the results of original investigations. Framework, review, summary, and commentary articles will be solicited separately.

Illustrative examples of topics within the area of Translating Research into Policy and Action include but are not limited to:

  • Research conducted using community-based participatory methods, implementation strategies, or as pragmatic trials to ensure that results are relevant to affected communities
  • Interventions to improve equity in health services delivery or public health
  • Research on new strategies to expand opportunity and retention for a more diverse U.S. health care workforce that serves vulnerable and marginalized populations
  • Development of evidence in underserved communities or settings not traditionally involved in clinical or health services research that directly informs policy at the state or federal level
  • Activities conducted in response to the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act
  • Monitoring the public health impact of policy change

The deadline for initial submission of abstracts is April 30, 2021. Abstracts may not exceed 300 words and must otherwise be formatted as indicated in the HSR Author Guidelines. These abstracts will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary review panel that will select the best abstracts to receive invitations to submit full manuscripts. The evaluation criteria will include: (1) quality, rigor and originality; (2) significance and usefulness for advancing knowledge about evidence-based policy and the translation of research into action; and (3) clarity of writing and presentation.

Manuscripts submitted for the Special Issue will first undergo the same HSR peer review process as all regular manuscripts. However, due to the timeline for publishing the Special Issue, HSR will monitor the progress of manuscripts through the review process and try to shorten it; likewise, authors should expect to be especially prompt in returning revisions. All accepted articles will be published electronically within a few weeks of acceptance using Wiley’s Early View process. Articles published through Early View are fully published, appear in PubMed, and can be cited. Approximately 12 articles will be selected, based on the most original and significant work addressing the theme. Accepted manuscripts that are not selected for the Special Issue will be automatically scheduled for print publication in a regular issue. The print publication date for the Special Issue will be June 2022.

Key dates for authors:

April 30, 2021: Submission deadline for abstracts for the Special Issue

May 21, 2021: Notification of manuscript invitation for the Special Issue

July 17, 2021: Submission deadline of manuscripts for the Special Issue

June 2022: Publication of the Special Issue

If you would like to submit your abstract for consideration, please email your abstract and co-author contact information to the editorial office at hsr@aha.org, using the subject line “Special Issue on Translating Research into Policy and Action”.

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