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Improving scientific rigour in conservation evaluations and a plea deal for transparency on potential biases

Josefsson, Jonas and Hiron, Matthew and Arlt, Debora and Auffret, Alistair and Berg, Åke and Chevalier, Mathieu and Glimskär, Anders and Hartman, Göran and Kacergyte, Ineta and Klein, Julian and Knape, Jonas and Laugen, Ane and Low, Matthew and Paquet, Matthieu and Pasanen Mortensen, Marianne and Rosin, Zuzanna and Rosin, Zuzanna M. and Rubene, Diana and Zmihorski, Michal and Pärt, Tomas (2020). Improving scientific rigour in conservation evaluations and a plea deal for transparency on potential biases. Conservation Letters. 13 , e12726
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Abstract

The delivery of rigorous and unbiased evidence on the effects of interventions lay at the heart of the scientific method. Here we examine scientific papers evaluating agri-environment schemes, the principal instrument to mitigate farmland biodiversity declines worldwide. Despite previous warnings about rudimentary study designs in this field, we found that the majority of studies published between 2008 and 2017 still lack robust study designs to strictly evaluate intervention effects. Potential sources of bias that arise from the correlative nature are rarely mentioned, and results are still promoted by using a causal language. This lack of robust study designs likely results from poor integration of research and policy, while the erroneous use of causal language and an unwillingness to discuss bias may stem from publication pressures. We conclude that scientific reporting and discussion of study limitations in intervention research must improve and propose some practices toward this goal.

Authors/Creators:Josefsson, Jonas and Hiron, Matthew and Arlt, Debora and Auffret, Alistair and Berg, Åke and Chevalier, Mathieu and Glimskär, Anders and Hartman, Göran and Kacergyte, Ineta and Klein, Julian and Knape, Jonas and Laugen, Ane and Low, Matthew and Paquet, Matthieu and Pasanen Mortensen, Marianne and Rosin, Zuzanna and Rosin, Zuzanna M. and Rubene, Diana and Zmihorski, Michal and Pärt, Tomas
Title:Improving scientific rigour in conservation evaluations and a plea deal for transparency on potential biases
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:13
Article number:e12726
Number of Pages:8
ISSN:1755-263X
Language:English
Publication Type:Article Review/Survey
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:agri-environment scheme, before after control impact, biodiversity | causal language, evaluation of conservation interventions, meta-analysis, organic farming, study design, systematic review
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106484
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106484
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/conl.12726
Web of Science (WoS)000535844600001
ID Code:17976
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology

(NL, NJ) > Swedish Biodiversity Centre
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:28 Oct 2020 10:23
Metadata Last Modified:28 Oct 2020 10:31

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