gms | German Medical Science

Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018)

08.03. - 09.03.2018, München

Evidence-based practice: Norms of evidence production in different disciplines

Meeting Abstract

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Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018). München, 08.-09.03.2018. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2018. Doc47

doi: 10.3205/18inhere47, urn:nbn:de:0183-18inhere471

Veröffentlicht: 1. März 2018

© 2018 Scappucci et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Evidence-based practice requires that practitioners base their decisions on the best evidence currently available. Researchers therefore need to identify and disclose the most robust evidence that can be transferred into practice. To this end, what counts as sound evidence is constantly debated and negotiated within the scientific communities.

In this project, we study which types of evidence are commonly reported in scholarly publications across three different disciplines (medicine, education, and economics). Also, we will investigate if particular forms of evidence production have become more dominant than others in the past 20 years.

Building on Crombie’s [1] and Hacking’s [2], [3] work on scientific reasoning styles and evidence production, we developed an analytical instrument (coding scheme) to identify and systematically collect the most salient features of the different processes of evidence production. These features tap specific aspects of the assumptions, designs, methods and objectives of the studies under investigation. By means of a cluster and latent class analysis, we will then empirically determine the different types of evidence production commonly adopted and accepted within the scientific communities of the three disciplines included in the analysis of this project. The preliminary results of the piloting phase will be presented at INHERE 2018.

The development of this analytical instrument will constitute a powerful tool to investigate the dynamic and social process of evidence production. Additionally, our study will allow to draw important conclusions on the norms of evidence production in science. These will allow to start a discussion on how evidence norms in science relate to evidence norms in practice.


Crombie AC. Styles of scientific thinking in the European tradition: The history of argument and explanation especially in the mathematical and biomedical sciences and arts. Vol. 1. London: Duckworth; 1994.
Hacking I. The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas About Probability, Introduction and Statistical Inference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1984.
Hacking I. 'Language, Truth and Reason' 30 years later. Stud Hist Philosophy Sci. 2012;43(4):599-609. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2012.07.002 Externer Link