The earth’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems face many serious problems requiring timely information-based policies, decisions and, above all, solutions. Our research addresses the use and influence of marine environmental and fisheries information produced by governmental and non-governmental organizations, with a focus on their grey literature publications. Our research is especially probing the complex science-policy interface(s) so as to understand and maximize the role (use and influence) of such information in policy and decision-making processes.
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RECOGNIZING THE CHALLENGE
Earth's terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems face many serious problems as human populations continue to grow and demand for natural resources intensifies in the 21st century. Climate change, over-exploitation of living resources, pollution, the loss of habitat and biodiversity, chemical and biological threats to human health, cumulative impacts, and generally reduced environmental quality illustrate the kinds of challenges facing human societies at all levels and in all countries. Governmental, inter-governmental, and non-governmental organizations play significant roles in understanding and addressing such problems. While seeking solutions, these organizations support considerable original research and information syntheses, annually producing many thousands of publications in the primary and grey literature, in both printed and digital formats. In finding and adopting solutions in a timely fashion, this information must be managed, made accessible, and communicated to environmental and resource managers, health practitioners, industry leaders, policy and decision makers, politicians, and the interested public.
STUDYING THE USE AND INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION PUBLISHED AS GREY LITERATURE
Initiated in 2002, our research addresses the use and influence of marine environmental and fisheries information produced by governmental and non-governmental organizations. Although major findings are most often published in primary scholarly journals, much of this information resides in the voluminous and rapidly growing grey literature. We have adopted a case study, organization-based approach, and to date have studied the information produced as grey literature by several organizations (see link to our publications). At a time of many rapid advances in communication technology and use of social media, we are identifying what the organizations publish, and are examining the dissemination, awareness of, access to, use and influence of their publications. Importantly, we are probing how the traditional information life cycle is adjusting to such advances in communication, and how information is now accessed and used by policy makers, decision makers, program managers and others, all involved in seeking solutions to pressing issues.
UNDERSTANDING THE INFLUENCE OF INFORMATION AT THE SCIENCE-POLICY INTERFACE
To manage environmental issues and natural (i.e. living) resources more effectively, policy makers and other users have to find and make efficient use of information from the growing body of literature, both primary and grey. Our over-riding philosophy is that good policies are evidence or information-based, and that due to the huge grey information base, "grey matters." As our research progresses, more emphasis is placed on understanding the complex science-policy interface(s). We recognize that reliable and timely information plays a vital role in setting policies, and policies, especially those set within governments, often influence the direction of basic and applied science. The informational and social interplay at this interface is affected by many factors, and may be non-linear and unpredictable. Our overall goal is that our research leads to fundamental insights and recommendations to maximize the use and influence of information in policy and decision-making processes, in the marine environmental and fisheries resource fields.
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EIUI Book about the Science-Policy Interface Now Available Open Access!
The EIUI research team is very pleased to announce that Science, Information, and Policy Interface for Effective Coastal and Ocean Management is now available as an open access book from CRC Press (a division of Taylor & Francis). For more information, please see an overview of the book and a report of the book launch.