EMC operating principles for identifying research and expertise
The Education Media Centre (EMC) aims to make education research more accessible to the media and the public. It offers authoritative, independent and accessible insights from education research in response to media and public interest and current research developments.
These principles guide the way the EMC engages with the education research community and identifies quality and relevant evidence/experts, drawn from a diverse and wide range of researchers.
1. Evidence-based perspectives – We aim to identify experts who are able to provide an authoritative perspective on a particular issue that is based on research evidence. They are encouraged not to report on policy, practice or personal knowledge where it cannot be coupled to reliable research evidence. If experts do express their personal views then it should be made clear that a personal view, rather than research evidence, is being reported.
2. Relevance to the issue – We aim to select researchers who can offer evidence-based perspectives which are relevant to the issue being considered. Limits on the relevance of the research to the specific context will be made clear (eg research is on the same topic but with a different age group).
3. Represent diversity – The aim of the EMC is to fairly represent the current state of the evidence base on any particular issue: so we embrace ambiguity rather than attempting to conceal it. We may provide a specific research perspective on an individual occasion, but we will try to contextualise it among other divergent views over time.
4. Generalists and specialists – research generalists – with a broad overview of a topic – and research specialists – with a narrower focus – can help us to comprehensive coverage of a topic.
5. Links to real-world practice – We welcome contributions from experts who can link their research to real-world practice.
6. Communication – We look for experts who can represent the research evidence clearly and articulately, in a manner that is accessible to a non-technical audience. We can provide training and support on media engagement.
7. Evidence is ‘fit for purpose’ – We aim to promote research evidence which is ‘fit for purpose’. We aim to consider a) the theoretical or ideological perspective generating the research evidence, b) the appropriateness of the method in relation to the question being addressed, c) the quality of the study and d) the scope and context of the research.
8. Nature of the reporting – We consider the thoroughness of research reports in terms of whether the evidence is a) a single study, b) synthesized by a systematic or narrative review, or c) the judgement of a specialist on the evidence.