From both a theoretical and a practical standpoint the research-practice gap in nursing is as wide as ever. This, despite an increasing literature on the subject and a gamut of practical initiatives aimed at bridging the divide. This paper explores the two worlds of practice and research and the factors contingent on them. It suggests that academic researchers and practitioners have different foci and are working under different imperatives. These different cultures need to be recognised and made more explicit within current writing. The discordance between the worlds of research and practice forms the basis for extending the discussion to consider the principal conduit of research, i.e. the written word. The question is raised as to why research is typically reported as a seamless account, bereft of any information beyond details of the research process as it is currently legitimised within nursing ideology. Finally consideration is given to strategies which might facilitate the 'outing' of both researchers and their research.