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Methods for collaboratively identifying research priorities and emerging issues in science and policy
Article first published online: 2 FEB 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Methods in Ecology and Evolution © 2011 British Ecological Society
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 238–247, June 2011
How to Cite
Sutherland, W. J., Fleishman, E., Mascia, M. B., Pretty, J. and Rudd, M. A. (2011), Methods for collaboratively identifying research priorities and emerging issues in science and policy. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2: 238–247. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00083.x
- Issue published online: 2 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 2 FEB 2011
- Received 1 June 2010; accepted 11 November 2010 Handling Editor: Jana M McPherson
- horizon scanning;
- policy makers;
- priority setting
1. There is a widely recognized gap between the data generated by researchers and the information required by policy makers. In an effort to bridge the gap between conservation policy and science, we have convened in several countries multiple groups of policy makers, practitioners and researchers to identify priority information needs that can be met by new research in the social and natural sciences.
2. The exercises we have coordinated included identification of priority policy-relevant research questions in specific geographies (UK, USA, Canada); questions relating to global conservation; questions relating to global agriculture; policy opportunities in the United Kingdom; and emerging global conservation issues or ‘horizon scanning’.
3. We outline the exercises and describe our methods, which are based on principles of inclusivity, openness and democracy. Methods to maximize inclusiveness and rigour in such exercises include solicitation of questions and priorities from an extensive community, online collation of material, repeated voting and engagement with policy networks to foster uptake and application of the results.
4. These methods are transferable to a wide range of policy or research areas within and beyond the conservation sciences.