Context Analysis is a new method for surveying a body of publications as a whole. The process consists of creating a database of information about the publications in a field of study and then looking for interesting relationships in the data. This paper presents our findings about one particular research field, Management of R&D at the Section Level. We investigated how the research activity is related to practitioner needs in this field and found evidence to support the views that the literature in this field provides a forum for debate rather than for the reporting of formal research, and that the publications generally conform to a different assumption about the nature of the R&D process than that held by practising R&D managers. We obtained confirmation of our allocation of facts and judgements about papers by sending a questionnaire to the authors of the papers. The paper discusses practical aspects of how to apply the method in other fields, and suggests that the method might be useful in informing the strategies of researchers and funders of research
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