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The term “topical” refers to something that is relevant to the subject at hand, often relating to issues or discussions that are currently of interest or importance in public discourse or a particular field of study. When used in the context of academic research, a topical study would be one that addresses a question or problem that is highly pertinent to contemporary debates or recent developments within a discipline. Such research is typically characterized by its immediacy and relevance to ongoing events or trends, which can lead to it being prioritized for publication due to the timeliness of the findings. In medicine, for example, a topical treatment would be applied directly to a specific area of the body, indicating that the term’s usage can be both figurative, when discussing the pertinence of a subject, and literal, when referring to the method of application. In the context of academic discourse, engaging with topical issues is often seen as a means to ensure that the research has practical implications and can swiftly contribute to the body of knowledge in a meaningful way, potentially influencing policy, practice, or further research.

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