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Quantifying research waste in ecology

Purgar, Marija; Klanjšček, Tin; Čulina, Antica (2022) Quantifying research waste in ecology. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 6 . pp. 1390-1397. ISSN 2397-334X

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Research inefficiencies can generate huge waste: evidence from biomedical research has shown that most research is avoidably wasted and steps have been taken to tackle this costly problem. Although other scientific fields could also benefit from identifying and quantifying waste and acting to reduce it, no other estimates of research waste are available. Given that ecological issues interweave most of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we argue that tackling research waste in ecology should be prioritized. Our study leads the way. We estimate components of waste in ecological research based on a literature review and a meta-analysis. Shockingly, our results suggest only 11–18% of conducted ecological research reaches its full informative value. All actors within the research system—including academic institutions, policymakers, funders and publishers—have a duty towards science, the environment, study organisms and the public, to urgently act and reduce this considerable yet preventable loss. We discuss potential ways forward and call for two major actions: (1) further research into waste in ecology (and beyond); (2) focused development and implementation of solutions to reduce unused potential of ecological research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: research waste; ecology; evolution; open practices; QRP; study design; publication bias; result reporting; publication bias
NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology > Ecology
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Prilagodba uzgoja bijele ribe klimatskim promjenama-AqADAPTTin KlanjščekIP-2018-01-3150HRZZ
Depositing User: Antica Čulina
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2024 14:46
DOI: 10.1038/s41559-022-01820-0

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