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Title: Can methods applied in medicine be used to summarize and disseminate conservation research?
Authors: Fazey, Ioan Raymond Albert
Salisbury, J G
Lindenmayer, D B
Maindonald, J
Douglas, R
Keywords: Conservation research
Disseminating research
Evidence-based conservation
Implementing science
Science communication
Systematic reviews
Sustainable use
Management
Landscape
Wildlife
Ecology
Implementation
Restoration
Populations
Causation
Mortality
QH Natural history
Issue Date: Sep-2004
Citation: Fazey , I R A , Salisbury , J G , Lindenmayer , D B , Maindonald , J & Douglas , R 2004 , ' Can methods applied in medicine be used to summarize and disseminate conservation research? ' Environmental Conservation , vol 31 , no. 3 , pp. 190-198 .
Abstract: To ensure that the best scientific evidence is available to guide conservation action, effective mechanisms for communicating the results of research are necessary. In medicine, an evidence-based approach assists doctors in applying scientific evidence when treating patients. The approach has required the development of new methods for systematically reviewing research, and has led to the establishment of independent organizations to disseminate the conclusions of reviews. (1) Such methods could help bridge gaps between researchers and practitioners of environmental conservation. In medicine, systematic reviews place strong emphasis on reviewing experimental clinical trials that meet strict standards. Although experimental studies are much less common in conservation, many of the components of systematic reviews that reduce the biases when identifying, selecting and appraising relevant studies could still be applied effectively. Other methods already applied in medicine for the review of non-experimental studies will therefore be required in conservation. (2) Using systematic reviews and an evidence-based approach will only be one tool of many to reduce uncertainty when making conservation-related decisions. Nevertheless an evidence-based approach does complement other approaches (for example adaptive management), and could facilitate the use of the best available research in environmental management. (3) In medicine, the Cochrane Collaboration was established as an independent organization to guide the production and dissemination of systematic reviews. It has provided many benefits that could apply to conservation, including a forum for producing and disseminating reviews with emphasis on the requirements of practitioners, and a forum for feedback between researchers and practitioners and improved access to the primary research. Without the Cochrane Collaboration, many of the improvements in research communication that have occurred in medicine over the last decade would not have been possible.
Version: Publisher PDF
Status: Peer reviewed
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/1630
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0376892904001560
ISSN: 0376-8929
Type: Journal article
Rights: (c)2004 Foundation for Environmental Conservation
Appears in Collections:University of St Andrews Research
Scottish Oceans Institute Research
Geography & Geosciences Research
Geography & Sustainable Development Research



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