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Table 1 Definitions of key terms

From: Using conjoint analysis to develop a system to score research engagement actions by health decision makers

Term Definition Example
Research engagement actions Actions undertaken by policymakers to acquire, appraise, and generate relevant and high-quality research evidence or information to inform policymaking. Examples of research engagement actions include 1) searching for and 2) obtaining research, 3) appraising the relevance and 4) quality of research, 5) generating new research or data analyses, and 6) interacting with researchers to acquire research-related information. The SAGE scoring tool addresses these six research engagement actions.
Subactions Subactions are the essential features or main actions of each research engagement action. They often refer to broad, concrete example actions of undertaking each research engagement action. Each research engagement has a number of subactions that were identified through examination of literature on evidence-informed policymaking and interviews with policymakers. Examples of subactions of searching for research include a) searching academic literature databases or libraries; b) searching sources of grey literature; c) identifying research by chance, using on-hand research, or research being provided by colleagues; d) seeking out experts to search for relevant research; e) searching for research in search engines or social media sharing sites; and f) examining reference lists, citation indices or databases of references.
In order to enhance clarity and comprehension throughout the paper, we used the term subaction instead of attribute, which is most commonly used in choice studies and conjoint analysis.
Level Levels in conjoint analysis refer to all the possible values of a subaction and are often described in concrete terms. To undertake a conjoint analysis, each subaction must be divided into concrete, perceptible levels. In the present study, the majority of subactions were divided into two levels: i) yes, the subaction was performed by the policymaker, or ii) no, it was not performed by the policymaker. Different levels of subactions are combined in various combinations to form ‘profiles’. As above, one of the subactions of searching for research was ‘searching academic literature databases’. This subaction has two levels: i) yes, the policymaker searched for research in academic literature databases, or ii) no, the policymaker did not search academic literature databases.
Profile A research engagement action profile is made up of a combination of subaction levels. Specifically, a profile consists of one level of each subaction within that research engagement action. Using the research engagement action – searching for research, an example profile would be: a.ii) yes, research was searched for in academic literature databases (e.g., MEDLINE) or libraries; b.i) no, research was not searched for in sources of grey literature (e.g., OpenGREY); c.ii) yes, research was identified by chance or by colleagues; d.i) no, research was not identified by experts (researchers, working groups, librarians, or other research experts); e.ii) yes, research was searched for in search engines (e.g., Google) or social media sharing sites (e.g., Research Gate); f.i) no, reference lists, citation indices (e.g., Web of Science), or databases of references were not examined (e.g., EndNote).