Policy debates are increasingly debates over research and science, with more and more stakeholders laying claim to evidence-based policies, thus making it imperative for policy reformers to be knowledgeable about the use of research. Given the proliferation of questionable, "junk" science and predatory, pseudoscience journals, it has become even more difficult to discern high-quality science from bad science. Moreover, due to the highly politicized nature of drug policy reform, we need to be sharp about our use of research and above reproach when advocating for particular policies.
This primer is meant to guide your reading and evaluating of research. You'll learn how to find peer-reviewed articles, spot bad or not-so-good science, and get the most out of an academic article.