Organizations that translate emerging science and provide community outreach, such as the Cooperative Extension Service and similar outreach engagement programs at universities, face ongoing challenges in establishing the credibility of program content and results as the pace of discovery of new knowledge, demand for effective applications, and diversity of audiences and other stakeholders continues to expand. This special edition of the Journal of Human Sciences and Extension (JHSE) explores the theme, “What is credible and actionable evidence in Extension programs?” Like a good evaluation, we begin this introductory article by framing the question, including academic, policy, and practical contexts; definitions of terms; discussion of the Extension context of credible evidence; and a sample of frameworks used to ground claims to credibility across disciplines and levels of reporting. A brief review of each article in the special edition concludes this overview of the JHSE special edition.



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