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Elm's autumn issue is part of the Year of Research-Based Knowledge, a new initiative in Finland aiming to make research-based knowledge more visible and accessible.

Elm autumn issue examines research and practice in adult education

Journalistic media such as Elm Magazine can have an important role as a connector between research and practice. For the upcoming theme issue, Elm partners with the Year of Research-based knowledge.


The autumn issue of Elm Magazine will be dedicated to exploring the relationship between research and practice in adult education and lifelong learning.

The theme issue is part of the Year of Research-Based Knowledge, a new initiative in Finland aiming to make research-based knowledge more visible and accessible.

In practice, the year gathers actions and events into a programme that gives a comprehensive view of research-based knowledge and its role, for example, in the wellbeing of individuals and in the functioning of society.

“Research-based knowledge is more needed than ever with the current challenges such as the global pandemic and climate change. We also want to highlight how research can help us solve everyday challenges, such as organising remote working efficiently,” says Riitta Maijala.

Maijala is Vice President for Research at the Academy of Finland and chair of the Steering Group for the Year of Research-Based Knowledge.

Academy of Finland coordinates the initiative together with the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.

Journalistic media can be a bridge builder

Discussing research in an understandable, accessible way is at the heart of Elm’s editorial mission.

The magazine bases its articles on research-based knowledge and regularly features topical research in the adult education field, but always aims to explore research in connection to the adult education practice.

This can mean, for example, interviewing both researchers and education practitioners on the same topic.

“I think a journalistic media, such as Elm, can be a connector and bridge builder between research and practice. This is often a missing element in many fields, where research is increasingly emphasised without acknowledging how difficult it is to make the connection,” says Jón Torfi Jónasson.

Jónasson is a member of Elm editorial board and Professor Emeritus of Education at University of Iceland.

Riitta Maijala also finds the relationship between the media and research particularly important.

“One tangible example of good co-operation is the “Find an expert” service, which we have developed at the Academy of Finland,” she says.

Journalists can use the service, which is directly linked to nearly all universities and research institutes in Finland, to find researchers to be interviewed on specific themes.

Theme issue out in October

The autumn theme issue of Elm Magazine offers a chance to solely focus on exploring the nuanced relationship between research and practice.

The issue will, amongst other things, illuminate various research areas in adult education, discuss the challenges of knowledge transfer in the field, examine the role of academic journals as communicators of research knowledge and explore combining theory and practice in education work.

“Talking to both researchers and practitioners about usefulness of research for practice and highlighting research from different directions are good examples of how Elm has been creating dialogue between these two arenas,” Jón Torfi Jónasson says.

The autumn theme issue will be published online during the second week of October.