AbstractThis article presents a pragmatic approach of evidence-based practice (EBP). The first part distinguishes between a narrow and a broad definition of EBP, which takes into account the peculiarity of social work. The second part examines the question how EBP relates to practice theory. A broad definition of EBP acknowledges the surplus value of practice theory and aims at a mutual exchange of practice theory and empirical knowledge. In addition, it requires a pragmatic research attitude, which is explained by illuminating the debate during the nineties between the qualitative and the quantitative methodology. The fourth paragraph describes the implications of this pragmatic attitude for social work research. In conclusion, Mary Richmond’s old appeal is renewed. She considered the development and evaluation of empirical knowledge as a crucial part of the social work profession.