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Co‐Evolution of Research and Practice: The BLS and Fedstats Case

Gary Marchionini, Michael D. Levi, and Stephanie Haas


This paper describes a six-year collaboration between academic researchers and Federal employees whose purpose was to gain a better understanding of how non-specialists think about, access, and use statistical data. A second general goal was to understand and document how Federal statistical agencies, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in particular, can adopt and adapt technologies to better serve the needs of diverse constituencies. The authors reflect on their experience and discuss ways to narrow the gap between basic research and practical application and to help researchers and government agency professionals learn from one another.