The database will list available (published and unpublished) syntheses of primary research (e.g. critical reviews, meta-analyses, systematic reviews) conducted to assess evidence on a specific question of environmental policy or management relevance. Most importantly the database will provide an independent assessment, conducted to preset quality criteria, of the reliability and transparency of each synthesis. Presentation of the assessment will be tailored to the needs of decision makers/end users in government, non-government and private sectors.
How the guide works:
The guide will contain research syntheses relevant to all decision making in environmental management and decision making that involves environmental issues. Each synthesis will be appraised for its rigour and reliability using a points scale. Research syntheses gain points both for their rigorous conduct and transparent reporting as well as the quality of the synthesis itself. Consequently, it is not strictly the scientific merit being judged but the reliability and utility of the synthesis for decision making. Syntheses will be scored in the context of the questions they address.
How the guide can be used:
Faced with a decision or question that might be informed by evidence the user will be able to search for relevant syntheses using a simple keyword system (a guide to searching will be provided). Syntheses of potential relevance will be listed together with their scores for reliability. The user can then choose the most reliable and relevant syntheses, taking note of their limitations. Links will be provided to the location of each synthesis article (CEE cannot provide access to the full text of articles for copyright reasons and therefore a subscription may be required).