Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    Glossary

    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics

    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 41-60 out of 563

Barriers to Healthy Food
Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0522
This briefing reviews current diets and barriers to healthy food including price, marketing, skills and location. It then outlines current initiatives to improve diets.
Carbon Footprint of Heat Generation
Published Tuesday, May 3, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0523
Heat Policy takes into account the carbon footprint of different heating technologies. This POSTnote summarises evidence about the carbon footprints of current and emerging heating technologies in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. It then outlines wider considerations for heat policy and broad assessments of the ‘best’ way to reduce emissions from heating.
Access to Water and Sanitation
Published Wednesday, April 20, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0521
This briefing discusses the challenge of increasing access to water and sanitation in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Digital Forensics and Crime
Published Wednesday, March 9, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0520
Digital forensic science is the process of obtaining, analysing and using digital evidence in investigations or criminal proceedings. Digital evidence ranges from images of child sexual exploitation to the location of a mobile phone. This note looks at the use of digital forensics by UK law enforcement agencies. It covers how evidence is obtained, the legislation and regulation in this area, and the efforts being made to address the challenges faced by practitioners.
Electronic Health Records
Published Monday, February 8, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0519
A POSTnote which explains the plans to introduce electronic health records for everyone. As well as background on what information such records will contain, the paper discusses the opportunities and challenges implementing them will involve.
Psychological Health of Military Personnel
Published Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0518
A POSTnote which examines the impact of military service on the psychological health of serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families. It outlines what is known about the effectiveness of interventions, and highlights areas for further research.
Intellectual Property and Plants
Published Tuesday, January 19, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0517
This POSTnote considers the different intellectual property rights approaches available to plant breeders.
Trends in the Environment
Published Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0516
Human activities interact with natural systems in complex ways; they can cause long-term damage to systems humans are dependent on. This POSTnote summarises a range of such pressures on the environment. It also identifies a number of trends and their effects on the UK.
Policing Domestic Abuse
Published Wednesday, December 16, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0515
Domestic abuse refers to a range of behaviours – psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional – that are directed towards partners, ex-partners or family members. This POSTnote examines the prevalence and nature of domestic abuse and the policing response. It examines how the policing response could be informed by research about the effectiveness of current and alternative approaches, and the possible benefits for victims, their families and offenders.
UK Commercial Space Activities
Published Tuesday, December 15, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0514
The UK space industry had a turnover of £11.8bn in 2012/13.1 By 2030, the UK Government and industry want this to grow to £40bn. In December 2015 the Government published the UK’s first National Space Policy, which sets out its vision for achieving growth. This POSTnote describes the UK space industry and potential barriers to growth.
Future of Natural Gas in the UK
Published Monday, November 16, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0513
UK shale gas exploration and efforts to mitigate climate change have stimulated debate about the future of the natural gas sector. This briefing looks at potential future pathways for the sourcing and use of natural gas in the UK. It also considers the implications for the economy, energy prices, the reliability of energy supplies and efforts to cut emissions.
Automation in Military Operations
Published Thursday, October 22, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0511
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains – air, land and sea – make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.
Unintentional Bias in Court
Published Thursday, October 22, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0512
When asked to interpret information and draw conclusions, people are prone to a number of well understood, unintentional errors in reasoning called cognitive biases. This POSTnote examines how cognitive biases affect reasoning and decision-making, and outlines strategies to minimise their influence in court.
Trends in ICT
Published Monday, October 19, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0510
This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.
Forensic Language Analysis
Published Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0509
This note examines forensic language analysis, the scientific validity of procedures and their applications, and explores the issues surrounding their use.
Deep Sea Mining
Published Friday, September 25, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0508
In March 2013, the Prime Minister said that deep-sea mining could be worth £40bn to the UK over the next 30 years. This briefing summarises the framework governing activity in international waters. It also describes the mineral deposit types being considered and the proposed extraction methods, potential environmental effects and mitigation options.
Trends in Crime and Criminal Justice
Published Thursday, September 24, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0507
This POSTnote describes crime patterns, and highlights issues with crime measurement and data. It also identifies key developments in the criminal justice system.
Trends in Compulsory Education
Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0506
This POSTnote focuses on trends in UK compulsory education and outlines where trends differ between individual nations.
Precision Farming
Published Monday, September 21, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0505
Precision farming uses technology to improve efficiency. It offers benefits for yields, profits and the environment. However, uptake by farmers has been slow. This POSTnote describes precision farming methods, adoption and factors influencing it, and future practices.
The 100,000 Genomes Project
Published Thursday, September 10, 2015 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0504
This POSTnote provides an introduction to genomic medicine and an overview of the aims, structure and major challenges of the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Displaying 41-60 out of 563

About libraries

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

POST

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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