How does your research influence legislation? Text mining may reveal the answer



Evidence-based policy is increasingly important for scientists and policymakers as well as society. Scientists often need to show how their research is influencing the policy environment, and policymakers want to ensure that legislation is built on reliable, peer-reviewed research.

With today’s technology, it’s possible to make policy decisions based on real evidence, but with more and more research being published, it’s hard to track how the two are related – especially if the research is stored in a range of sites and repositories.

To tackle this problem, a team from Elsevier and LexisNexis Risk Solutions (both owned by Elsevier’s parent company, RELX Group) has been working with researchers in Prof. Tim Menzies’ RAISE (Real world AI for SE) lab at North Carolina State University. They are constructing a search engine that lets people find similar legislative and research documents using keywords. In a project assessing the impact of scientific articles on US legislation, they came up with a solution to easily find links between 100,000 legislative documents and 75,000 research articles.

PeriodJun 1 2018

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