Case Study: Mapping the impact of science on education policy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Basil Mahfouz, Geoff Mulgan, Licia Capra

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The impact of research on education policy during the COVID-19 pandemic provides a rare opportunity to analyse how governments leverage science during a crisis. This case study utilises a dual approach, first studying the policy impact of new research published on the effects of COVID-19 on education and then analysing the entire body of policy document citations. Key limitations in this project, especially with corpus selection, remain. There is a risk of biased data primarily because the research includes only documents indexed by SCOPUS and Overton.

Due to time sensitivities, scientists during the pandemic opted to share results in alternative, faster forms to conventional peer-reviewed journals. These sources are not included in this analysis. Further, the Overton database, which is being utilised to identify the core set of policy documents, is dominated by North American and European sources (Szomszor &Adie, 2022), which may limit the internationalisation of results. Finally, a significant set of policy documents do not have any scholarly citations, often by key institutions, which hinders the outcome of this analysis.

Beyond mapping the dynamics of scientific evidence and education policy during COVID-19, this case study seeks to identify the feedback loops which influence the impact of science on policy and vice versa, which could unlock new indicators for measuring the policy impacts of science.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Sep 7 2022


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