During the past decade, the professional journals have contained numerous papers authored by nurses and nurse–researchers describing the gap which persists between research and clinical practice Problems have been highlighted and challenges explored in the quest to discover ways of encouraging practitioners to become more aware of research evidence as a knowledge base for practice Many of the identified issues may be transposed into a midwifery setting but other factors may be recognized which are specific to the practice of midwifery This paper considers both conceptual and pragmatic issues in an attempt to explore the complexity of the influences which may affect the integration of research into midwifery practice