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Participation of natural resource managers on editorial boards of conservation and applied natural resource journals

  • Sarah K. Carter (a1) and Andrew H. Fayram (a2)

A gap between research and management exists in numerous natural resource fields. This can lead to management actions that are based on experience rather than evidence and may be less effective as a result. The gap may be partly attributable to research not being relevant, timely or accessible for managers. Editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals are responsible for determining the relevance of submitted manuscripts for a journal's readership. Limited representation of natural resource managers on editorial boards may make it more difficult for journals to identify the topics and findings of most relevance for management, thus contributing to the research–management gap. We quantified the representation of natural resource managers on the editorial boards of 79 conservation and applied natural resource journals. We found that 65% of editors were affiliated with universities, 13% with research institutions, 12% with government agencies and 3% with NGOs. On average, 9% of editors were affiliated with an agency or organization responsible for managing or regulating natural resources. The proportion of managers on editorial boards did not differ significantly between natural resource fields or with journal impact factor. Potential benefits of greater integration of managers into the research and publishing process include selection of research topics with greater relevance for management, clearer statements of the management implications of research studies, and more frequent publication of research evaluating the effectiveness of management interventions. Further study is needed to evaluate whether greater participation of managers in the editorial review process may contribute to achieving these benefits.

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Current address: U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2150 Centre Ave. Building C, Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118, USA

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