Networks help think tanks access the policymaking system. First, having good contacts with government policy makers is the most important resource for think tanks to be able to appear in the policy system. Although being independent of the government should be the value think tanks pursue, this does not mean that think tanks are hedged off from the government. In many cases, a think tank is able to influence policies not only because of its expertise, but also mainly because its experts can submit their research reports and ideas to decision makers through channels to policy makers, thereby leading to their ideas becoming part of a small set of policy alternatives. If there are no valid channels to output research products to policy makers, it is difficult for think tanks to turn policy recommendations into the final policy.