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For researchers, the word “advocacy” and its associated activities are not well defined, nor are most researchers exposed to advocacy education during their academic training. Without a good definition, performing advocacy activities is often viewed as intimidating or even inappropriate for researchers. Advocacy activities are also commonly linked with lobbying, which involves paid efforts to promote a specific legislative bill or act. However, advocacy is not inherently related to lobbying, funding, or even policy development.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines advocacy as “The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support.” Using this definition in the context of injury research, advocacy basically involves activities that put forward evidence-based approaches to safety and promote injury prevention.1 It is important that injury researchers and scientists engage in these activities, whether it be to disseminate important research findings or support growth in the science and practice of the field.
Competing interests: None.